Maverick Maniac's Musings

June 6, 2013

2013 Summit League Review–How did UNO stack up in their first year?

UNO, in just their 2nd year of D1 transition and first year playing in a conference had what has to be considered a fantastic season. UNO got solid, if not fantastic starts from their soccer teams and ended the year watching the baseball team win the school’s first Summit League title. Here’s a breakdown of how the school’s teams did throughout the year in comparison to other schools.

Fall Season

Type of Results Regular Season Regular Season Regular Season Championship Standings Championship Standings Average Finish
School Men’s Soccer Women’s Soccer Volleyball Men’s Cross Country Women’s Cross Country
Oakland 1st 1st T-3rd 4th 4th 2.6
South Dakota State N/A 5th T-5th 1st 3rd 3.5
North Dakota State N/A T-3rd T-5th T-6th 1st 3.75
Fort Wayne T-4th 2nd 2nd 8th 6th 4.4
South Dakota N/A 9th T-5th 2nd 2nd 4.5
IUPUI 6th 8th 1st 3rd 7th 5
Kansas City 2nd 6th T-3rd T-6th 9th 5.2
Western Illinois 3rd T-3rd 8th 5th 8th 5.4
Omaha T-4th 7th 9th N/A 5th 6.25

Winter Season

Type of Results Regular Season Regular Season Championship Standings Championship Standings Championship Standings Championship Standings Average Finish
School Men’s Basketball Women’s Basketball Men’s Swimming and Diving Women’s Swimming and Diving Men’s Indoor Track and Field Women’s Indoor Track and Field
South Dakota State T-1st 1st 2nd 4th 4th 5th 2.8
North Dakota State 3rd 7th N/A N/A 2nd 1st 3.25
IUPUI 9th 2nd 3rd 2nd N/A N/A 4
Omaha 6th T-5th N/A 3rd N/A 2nd 4
South Dakota T-7th 3rd 6th 5th 1st 3rd 4.2
Oakland 4th 9th 1st 1st 6th 6th 4.5
Western Illinois T-1st T-5th 5th 7th 5th 7th 5
Kansas City T-7th 8th N/A N/A 3rd 4th 5.5
Fort Wayne 5th 4th N/A N/A N/A 8th 5.7

Spring Season

Type of Results Regular Season Regular Season Regular Season Regular Season Championship Standings Championship Standings Championship Standings Championship Standings Average Finish
School Baseball Softball Men’s Tennis Women’s Tennis Men’s Golf Women’s Golf Men’s Outdoor T&F Women’s Outdoor T&F
NDSU 4th 1st N/A N/A 5th 1st 1st 1st 2.2
Kansas City N/A 5th 1st 2nd 1st 2nd 4th 5th 2.9
South Dakota N/A 4th N/A 4th 2nd 9th 2nd 2nd 3.8
SDSU 2nd 8th 2nd 3rd 3rd 7th 3rd 4th 4
Omaha 1st 2nd 6th 6th 8th 4th N/A 3rd 4.3
Fort Wayne 6th 3rd 3rd 1st 9th 8th N/A 8th 5.4
Western Illinois 5th 6th 4th 8th 4th 5th 5th 7th 5.5
Oakland 3rd 9th N/A 5th 6th 6th 6th 6th 5.9
IUPUI N/A 7th 5th 7th 7th 3rd 7th 9th 6.4

Overall Averages

School Fall  Average Fall Sports Winter Average Winter Sports Spring Average Spring Sports Total Sports Average Finish
NDSU 3.75 4 3.25 4 2.2 6 14 2.93
SDSU 3.5 4 2.8 6 4 8 18 3.5
South Dakota 4.5 4 4.2 6 3.8 6 16 4.13
Kansas City 5.2 5 5.5 4 2.9 7 16 4.25
Oakland 2.6 5 4.5 6 5.9 7 18 4.5
Omaha 6.25 4 4 4 4.3 7 15 4.73
Fort Wayne 4.4 5 5.7 3 5.4 7 15 5.13
Western Illinois 5.4 5 5 6 5.5 8 19 5.32
IUPUI 5 5 4 4 6.4 7 16 5.38

The tale of the tape is kind of interesting here. Knowing that Kansas City and Oakland won’t be around next year of the remaining seven schools you can see where the balance of power definitely is, the Dakotas. North Dakota State seems to be the premier program in the league right now with South Dakota State their closest competitor. It’s a bit of a further drop to South Dakota who was never spectacular as their best average was only 3.8 in the spring. they were however consistent with their worst average being only 4.5 in the fall.

Omaha has to feel fairly good about how their first year went. They were a bit off the pace in the fall as their 6.25 average was the 2nd worst of any school for any season (IUPUI had a 6.4 average in the spring) but they were much stronger in the winter and the spring as they got their season long average down to 4.73.

Historical Comparison

I wondered how UNO stacked up compared to the last few schools to move into the Summit. Now one thing to note here is that Fort Wayne began their transition in 2001, NDSU and SDSU began in 2004, and South Dakota began in 2008. None of the schools went through the kind of transition UNO is dealing with where they will spend 3 years competing in the Summit League while not being eligible for the postseason. All were able to build their programs much more before their first Summit competition. So how does UNO stack up in terms of average finish?

School Fall  Average Fall Sports Winter Average Winter Sports Spring Average Spring Sports Total Sports Average Finish
NDSU 2007-08 4.75 4 2.25 4 3.8 6 14 3.64
SDSU 2007-08 2.75 4 4.5 6 4.8 8 18 4.22
Omaha 2012-13 6.25 4 4 4 4.3 7 15 4.73
South Dakota 2011-12 6.25 4 4 6 5.3 6 16 5.06
Fort Wayne 2007-08 5.6 5 6 3 5.9 7 15 5.8

Few things of note… the Summit League was only 9 teams this year as opposed to 10 last year and 10 in 2007-08. Was that an advantage to Omaha? Probably slightly. But in that 2007-08 season there were only 7 returning members as three new members joined. So that was certainly an advantage for NDSU, SDSU and Fort Wayne.

NDSU had an amazing first year in the Summit and were extremely competitive. They stand out from the pack in this table. I think the case could be made though that Omaha’s season was the 2nd best of these five. Yes they were a half spot worse on average than SDSU five years ago, but that season for SDSU came in their last season of transition as opposed to Omaha’s second. I think this seems to show the future is very bright for UNO.

March 13, 2013

A Look at Omaha’s Attendance–2012-13 Fall and Winter Sports

With the winter sports done with home competition and the spring sports just getting going I figured now is a good time to take a look at Omaha’s attendance this year and see how they’ve done to years past. I’ll be interested to see just how big a boost Omaha gets from going D1 and from the new marketing agreement with Nelligan Sports Marketing.

And a little warning before we get into this… apparently only hockey/men’s basketball are exact numbers… the rest are estimates. Still I think the trends are noticeable and things can be drawn from this.

Hockey

Omaha’s average attendance was off 8% from last year, the second straight year of dipping attendance. That despite having a team that was ranked much of the year and in contention for the WCHA title until late.

One big reason: less freebies this year as has been widely noted on twitter and message boards. Omaha probably made just as much money off of the season despite the drop in attendance. Also with Creighton being so good there was not as much attention on the hockey team as there might be in other years.

Still it’s less butts in the seats as total attendance was the lowest it’s been since 2006-07. A lot of this is due to no home games in the postseason, but total attendance was also off 11,000 from last year in same number of games. The Mavericks also had their lowest “high attendance” since the 2009-10 season, again probably due to less cheap/free tickets out there. It will be interesting to see how this trend goes over the next few years as things stabilize.

Year # of Games Avg. Attendance % Change Conf. Games Average Total Attendance High Attendance Low Attendance
2012-13 18 7,233 -8% 7,756 130,200 13,650 3,921
2011-12 18 7,864 -2% 8,368 141,544 16,138 3,831
2010-11 20 7,994 +16% 8,552 159,886 15,137 4,793
2009-10 21 6,866 +10% 6,948 144,181 13,417 4,028
2008-09 21 6,216 -1% 6,664 130,528 10,111 4,328
2007-08 21 6,305 N/A 6,478 132,402 10,598 3,176

Men’s Basketball

On the other hand this is really good. Men’s Basketball saw good progress in all areas for the 2nd straight year. Lots of room to grow, but it’s on the right path. Still amazing how far it dropped off from 2007-08 to 2010-11. It was a nice time back then in the NCC. MIAA days were not good for basketball attendance.

Year # of Games Avg. Attendance % Change Conf. Games Average Total Attendance High Attendance Low Attendance
2012-13 13 1,261 +41% 1,248 16,392 2,656 642
2011-12 11 894 +51% N/A 9,833 1,949 179
2010-11 14* 592 -18% 620 7,104 1,328 375
2009-10 14 724 +10% 791 10,131 1,568 215
2008-09 12 653 -29% 706 7,838 915 200
2007-08 16 919 N/A 1,056 14,709 1,303 300

* – 2 games had no attendance listed so they were removed from the averages.

Men’s Soccer

In only its second year men’s soccer saw a huge drop in attendance. A lot of that is explained by the fact that last year’s big numbers were due to the first ever game (against a top 25 school to boot) and a special game at Werner Park. Still, a conference game average of 129 is really poor and there needs to be improvement with this sport. Hopefully playing games at Al F. Caniglia Field will help next year.

Year # of Games Avg. Attendance % Change Conf. Games Average Total Attendance High Attendance Low Attendance
2012 5 248 -78% 129 1,241 442 111
2011 3 1,130 N/A N/A 3,391 1,647 256

Volleyball

First off all realize that last year’s numbers are a bit weird. Omaha did host a tournament in which they played four games on September 2nd and 3rd. No attendance was recorded so I’ve left those out of the average. Regardless, Omaha drew 81% of this year’s total in just two games last year. Remarkable drop-off this year when Omaha got only 823 for Syracuse (compared to 2,429 for Kansas City and 1,208 for South Dakota in 2011). On a positive in terms of comparing it to 2010, Omaha did a very good job increasing total attendance and average attendance across all games and conference games. I wonder how many of those 3600+ tickets in 2011 were free… 

Year # of Games Avg. Attendance % Change Conf. Games Average Total Attendance High Attendance Low Attendance
2012 10 450 -75% 387 4,502 823 193
2011 6* 1,819 +417% N/A 3,637 2,429 1,208
2010 14^ 352 -9% 345 4,225 436 297
2009 18 385 -20% 481 6,942 925 220
2008 16 480 -25% 491 7,680 918 284
2007 11 640 N/A 610 7,042 1,436 421

* – 6 games included four in a tournament with no recorded attendance. Not included in average.
^ – 14 games included two in a tournament with no recorded attendance. Not included in average

Women’s Basketball

Omaha’s seen some improvement over the last there years in terms of conference attendance, but the overall average has now dipped slightly in three straight season despite the move to D1 and better competition. It should be noted that until the 2010-11 season Omaha was playing a lot of women’s games as part of double-headers with men’s games. The women’s attendance would be taken sometime during the women’s game and probably included some people mostly showing up early for the men’s game. Still… these people were watching the women’s games and should be considered potential fans.

To not be able to increase attendance at all over the last two years is disappointing with the great stars Omaha had in Paige Frauendorfer and Jamie Nash. Amazing to look back a few season and see Omaha is still well off what they averaged in the final NCC season.

Year # of Games Avg. Attendance % Change Conf. Games Average Total Attendance High Attendance Low Attendance
2012-13 17 354 -5% 413 6,023 651 157
2011-12 12 373 -4% N/A 4,477 817 115
2010-11 13 387 -2% 395 5,029 589 212
2009-10 15 394 +24% 462 5,910 1,275 166
2008-09 15 319 -33% 403 4,786 525 91
2007-08 18 478 N/A 708 8,605 1,050 130

Women’s Soccer

Of Omaha’s 2,180 total fans this year a whopping 60% were from the Creighton and Iowa State games in the first weeks of the season. Disappointing to see attendance drop off on average from last year despite playing in a conference and having nearly twice as many games. Interesting to see that conference games have been worse and worse attended every year since 2007.

Year # of Games Avg. Attendance % Change Conf. Games Average Total Attendance High Attendance Low Attendance
2012 8 272 -10% 117 2180 672 104
2011 3 302 +113% N/A 905 604 137
2010 8 142 -1% 142 1133 316 62
2009 8 143 -36% 143 1146 219 72
2008 10 223 -26% 225 2227 307 122
2007 8 300 N/A 317 2400 400 200

All-in-all this is not a pretty picture for UNO Athletics. There is significant work to be done to get fan support back to the levels of the NCC days in many sports. Conference games in several sports show no more interest than non-conference games, so fans aren’t connecting yet with the regular opponents in Omaha’s new league. The luster from the D1 move is wearing off already and the Summit League did nothing to boost attendance in most sports as only one sport showed improvement from non-conference to conference games (Women’s Basketball).

It’s going to be a challenge to raise attendance across all sports. It’s an issue of marketing, ticketing, information, social media, all of it. There is no magic bullet here but there are also numerous things that can be done. Omaha clearly has the potential to have larger fan bases for all of their sports, it’s just about reaching them and getting those fans there.

At the very least it’s disappointing to see a drop in attendance over the last year. I thought with the move to D1, strong schedules with conference opponents, and the new marketing firm that things would look really good. I was really surprised to see most sports with lower average attendance  and while there are various reasons it’s not like you can look at these numbers and say it’s been a year of growth on the fan side.

Feel free to share any thoughts/ideas you may have in the comments below. I know personally I need to do a better job at trying to get to more games and get friends going with me, so I think most of us can take that suggestion to heart :).

October 4, 2009

MIAA Recap 10/3 – Mavericks Maintain Momentum!

Filed under: College Sports,D2,Football,Omaha Mavericks,Soccer,Volleyball — Jon Green @ 12:10 am

Football

Well since this is mostly geared towards the Mavericks, let’s start with their game.

UNO went down to Emporia St, probably the 2nd worst team in the league, and won fairly handily 34-13.  Freshman Running Back Levi Terrell had 192 yads on 34 carries with 2 TDs. The Mavericks moved to 3-1 in the MIAA, and now have some home cooking to look forward to as they host Washburn, Central Missouri, and Pittsburg State in the next 4 weeks.  If the Mavericks want to make a push for the post season they will need to take care of business in these games.  Up first is Washburn who…

Knocked off Fort Hays State 28-14 to go  to 3-1 in the MIAA as well.  Washburn will tell us all we need to know about their team in the next 3 weeks as they go to UNO, host Pittsburg State and travel to Northwest Missouri State.  Win the first two and they could be playing for an MIAA title at Northwest.  Lose to UNO and Northwest and they may see their playoff chances slip away.  Huge set of games for the Ichabods.  UNO-Washburn is a mega tilt next week when it comes to the playoff picture.

Then there is Central Missouri who dominated Truman State 38-3 to go to 3-1 in conference.  They have it fairly easy hosting Fort Hays State next week, as well as in their other remaining home game when they host Missouri Southern.  The problem is the 3 road games are trips to Missouri Western and Nebraska-Omaha back to back and a season ending trip to Northwest Missouri St.  Sure if they run the table ’til then they probably would be playing for a conference title, but a much more likely scenario sees them at 7-3/8-2 and playing for any hope of a playoff berth.  With the tough road trips against two teams who are also in the playoff hunt I’d bet AGAINST the Mules making the run they need.

Pittsburg State has hung around in relevance by knocking off Missouri Southern State 21-13 (in Joplin).  First of all look out for Missouri Southern, they look like they could be a spoiler after giving UNO and Pittsburg State some tests in the last two weeks.  Unfortunately those were both at home and their remaining three big games are at Northwest Missouri State, at Missouri Western, and at Central Missouri. So if they do it I told you so, but it probably won’t happen.  But remember I told you so.  Pittsburg State still needs to win out and has it easier next week hosting Emporia St before a big game at Washburn.

And then there’s Missouri Western and Northwest Missouri State who battled for the inside track today in St Joseph. Northwest proved they are still  the team to beat with a 49-35 win.  The Missouri Western defense is now looking very suspect having given up 31,34,40,and 49 in the first 4 MIAA games.  Still 3 of their last 5 games appear winnable (although Truman and Emporia are both going to be eyeing upsets).  If Missouri Western can avoid upset bids there and win one of their two games against Central Missouri and Nebraska Omaha they should be in good shape for the playoffs still. Northwest has easier games the next two weeks before hosting Washburn and Central Missouri in the final 3 weeks of the year.  Northwest has a fairly clear path now and should win the MIAA Title unless someone else (Washburn or Central) can run the table the rest of the way and get the tie-breaker over them.

So looking ahead to next week we have.

Missouri Southern State @ Northwest Missouri State – Should be no problem for Northwest Missouri State at home,  even with Missouri Southern’s play the last few weeks.

Missouri Western @ Truman State – Missouri Western wouldn’t expect to have any trouble against a Truman State team who hasn’t put up a touchdown in 3 of their 4 MIAA games so far (the exception being 31 against Fort Hays State), but Truman knocked off UNO around this time last year and can’t be overlooked… still an upset here would be a big surprise.

Fort Hays State @ Central Missouri – Fort Hays State probably can keep this one close, and Central could overlook them a bit as they look ahead to Missouri Western and UNO.  If Central stays focused though this one shouldn’t be a problem.

Emporia State @ Pittsburg State – Pittsburg State shouldn’t have any trouble with Emporia State on Saturday as long as they don’t overlook them.  Emporia has not shown they can win a game like this.

Washburn @ Nebraska-Omaha – This is easily the game of the week.  UNO would set themselves in front of Washburn with a home win while Washburn would all but finish UNO by knocking them to 3 losses at this point.  If UNO keeps improving like they have been the last few weeks this team should take care of business at home, a place where they are 46-4  in their last 50 regular season home games  and have won 6 straight Homecoming games.

Volleyball

The only conference game this week was Central Missouri traveling to Pittsburg State on Friday night where they avenged their earlier home loss with a 3-0 win.

So my updated standings are (-1 for any loss at a bottom level team, -1 for any home loss to a top level team, and +1 for a road win at a top level team)

Central Missouri and Emporia State (+1)

Nebraska-Omaha and Pittsburg State (0)

Washburn (-1)

Truman State (-2)

Official Standings show Central, UNO, and Emporia near the top.  Pittsburg is a bit futher back at 4-3 but remember 2 of those losses were at UNO and at Truman State, so until the other teams make those trips and try to upset those teams Pittsburg is going to look a bit shakier.

Next week will see Central travel to Truman on Wednesday night, Emporia travel to Pittsburg on Friday night, Truman travel to Omaha on Saturday, and Washburn travel to Pittsburg on Saturday!  So some big games for all 6 of the big teams!  We’ll see if anyone can make a move. Truman needs this home game against Central really bad, and would love to make up some ground with the road upset at Omaha on Saturday.

Soccer

This week in big games we saw Central and Northwest tie in Maryville (meh have fun with that one standing guy!), UNO hold off Southwest Baptist 3-0 at home, and knock of Northwest 2-1 at home in OT,  and  Truman destroyed Southwest Baptist on the road 4-0.

So my updated standings are (-1 for any loss at a bottom level team, -1 for any home loss to a top level team, and +1 for a road win at a top level team, oh and .5 points for a tie.)

Truman State (+2)

Nebraska Omaha  (0)

Central Missouri (-.5)

Southwest Baptist (-2)

Northwest Missouri State (-2.5)

When we look at the MIAA Standings we see Truman and UNO one two, just like this, but these standings show that Truman has pulled off some road upsets, so UNO is going to have to match them to keep pace while Truman has an easier run the rest of the way. Central Missouri is hanging around and gets all 4 of the other big teams in a row at home to end the season.  Their last chances to get a big road win are going to be at Truman and at Southwest Baptist.  If they can’t win those games they are going to need Truman to stumble to have any chance.

Next week we’ll see the Central at Truman match-up on Thursday, and Truman will also host Southwest Baptist on Saturday.

September 26, 2009

MIAA Review 9/26

Filed under: College Sports,D2,Football,Omaha Mavericks,Soccer,Volleyball — Jon Green @ 10:58 pm
Football
Northwest Missouri State – Northwest, who was now won 31 straight MIAA games (last loss Oct 2005 vs. Pittsburg State), has what might be the biggest game of the conference season on Saturday when they go on the road to fellow 3-0 in conference foe Missouri Western.  This game could be for all the marbles.  NW has a fairly easy schedule after that with the best remaining chances to stumble being vs. Washburn and Central Missouri at home. But if they lose to Missouri Western even a 8-1 season might not be enough to win the conference this year…
Missouri Western – Missouri Western, after upseting Pittsburg State on the road this weekend, is now in position to win the conference through some MAJOR home games. It starts this weekend with Northwest Missouri State coming to town.  A win would make them the team to beat in the MIAA and mean if they could go 4-1 the rest of the way they would win the conference.  After Northwest the biggest tests are all at home.  A October 17th meeting with Central Missouri and a November 7th year end game with Nebraska-Omaha.  A game that could mean a conference title with a win for Western and could be UNO’s last chance to reach the playoffs.
Central Missouri – The team that looked like the team on the rise after beating Pittsburg State last week has taken a step back falling on the road @ Washburn. They still are in position for a great finish and a possible playoff berth, but it looks A LOT tougher now.  This team doesn’t look good on the road, barely scraping bye @ Emporia State, and has to go to Missouri Western, UNO, and Northwest Missouri State in 3 of the last 4 weeks of the season.  I don’t see them getting through that stretch any better than 1-2, can they make the playoffs if they finish 8-3?
Washburn – Maybe this is the new team to watch out for? Washburn’s only loss on the year was a tough loss on a FG at the end to Missouri Western last week.  We’ll know all about Washburn after a 3 game stretch in mid October (@ UNO, Pittsburg State, @ Northwest Missouri State).  If they want to make the playoffs they’ll need to avoid slipping up outside of that and go at least 1-2 in that stretch.
Nebraska-Omaha – UNO has looked up and down, and didn’t look at their best vs. Missouri Southern, but got the job done none the less. The Mavericks need to take care of business on the road at Emporia State and Fort Hays State in the next 3 weeks, but the real tests will come at home where they take on Washburn, Central Missouri, and Pittsburg State.  The Mavericks probably need to go 3-0 in this stretch as they already have 2 losses, but if they do they would have the edge on Washburn and Central Missouri, and Pittsburg State would be done.  Can the Mavericks finish 8-3 with a loss at Missouri Western in the final game and make the playoffs or would they need a win to get in there?  If UNO can get rolling they could be an interesting team to watch.
Pittsburg State – I don’t think anyone saw this coming, Pittsburg State with their backs firmly pressed into the wall with 6 weeks left in the season.  They can’t lose again and still have road tests @ Washburn and @ UNO.  The good news is outside of those two games they appear to have 4 very winnable games, but they’ll have to win all 6 to have a shot.
Fort Hays State – Fort Hays looks to be one of those bottom 4 teams, and the schedule does them no favors sending them @ Washburn, @ Central, home with UNO, @ Pittsburg State, and home with Northwest Missouri State in the next 5 weeks.  I imagine they’ll be lucky to emerge from that schedule 1-4.
Missouri Southern State – Missouri Southern has not looked great so far and has only one more chance to get a big upset at home when they host Pittsburg State next week.  If they don’t get the job done there they’ll probably finish 3-6 in conference, 3-7 overall.
Emporia State – Emporia State doesn’t appear to have much bite in them which will hurt their chances with the next 3 games home with UNO, @ Pittsburg State, and home with Northwest Missouri State.  They also host Missouri Western and Washburn, so they’ll have plenty of chances to play spoiler…
Truman State – Truman State should be glad they got to play Oklahoma Panhandle in the non-conference season because I don’t see a conference win coming.  MAYBE at home against Emporia State on October 24th… but that’d be the best chance by far.
Volleyball
This weekend gave us several big games.  Central Missouri went to Washburn and pulled off a win 3-2, giving Washburn it’s second straight loss.  Truman lost at home to Missouri Southern 3-2 in a major let down. Truman did respond however by knocking off Pittsburg State at home 3-1 on Saturday.  UNO went to Emporia State and gave them all they could handle in a 3-2 Emporia win.  The Mavericks are for real, they’ll be in contention for the conference title. UNO had two KEY service errors in the final set down the stretch and still managed to make it 15-13.
So my updated standings are (-1 for any loss at a bottom level team, -1 for any home loss to a top level team, and +1 for a road win at a top level team)
Emporia State and Pittsburg State (+1)
Nebraska-Omaha and Central Missouri (0)
Washburn (-1)
Truman State (-2)
The next big game, and the only conference match next weekend, is when Central travels to Pittsburg State on Friday night as part of the PSU Classic looking to avenge the home loss they had earlier this year.
Soccer
Soccer is probably a 5 taeam race at this point.  Truman State at 5-1, UNO at 4-1, Southwest Baptist at 3-1, Northwest Missouri State at 3-2, and Central Missouri at 3-2.  Central fell @ Washburn 1-0, and Northwest Missouri State fell @ Missouri Western 2-0 on Thursday. Truman had a big win Saturday 1-0 over UNO at home.
I’m going to use the same method as we have for volleyball (-1 for any loss at a bottom level team, -1 for any home loss to a top level team, and +1 for a road win at a top level team) amongst these 5 teams to see where things stand.
Truman State (+1)
Nebraska Omaha and Southwest Baptist (0)
Central Misouri (-1)
Northwest Missouri State (-2)
Northwest is a team to question, they are having a solid year so far but may not be up to the level of competing for the conference title.

Football

Northwest Missouri State – Northwest, who was now won 31 straight MIAA games (last loss Oct 2005 vs. Pittsburg State), has what might be the biggest game of the conference season on Saturday when they go on the road to fellow 3-0 in conference foe Missouri Western.  This game could be for all the marbles.  NW has a fairly easy schedule after that with the best remaining chances to stumble being vs. Washburn and Central Missouri at home. But if they lose to Missouri Western even a 8-1 season might not be enough to win the conference this year…

Missouri Western – Missouri Western, after upseting Pittsburg State on the road this weekend, is now in position to win the conference through some MAJOR home games. It starts this weekend with Northwest Missouri State coming to town.  A win would make them the team to beat in the MIAA and mean if they could go 4-1 the rest of the way they would win the conference.  After Northwest the biggest tests are all at home.  A October 17th meeting with Central Missouri and a November 7th year end game with Nebraska-Omaha.  A game that could mean a conference title with a win for Western and could be UNO’s last chance to reach the playoffs.

Central Missouri – The team that looked like the team on the rise after beating Pittsburg State last week has taken a step back falling on the road @ Washburn. They still are in position for a great finish and a possible playoff berth, but it looks A LOT tougher now.  This team doesn’t look good on the road, barely scraping bye @ Emporia State, and has to go to Missouri Western, UNO, and Northwest Missouri State in 3 of the last 4 weeks of the season.  I don’t see them getting through that stretch any better than 1-2, can they make the playoffs if they finish 8-3?

Washburn – Maybe this is the new team to watch out for? Washburn’s only loss on the year was a tough loss on a FG at the end to Missouri Western last week.  We’ll know all about Washburn after a 3 game stretch in mid October (@ UNO, Pittsburg State, @ Northwest Missouri State).  If they want to make the playoffs they’ll need to avoid slipping up outside of that and go at least 1-2 in that stretch.

Nebraska-Omaha – UNO has looked up and down, and didn’t look at their best vs. Missouri Southern, but got the job done none the less. The Mavericks need to take care of business on the road at Emporia State and Fort Hays State in the next 3 weeks, but the real tests will come at home where they take on Washburn, Central Missouri, and Pittsburg State.  The Mavericks probably need to go 3-0 in this stretch as they already have 2 losses, but if they do they would have the edge on Washburn and Central Missouri, and Pittsburg State would be done.  Can the Mavericks finish 8-3 with a loss at Missouri Western in the final game and make the playoffs or would they need a win to get in there?  If UNO can get rolling they could be an interesting team to watch.

Pittsburg State – I don’t think anyone saw this coming, Pittsburg State with their backs firmly pressed into the wall with 6 weeks left in the season.  They can’t lose again and still have road tests @ Washburn and @ UNO.  The good news is outside of those two games they appear to have 4 very winnable games, but they’ll have to win all 6 to have a shot.

Fort Hays State – Fort Hays probably is one of those bottom 4 teams still despite winning 2 of their first 3 conference games, and the schedule does them no favors sending them @ Washburn, @ Central, home with UNO, @ Pittsburg State, and home with Northwest Missouri State in the next 5 weeks.  I imagine they’ll be lucky to emerge from that schedule 1-4.

Missouri Southern State – Missouri Southern has not looked great so far and has only one more chance to get a big upset at home when they host Pittsburg State next week.  If they don’t get the job done there they’ll probably finish 3-6 in conference, 3-7 overall.

Emporia State – Emporia State doesn’t appear to have much bite in them which will hurt their chances with the next 3 games home with UNO, @ Pittsburg State, and home with Northwest Missouri State.  They also host Missouri Western and Washburn, so they’ll have plenty of chances to play spoiler…

Truman State – Truman State should be glad they got to play Oklahoma Panhandle in the non-conference season because I don’t see a conference win coming.  MAYBE at home against Emporia State on October 24th… but that’d be the best chance by far.

Volleyball

This weekend gave us several big games.  Central Missouri went to Washburn and pulled off a win 3-2, giving Washburn it’s second straight loss.  Truman lost at home to Missouri Southern 3-2 in a major let down. Truman did respond however by knocking off Pittsburg State at home 3-1 on Saturday.  UNO went to Emporia State and gave them all they could handle in a 3-2 Emporia win.  The Mavericks are for real, they’ll be in contention for the conference title. UNO had two KEY service errors in the final set down the stretch and still managed to make it 15-13.

So my updated standings are (-1 for any loss at a bottom level team, -1 for any home loss to a top level team, and +1 for a road win at a top level team)

Emporia State and Pittsburg State (+1)

Nebraska-Omaha and Central Missouri (0)

Washburn (-1)

Truman State (-2)

The next big game, and the only conference match next weekend, is when Central travels to Pittsburg State on Friday night as part of the PSU Classic looking to avenge the home loss they had earlier this year.

Soccer

Soccer is probably a 5 taeam race at this point.  Truman State at 5-1, UNO at 4-1, Southwest Baptist at 3-2, Northwest Missouri State at 3-2, and Central Missouri at 3-2.  Central fell @ Washburn 1-0, and Northwest Missouri State fell @ Missouri Western 2-0 on Thursday. Truman had a big win Saturday 1-0 over UNO at home.  Southwest Baptist dropped a game @ Washburn 4-3.

I’m going to use the same method as we have for volleyball (-1 for any loss at a bottom level team, -1 for any home loss to a top level team, and +1 for a road win at a top level team) amongst these 5 teams to see where things stand.

Truman State (+1)

Nebraska Omaha  (0)

Central Missouri and Southwest Baptist (-1)

Northwest Missouri State (-2)

Northwest is a team to question, they are having a solid year so far but may not be up to the level of competing for the conference title.

October 16, 2008

Lessons Learned From UNO-Augustana Volleyball

Filed under: Omaha Mavericks,Volleyball — Jon Green @ 4:19 am

So UNO took on #22 Augustana tonight.  Augustana did not look like the #22 team.  Had a bit of a rough night struggling.  UNO took set 1, and looked poised to win set 2.  They were up 18-11, but started making some mistakes and Augustana ran in to 21-21.  UNO actually got up 24-23, serving for the set, but 3 attack errors gave it to the Vikings.  UNO needed to take this set that they dominated for the most part, but just let things get away from them.  I thought it would come back to cost them at this point.  Augustana is a good team and you need to put this away instead of giving them time to come back.  After winning set 3 and losing set 4, a set which UNO led 14-11 before falling away, it all came down to set 5.  Both teams were pretty even so if ended up tied at 12.  And 13. And 14. And 15. And 16.  All of a sudden the whole match came down to whoever could win 2 points first. When you set up this situation all it takes is a fluke and you’ve got the win.  You could hit the net with a serve and just trickle it over.  You could have a ball deflect wildly.  All of a sudden all your margin of error is gone and you can’t just win it over the long run.  UNO played like the better team for the whole night, but when you leave the game to be decided on two points, you can get beat pretty easily.

So those are the two lessons. 1.) You have to take advantage of your opporrunities.  Especially when playing a better team (because they will fight back at some point).  UNO needed to win set 2 and didn’t get the job done.  2.) When you let a game come down to a “best of” in a short span… you let the team playing worse (usually the worse team… not the case tonight) have a chance to erase everything based on a few flukey moments or a few good plays.  UNO didn’t get beat by flukey plays tonight, Agustana won those points impressively, but UNO was the better team tonight… just not on the last two points.

Oh and if you haven’t seen them yet… this volleyball team is gonna be good when they are a bit older.  Very young team.

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