The Drake volleyball team claimed its first victory of the season this weekend with a five-set victory over Nebraska-Omaha. The scoreboard read 18-25, 25-20, 25-15, 24-26 and 15-13 as 583 fans watched the match in the Sapp Fieldhouse in Omaha, Neb.
In a match that featured 25 ties and 11 lead changes, Drake’s upperclassmen pushed the young team to the win column for the first time this season. Senior Bentley Mancini and sophomore Amanda Platte both slammed 12 kills.
“Our seniors were carrying us quite a bit but it was a good overall team effort,” said head coach Tony Sunga.
Sunga believes his team will be able to build on Friday night’s performance.
“Last night (Friday) against Nebraska-Omaha definitely helped in our efforts to be competitive in the Missouri Valley Conference,” Sunga said. “I think it will help next week and for the rest of the season.”
The Bulldogs had to fight for their first win of the season. Down 12-10 in the fifth set, Drake regrouped after a Sunga timeout and managed to eek out a 15-13 set win to clinch the match.
“We showed our resiliency tonight and had a little more at the end to finish off some tough sets,” Sunga said in a Drake athletics press release. “We had some great blocks and digs and played at the necessary level we needed to at key moments of the match. We came out of the timeout late in the fifth and stayed calm and did what we wanted to do. The win was a team effort tonight.”
Senior Jadranka Tramosljanin recorded a double-double with 11 kills and 19 digs. Tramosljanin is listed as an outside hitter and defensive specialist and she filled both of her roles on the way to a Bulldog victory.
As a team, Drake had a hitting percentage of .128 and tallied 10 team blocks on the defensive end. The total match took just over two hours as the Bulldogs played their first five set game this season.
Registering more than half of Drake’s assists was sophomore Halli Meyer with 28. Redshirt junior Sarah Madden was instrumental on the defensive side of the ball as she was able to record 27 digs.
“Defensively, Sarah Madden helped out and came up big for us,” Sunga said.
On Saturday, the Bulldogs fell to the Creighton Bluejays in straight sets of 25-23, 25-14 and 25-11. The Bulldogs are now 1-12 for the season and 0-3 in MVC play.
Freshman outside hitter Katie Dulek led the Bulldogs with a career-high eight kills. Platte and Tramosljanin recorded six kills as well.
The team will play the Bluejays again on Oct. 20 in the Knapp Center for the Dig Pink game, where there will be a limited edition poster giveaway.
Next weekend, the Bulldogs will travel to Evansville, Ind., and Carbondale, Ill., to take on Evansville and Southern Illinois. This marks the end of the Bulldogs’ four-game road stint.