No. 6 North Dakota State upsets No. 3 Omaha to advance to semifinals

No. 6 North Dakota State upsets No. 3 Omaha to advance to tomorrow's semifinal match.
No. 6 North Dakota State upsets No. 3 Omaha to advance to tomorrow's semifinal match.

Volleyball Championship Bracket

Video: North Dakota State Head Coach Jennifer Lopez

By: Aubrie Laufenberg

The Basics
Score: No. 3 Omaha 1, No. 6 North Dakota State 3
Records: Omaha (17-12), North Dakota State (9-19)
Location: Hamilton Gymnasium

Denver, Colo. –No. 6 North Dakota State upset No. 3 Omaha (23-25, 25-23, 26-24, 25-21) in the second quarterfinal match of the evening Friday. This is the first time in league history that a No. 6 seed beat a No. 3 seed. The Bison advance to the second semifinal match scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 17 at 6 p.m. MT where they will see No. 2 South Dakota.

Who Stood Out

North Dakota State had three athletes in double-digits to help secure the victory over Omaha. McKenzie Burke led the offensive pack with 13 kills as Allie Mauch tallied 12 and Emily Halverson added 11 more on a .409 clip. Kalli Hegerle finished the evening with 41 assists. The defense for the Bison was guided by Abbi Klos, who recorded 15 digs and Alexis Bachmeier who added 14 more.

Omaha had two athletes in double-digit. Sadie Limback hammered down a team-high 15 kills as Abby Bergsten added 10 more with a .318 hitting percentage. Sydney Case tallied 48 assists on the match. Defensively, the Mavericks were led by Claire Mountjoy with 13 digs, while Courtney Morehead added nine more.

Turning Point

It was a fight from the start as a back and forth first set ended in Omaha securing the first set 25-23 to take the lead 1-0. Both teams came out with fire in the second set, but North Dakota State toughed out a 25-23 second set win to split going into the third set. The fight was not over between the two. The third set saw six tie scores and two lead changes with the largest lead being four points in favor of NDSU. The Bison ended up taking the third 26-24 off of a Maverick attack error and a kill by Halverson.

It all came down to the fourth set. The Mavericks scored the first point to start the set which ended up being the only lead they would take in the fourth set. North Dakota State went on a 5-1 run after the first point forcing Omaha to take a timeout. The momentum carried for NDSU following the timeout and the closest the Mavs would get was within two, 22-20. Two Omaha errors, a kill by Hegerle and a kill by Burke secured the victory for the Bison.

"We attacked every set and handled our business from start to finish, North Dakota State head coach Jennifer Lopez said. "We were just focused on what we needed to do offensively, defensively and who needed to make plays and just went out and attacked and scored more points. 

"Sometimes the hardest part is teaching a young team how to finish and how to seek that success, but we stayed in a positive mindset and competitive one. We knew we need to play our game on all fronts.


  • This is the first time in league history that a No. 6 upset a No. 3 in the championship
  • This is the Bison's ninth time getting to the semifinal match
  • There were 26 tie scores and 11 lead changes throughout the match
  • This is the first time this season that North Dakota State beat Omaha. The first two matchups Omaha won 3-2 and 3-1.

Up Next
North Dakota State enters the semifinals match against No. 2 South Dakota Saturday, Nov. 17 at 6 p.m. MT.

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Through 36 years of Division I athletics, The Summit League offers 19 championship sports and has a combined enrollment of nearly 115,000 at nine institutions, including three located in top 60 U.S. metro populations and two land-grant universities. Member institutions include: Denver (University of Denver), Purdue Fort Wayne (Purdue University Fort Wayne), the University of North Dakota, North Dakota State University, Omaha (University of Nebraska Omaha), Oral Roberts University, the University of South Dakota, South Dakota State University and Western Illinois University. Previously known as the Mid-Continent Conference, The Summit League rebranded in 2007 and has since produced 12 NCAA Champions along with over 100 Academic All-Americans, nearly 125 All-America selections and numerous former student-athletes competing at the highest professional level. For more information about the league, visit website, follow The Summit League on Twitter @thesummitleague.