OMAHA, Neb. – The Omaha volleyball program defeated Purdue Fort Wayne in a five-set thriller Sunday afternoon inside Sapp Fieldhouse to remain perfect at home and in Summit League Play.
The Mavericks defeated the Mastodons 18-25, 25-21, 25-21, 20-25, 15-10 to earn a 4-0 league record for the first time since 2015.
Leaders for Omaha
Claire Leonard totaled a career-high 20 kills on .265 hitting with a pair of blocks to lead Omaha. Three other Mavericks also notched double-digit kills in Abby Bergsten (14), Anna Blaschko (12) and Isabella Sade (10). Sydney Case earned her second double-double of the season with 54 assists and 10 digs.
- Omaha maintains a perfect 5-0 record at home this season.
- Leonard’s 20 kills mark the first time a Maverick has recorded 20-plus kills in a match since Bergsten did it last season against Denver on Oct. 3, 2017.
- The Mavericks are 2-1 in five-set matches.
- Omaha is now 6-1 this season when four or more players reach double-digit kills.
- The Mavericks improve to 5-10 all-time against the Mastodons.
Inside Set 1
Fort Wayne jumped out of the gate and dominated the first set. The Mavericks fell into a 4-1 hole early on and were never able to retake the lead. A 5-1 Mastodon run made it 18-13, which was followed up by a 4-2 spurt to close out the set, 25-18.
Inside Set 2
The second set featured a nail-biting contest as both teams jockeyed for the lead. A 3-0 Maverick run capped off by a service ace from Case made it 17-15 Omaha. Purdue Fort Wayne pulled to within one, but Omaha responded with another 3-0 run to lead 21-17. The Maverick gap was too big for the Mastodons to overcome, and Omaha closed out the set off a kill by Blaschko.
Inside Set 3
Omaha controlled the majority of the set off a 4-0 run to lead by six (13-7). Purdue Fort Wayne, however, battled back to tie it at 16-all and force an Omaha timeout. Omaha trailed on two different occasions late in the match, but a 5-0 run capped off by back-to-back kills from Blaschko and Leonard, along with an ace from Limback, made it 24-20. The set point came off a kill by Leonard that gave the Mavericks a 2-1 lead in the match.
Inside Set 4
With the match tied at 13-13, Purdue Fort Wayne still had some gas left in the tank and proceeded to go on a 4-0 run and lead 16-13. Omaha cut the gap to two, but could not find its way back into the set as the Mastodons went on a 3-0 run and led 22-17. Despite two straight kills by Leonard and Limback, Purdue Fort Wayne won the set off a pair of kills and an ace to force a fifth.
Inside Set 5
Three straight kills by Leonard gave Omaha the spark it needed to open the set. The gap turned out to be too much for Purdue Fort Wayne to overcome. Later on, a pair of Mastodon errors gave Omaha an 11-7 lead in the set. The final two points of the match were scored off a kill by Bergsten and an attack error on Purdue Fort Wayne.
Omaha returns for its third-straight home match of the season Friday, Oct. 5 at 7 p.m. The Mavericks welcome North Dakota to Baxter Arena for the annual “Serve Pink” match.