SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — UNO handed Denver one of its two losses during the regular season.
But Friday in the Summit League tournament semifinals, the Pioneers rallied to win the first set and never let UNO seize momentum the rest of the way in a 27-25, 25-20, 25-20 win.
UNO looked to grab the early advantage as it won five straight points to take a 19-16 lead in the first set. Alexa Blase had back-to-back aces during that run.
The Mavs then had set points at 24-23 and 25-24. But consecutive kills from Lydia Bartalo, Katarina Marinkovic and Lorrin Poulter gave the Pioneers the opening set and the momentum.
Denver would finish with a balanced attack as Bartalo had 10 kills, Poulter nine and Marinkovic and Tina Boe added eight each. The Pioneers outhit the Mavs .244-.134.
The Pioneers rarely trailed after the first set. A 4-0 run gave them a 7-4 lead in the second set and they stretched it to 22-14. UNO won the next five points, but couldn’t get closer than three.
In the third set, another 4-0 run put Denver up 11-6 and it led by at least three the rest of the way.
Sadie Limback, who led the league in hitting percentage this season, paced the Mavericks with 12 kills, while Blase added six. Sami Clarkson had 29 assists, while Claire Mountjoy, the league’s defensive player of the year, finished with 18 digs.