Denver volleyball (19-5 overall, 10-2 Summit League) shook off a shaky first game (17-25) on Senior Day and swept the next three games ( 25-19, 25-15, 25-16) against the Omaha Mavericks to remain in the Summit League regular-season chase.
With two games to go for the Pioneers, Oral Roberts has the conference lead (11-2), tied with DU in the loss column. South Dakota fell to Oral Roberts over the weekend and sits at 9-3 with a game scheduled against DU in Vermillion, South Dakota next Friday. Then, DU plays Western Illinois in Macomb, Illinois Sunday to close out the regular season.
Three realistic goals still remain for this year’s team – a group that have exceeded expectations after losing four starters from last season and adding six freshmen. They are likely to achieve 20 wins – an excellent achievement for any D1 volleyball program program. If they take care of business next weekend and sweep on the road and recapture the regular season title, they can return the Summit League volleyball tournament back to Denver next season. Finally, Denver looks to secure the #1 seed for the upcoming Summit League Tournament (November 17th-19th) in Denver and win the conference auto-bid.
Sunday’s match against Omaha was surgical, with the Pioneers staying calm after losing the first set. Denver’s two best players on the kill, junior Becca Latham and senior Kayla Principato, delivered 13 and 12 kills respectively. Senior Cassidy Rooke played a fantastic game with 17 digs and a number of big saves to set-up key Pioneer points.
DU has won 12 of their last 13 sets, all at home and seven matches in a row. DU’s attacking percentage the last three games against Omaha was .375, .667, and .394 which allowed the Pioneers to cruise to the home victory. The graduating players from the Pioneer squad include Cassie Baird, Piyusha Boteju, Becca Mau, Kayla Principato, Cassidy Rooke, and Teal Schnurr (graduate transfer).The graduating seniors generated the most wins in a 4-year span ever for Pioneer volleyball with 96 wins – and more games to go.