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Only UNO volleyball's bye week has slowed down Sadie Limback
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VOLLEYBALL

Only UNO volleyball's bye week has slowed down Sadie Limback

Sadie Limback's string of Summit League honors ended this week.

UNO's bye week guaranteed that. But a bye week has been one of the few things to slow the junior right-side hitter recently.

Sadie Limback

Sadie Limback

"It starts with practice. She practices hard, she's done a good job of learning this year," coach Matt Buttermore said. "As hard as she hits the ball, it's always possible for the kind of performances she's had.

"We always see those kind of performances in practice. ... We see it in practice multiple times a week."

Limback became the Summit's first to be named offensive player of the week four weeks in a row as the Mavericks (11-5, 10-4) won eight of its nine matches.

She was All-Summit in 2019, when she averaged 3.48 kills per set and had a .263 hitting efficiency, and has raised her level of play this season. She is averaging 3.94 kills per set while hitting .402. No one else in the League is hitting better than .338 this spring.

"I didn't think it was going to be that high, but my goal was to have an efficiency rating right around .400 by the end of the season," Limback said. "I'm right on track for that." 

Buttermore said the biggest difference he sees in the left-hander this season is her decision making — she's making smarter choices when sets aren't perfect.

"Overall I think my consistency is a lot better," Limback said. "I'm making later decisions of where to put the ball. It makes it harder for the other side to defend."

The stats show it. During the last seven matches, she's hit a career-high 25 kills twice, and five times she's hit .533 or better. Three weeks ago against South Dakota State, she set a school record with an .826 hitting percentage with 19 kills on 23 swings.

It also helps that UNO has depth at the net. In each of the past three matches, the Mavs had at least three players with double-digit kills. Anna Blaschko, Alexa Blase and McKenna Ruch average more than two kills per set, while Rachel Fairbanks and Rylee Marshall each average about five kills per match.

Sophomore Sami Clarkson leads the Summit in assists per set (10.5).

"Sami does a real good job of spreading the ball around, and our middles and outsides are also great threats," Limback said. "It gives us all a better opportunity at the net to have that single block."

UNO ends its regular season this weekend against Oral Roberts on Friday and Saturday at Baxter Arena.

The Mavs then moves on to the Summit tournament, starting April 2 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. UNO is in fourth place, but has defeated every team in the league and split with each of the three teams ahead of it in the standings.

And Buttermore said the Mavs are ready to finish strong after the bye.

"It was good to just work on us for a week and not worry about an opponent," Buttermore said. "We've been able to shore up some things."

Omaha World-Herald: Local Sports

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