AMES, Iowa — The Omaha volleyball team opened its 2017 campaign Friday afternoon, falling 3-0 (21-25, 17-25, 20-25) to New Mexico on the first day the Cyclone Invitational at Hilton Coliseum. The Mavericks are now 0-1 (0-0 Summit League) on the season, while the Lobos improve to 1-0 (0-0 Mountain West).
Leaders for Omaha
Junior outside hitter Mackenzie Horkey finished with a match-high 11 kills alongside nine digs in her first appearance since suffering a season-ending injury last September. Senior setter Sydney O’Shaughnessy notched her first double-double with 28 assists and 12 digs, and freshman libero Claire Mountjoy scooped a team-leading 18 digs for the day in her first collegiate match.
Junior outside hitter Abby Bergsten, a transfer from Iowa Western Community College, also made her Maverick debut with nine kills and eight digs. Freshman middle blocker Bella Sade made her collegiate debut with five kills and a team-best two blocks.
Leaders for New Mexico
Lauren Twitty paced the Lobos with 11 kills and 10 digs on .321 hitting, adding three blocks for the afternoon. Carson Heilborn put up 29 assists, and two players added double-figure dig efforts: Ashley Kelsey (25) and Hailey Rubino (10). Mariessa Carrasco had a match-high five blocks.
New Mexico outhit Omaha .255 to .134 and outblocked the Mavericks 9.0 to 2.0.
Inside Set 1
Horkey came out swinging in the opening set, posting six kills. O’Shaughnessy guided the Maverick attack with 12 assists, and Mountjoy totaled seven digs.
The Mavericks used a 5-1 run early to go up 9-4. UNM then trimmed it to a one-point margin, but Horkey’s sixth kill of the set bolstered Omaha’s lead to 14-12. UNM came back to tie it five times up to 20-20, taking the lead for good with a closing 6-1 run to win 25-21.
Inside Set 2
The second set saw six ties to start, but back-to-back kills from Bergsten put Omaha ahead 10-8. The Lobos knotted it three more times up to 12-12, then took the lead on a Carrasco kill that prompted a UNO timeout. Out of the break, UNM extended its run to 8-0, which was finally halted with a Horkey kill at 19-13. UNM ultimately claimed the set, 25-17.
Inside Set 3
New Mexico led early in the third set, but Omaha worked to a 13-13 lock with the help of a Horkey kill, a block by Sade and fellow freshman Anna Blaschko and an ace from sophomore right side hitter Meagen Roth. UNM put together a 5-0 surge from there, which was finally stopped with a Blaschko kill at 18-14. Omaha rattled off three more points with a Horkey ace and consecutive kills from Bergsten and Blaschko to pull within one, but the Lobos finished it off at 25-20 to complete the sweep.
Omaha returns to action on Saturday, Aug. 26, facing host Iowa State at the Cyclone Invitational. The match is set for Noon at Hilton Coliseum in Ames, Iowa, and links to live stats and video will be available on OMavs.com.