Denver (1-0) swept Omaha (1-2, 0-1) on Sunday afternoon at Hamilton Gym after missing the entire prior season due to COVID-19. The Pioneers had missed 416 days of competitive volleyball with no preseason matches prior to the contest. The early season match pitted two top division Summit League foes against each other. Denver was ranked #2 in the Summit League Preseason Poll and Omaha #3.
The Pioneers swept the Mavs 29-27, 25-21 and 25-18.
Denver stormed back in the first set after trailing by as many as 6 points and won 29-27 on extra points. Denver had 12 errors during a jittery first game but relied on clutch stops and critical points for the win. The second set had the Pioneers holding the lead throughout and winning 25-21. The Pioneers played a tight final match with Omaha before pulling away in the second half of the third set to close out the match 25-18.
Lorin Poulter and Ari Winters led DU with 10 and 8 kills respectively. Macy Carrabine had a strong game in the middle with 12 digs. Brianna Green had 6 blocks.
The sweep was somewhat unexpected because Omaha had two preseason games, one against a strong Creighton side, in advance of the Denver conference match. Denver had solid play across their entire roster to earn the win.
The two-game set continues Monday at 2:00 pm MT when the Pioneers and Mavericks meet once again.
Photo: Denver Athletics – Tina Boe