Maverick Maniac's Musings

June 10, 2013

2013 Omaha Volleyball Schedule

Filed under: Omaha Mavericks,Schedules,Women's Soccer — Jon Green @ 10:00 am

Earlier in the year I previewed the women’s soccer schedule. Now we’ll take a look at this year’s volleyball schedule.

Bold for home games, * for Summit League games.

Day of Week Date Opponent Location Time (CT) Record Last Year Conference Last Year Conference Finish Last Year RPI Last Year
Friday 8/30 Houston Baptist Houston, Texas 7 PM 20-11 (7-1) Great West 1st 137
Saturday 8/31 UT-Pan American Houston, Texas Noon 10-19 (3-5) Great West 3rd 280
Saturday 8/31 Louisiana Houston, Texas 5 PM 16-16 (6-8) Sun Belt 8th 196
Friday 9/6 SIUE Sapp Fieldhouse 6 PM 9-18 (5-11) Ohio Valley 9th 283
Saturday 9/7 Southern Utah Sapp Fieldhouse 11 AM 12-20 (8-12) Big Sky 8th 236
Saturday 9/7 Bradley Sapp Fieldhouse 5 PM 9-20 (3-15) Missouri Valley 9th 235
Friday 9/13 Louisiana Tech Hammond, Louisiana 11 AM 3-27 (0-18) WAC 10th 308
Friday 9/13 Southeastern Louisiana Hammond, Louisiana 5 PM 11-19 (5-13) Southland 8th 246
Saturday 9/14 Stetson Hammond, Louisiana 9 AM 4-31 (0-18) Atlantic Sun 10th 311
Saturday 9/14 Southern Hammond, Louisiana 3 PM 4-25 (1-7) SWAC 8th 324
Thursday 9/19 Oklahoma Norman, Oklahoma 7 PM 22-11 (10-6) Big 12 4th 27
Friday 9/20 Miami Norman, Oklahoma 4 PM 25-6 (17-3) ACC 2nd 28
Saturday 9/21 LIU Brooklyn Norman, Oklahoma Noon 25-8 (16-0) Northeast 1st 125
Saturday 9/21 Tulsa Norman, Oklahoma 5 PM 26-10 (14-2) Conference USA 1st 49
Saturday 9/28 Western Illinois* Sapp Fieldhouse 5 PM 11-17 (4-12) Summit League 8th 228
Friday 10/4 Fort Wayne* Fort Wayne, Indiana 7 PM 25-7 (12-4) Summit League 2nd 56
Saturday 10/5 IUPUI* Indianapolis, Indiana 5 PM 22-10 (13-3) Summit League 1st 101
Friday 10/11 North Dakota State* Sapp Fieldhouse 7 PM 13-18 (8-8) Summit League 5th 165
Sunday 10/13 South Dakota State* Sapp Fieldhouse 2 PM 16-13 (8-8) Summit League 5th 166
Friday 10/18 Denver* Denver, Colorado 7 PM 17-13 (10-8) WAC 5th 138
Sunday 10/20 South Dakota* Vermillion, South Dakota 7 PM 14-14 (8-8) Summit League 5th 161
Saturday 10/26 Western Illinois* Macomb, Illinois 5 PM 11-17 (4-12) Summit League 8th 228
Friday 11/1 IUPUI* Sapp Fieldhouse 7 PM 22-10 (13-3) Summit League 1st 101
Sunday 11/3 Fort Wayne* Sapp Fieldhouse 2 PM 25-7 (12-4) Summit League 2nd 56
Friday 11/8 South Dakota State* Brookings, South Dakota 7 PM 16-13 (8-8) Summit League 5th 166
Saturday 11/9 North Dakota State* Fargo, North Dakota 7 PM 13-18 (8-8) Summit League 5th 165
Friday 11/15 South Dakota* Sapp Fieldhouse 7 PM 14-14 (8-8) Summit League 5th 161
Sunday 11/17 Denver* Sapp Fieldhouse 2 PM 17-13 (10-8) WAC 5th 138

Oklahoma made the NCAA Tournament last year and defeated Arizona State 3-2 in the first round before falling 3-0 to 12-seed BYU in the 2nd round. LIU Brooklyn also made it but was knocked out 3-0 by seven-seed UCLA in the first round. Fort Wayne was the Summit League representative but lost 3-2 to 15-seed Iowa State in the first round. Tulsa made it out of Conference USA but was knocked out 3-0 by 14-seed Florida in the first round. Finally Miami (FL) also made the tournament but was knocked out 3-2 by Charleston in the first round.

Omaha plays twice in a day on five occasions this year, four Saturdays and one Friday. Overall they play on Friday 11 times, on Saturday 12 times, on Sunday four times, and once on Thursday. Omaha will host one Friday/Saturday tournament (one game Friday, two on Saturday) and in single game situations they will play three 7 PM Friday-2 PM Sunday home weekends and one Saturday only home weekend, with that game at 5 PM.

Omaha will play all of their non-conference games in August and September before opening Summit League play on September 28th. The only non-Summit schools to come to town this year are SIU Edwardsville, Southern Utah, and Bradley. None of the schools finished higher than 8th in their conference last year or finished with a winning record, though Bradley is probably the best get of the bunch.

Here’s a breakdown by RPI: Omaha was 254th last year.
0-50 – 3 – 1 away, 2 neutral
51-100 – 2 – 1 home, 1 away
101-150 – 6 – 2 home, 3 away, 1 neutral
151-200 – 7 – 3 home, 3 away, 1 neutral
201-250 – 5 – 3 home, 2 away
251-300 – 2 – 1 home, 1 neutral
301+ – 3 – 3 neutral

The Summit is a fairly competitive volleyball league with only Omaha and Western Illinois not finishing in the top 200 of the RPI last year. Omaha will be competitive in the first road tournament at Houston Baptist, should be able to win any of the home games in the Omaha Marriott Classic. They will be expected to win most of the games at the Southeastern Louisiana Tournament. The 2013 Nike Invitational will be a very tough weekend where Omaha plays four teams that all made the NCAA Tournament last year.

Omaha travels approximately 8,874 miles this year to get to their road games, very close to last years 8,300 miles.

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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 :).

January 29, 2013

2013 Omaha Women’s Soccer Schedule is Released!

Filed under: Omaha Mavericks,Schedules,Women's Soccer — Jon Green @ 12:57 pm

While we aren’t even into February we have the 2013 Omaha women’s soccer schedule and I for one was excited to see it!  Let’s go through the schedule and take a look at what we’ve got. Bold for home games, * for Summit League games.

Day of Week Date Opponent Location Time (CT) Record Last Year Conference Last Year Conference Finish Last Year RPI Last Year
Sunday 8/18 Kansas (Exh.) Lawrence, Kansas 1 PM 10-8-2 (3-5-0) Big 12 6th 78
Friday 8/23 New Mexico State Las Cruces, New Mexico TBA 2-14-3 (0-7-1) WAC 9th 285
Sunday 8/25 UTEP El Paso, Texas TBA 10-10-0 (3-8-0) Conference USA 10th 185
Friday 8/30 Northern Colorado Al F. Caniglia Field 7 PM 6-7-5 (4-2-3) Big Sky 5th 189
Sunday 9/1 North Dakota Al F. Caniglia Field Noon 1-13-1 (0-9-0) Big Sky 10th 317
Friday 9/6 Northern Iowa Cedar Falls, Iowa TBA 8-9-2 (3-2-1) Missouri Valley 4th 250
Sunday 9/8 Wyoming Al F. Caniglia Field Noon 8-8-2 (1-5-1) Mountain West 7th 142
Friday 9/13 Montana Al F. Caniglia Field 7 PM 12-6-3 (6-2-1) Big Sky 3rd 147
Friday 9/20 Creighton Omaha, Nebraska 7 PM 3-13-3 (0-6-0) Missouri Valley 7th 268
Sunday 9/22 Missouri State Al F. Caniglia Field Noon 8-8-2 (2-3-1) Missouri Valley 6th 174
Sunday 9/29 Indiana State Al F. Caniglia Field Noon 8-10-3 (2-3-1) Missouri Valley 5th 218
Saturday 10/5 South Dakota* Al F. Caniglia Field 7 PM 2-13-3 (1-6-1) Summit League 9th 319
Friday 10/11 North Dakota State* Fargo, North Dakota 4 PM 8-10-0 (5-3-0) Summit League 4th 270
Sunday 10/13 South Dakota State* Brookings, South Dakota 1 PM 6-9-2 (4-3-1) Summit League 5th 272
Friday 10/18 Denver* Al F. Caniglia Field 7 PM 17-3-4 (6-0-2) WAC 1st 25
Sunday 10/20 Kansas City* Al F. Caniglia Field Noon 6-9-4 (3-4-1) Summit League 6th 256
Friday 10/25 Oakland* Rochester, Michigan TBA 11-6-4 (6-2-0) Summit League 1st 106
Sunday 10/27 Fort Wayne* Fort Wayne, Indiana TBA 10-8-1 (5-2-1) Summit League 2nd 173
Friday 11/1 IUPUI* Al F. Caniglia Field 7 PM 3-14-2 (1-5-2) Summit League 8th 305
Sunday 11/3 Western Illinois* Al F. Caniglia Field Noon 13-6-0 (5-3-0) Summit League 3rd 231

Denver made the NCAA Tournament as an at-large and defeated Colorado College in the first round and Maryland in OT in the 2nd round before losing 3-0 to #1 Stanford in the 3rd round. Oakland defeated Ohio State in overtime in the 1st round of the NCAA tournament before losing to Texas A&M 3-0.

So a few things to note. First of all Omaha plays nine games on Friday, one game on Saturday, and nine games on Sunday. Their home games are four on Friday, one on Saturday, and six on Sunday. The Friday games are all scheduled for 7 PM and the idea of a Friday night game under the lights at Caniglia is very exciting. As is the Saturday night 7 PM kickoff with South Dakota to start the conference schedule. Sunday games are at noon.

Omaha will play all of their non-conference games in August and September before Summit League only play in October and early November. Omaha is home for five of the nine Summit League games and home for six of their 10 non-conference games. Despite not traveling as much this year Omaha got some good names to come to town. Most everyone has heard of Northern Colorado and North Dakota from the NCC Days while Montana and Wyoming are decent names and Missouri State and Indiana State are known from their MVC play.

Here’s a breakdown by RPI: Omaha was 294th last year.
0-50 – 1 – 1 home
51-100
101-150 – 3 – 2 home and 1 away
151-200 – 4 – 2 home and 2 away
201-250 – 4 – 3 home and 1 away
251-300 – 4 – 4 away
301+ – 3 – 3 home

A decently balanced schedule with not a horrible difficult road portion. Four of the eight road games are against teams with RPIs between 251 and 300 last year. Omaha travels to the SW for games at New Mexico State and UTEP, a nice combination of teams because they are so close together. The other two road games are at Northern Iowa and Creighton, very easy trips and one of course in town on a Friday night.

In the Summit League Omaha does have to travel to teams who finished 1st, 2nd, 4th and 5th last year. Omaha was 7th last year and should have a chance to finish at least that high again this year if they can win what should be some winnable conference games at home.

Also Omaha travels approx 5,412 miles this year to get to their road games, slightly better than last years 6,471 miles.

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