Shires says added experience will pay dividends

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August 13th, 2013

Omaha, NE – The University of Nebraska Omaha volleyball team heads into the 2013-2014 season with a more experienced bunch, according to head coach Rose Shires.

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She said the team is heads and shoulders above last year’s squad that finished 6-22 overall including a 1-15 mark in the Summit League. All seven sophomores who played as true freshman last year will return this season. She said that the team will continue to gel as the year progresses and if the spring exhibition season was any indication, the team will be ready for the season opener in two weeks.

Head coach Rose Shires (right) heads into her 24th year as UNO's volleyball coach. (Photo Courtesy KVNONews)

Head coach Rose Shires (right) heads into her 24th year as UNO’s volleyball coach. (Photo Courtesy KVNONews)

“I feel (that) this spring was a good measuring stick for us,” Shires said. “I feel with us really handling Iowa this spring, beating Missouri State this spring, beating Northern Iowa, we competed extremely well against Minnesota and Iowa State this spring,” she said. “So I feel like we are playing the right types of teams, we are beating that next level team, albeit in the spring, but these are the same kids, these kids took a big step from the fall to the spring and I look forward to what they can accomplish,” she said.

Two areas Shires would like to see improve from last year are the teams attack percentage and the errors that were committed. She also notes her team’s willingness to get better and Shires named the team’s defensive specialist, sophomore Kimberly Bailey as one of the team’s leaders this season. Bailey was used as an all-around jack of all trades type of player last year.

“It will be the same; I still plan of pitching in wherever I need to be,” Bailey said. “But really to focus on playing defense and being the libero on the team will be a great honor for one, and I know that will be a lot on my back, having one main focus this year,” she said. “But I am really excited about it, in high school and in club and even starting off my years here at UNO, I always thought of myself as a utility player. But now just being able to hone into one, I am pretty excited about it,” she said.

The Mavericks begin the season with a three game Tournament in Houston, Texas on August 30th.

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