Now is the time of year to reflect on New Year's resolutions for the Mavs
Published: Tuesday, January 8, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, January 8, 2013 08:01
A new year brings renewed hope, thoughts of the future and resolutions to improve upon a certain aspect of life. Certainly, 2013 will be no different. But while there will no doubt be bigger crowds at the gym and more shoppers in the health food aisle, New Year’s resolutions have also been made at the Sapp Fieldhouse.
In 2012 UNO was in the second year of reclassification and remained ineligible for post-season play. But that doesn’t mean there weren’t some team and individual accomplishments.
Men’s soccer went on the road in the last game of the season and earned a 2-0 shutout at Oral Roberts. Any other season, that would have put the Mavs in The Summit League conference championship.
Softball pitcher Dana Elsasser was named the Great Western Conference Pitcher of the Year for a team that went 24-18 in 2012. Elsasser pitched 151.0 innings, posting a 13-9 record and a 1.07 ERA. Her ERA was fifth-best for all pitchers in Division I.
But while 2012 was a step forward for Maverick athletics, coaches and student-athletes are hoping for even more in 2013. Listed below are some of the New Year’s resolutions The Gateway has selected for UNO sports programs.
The Mavs limped to the finish line in 2012 and showed little fight in the last few weeks of the season. To make matters worse, two of the top three scorers departed early to chase careers in the NHL.
Many predicted UNO would struggle with offense and picked the Mavs to finish near the bottom of the WCHA. But thus far, players such as Ryan Walters, Dominic Zombo and Josh Archibald have grown into the roles they were expected to play.
UNO is threatening the top of the conference standings and have remained in the national polls for over two months now. There’s a lot of season left, but the feeling about this team is much better than last year.
2013 Resolutions – Ryan Walters earns himself a spot on the All-American Team, the Mavs defeat North Dakota in the outdoor game early February and UNO picks up its third NCAA tournament berth in program history, this time getting a win.
In just its second season of existence, men’s soccer is well ahead of schedule. What would normally have been an invitation to the conference tournament was followed by Summit League honors for five Maverick players.
Freshman Giovanni Giattino led UNO with 15 points on four goals and seven assists. Giattino was second in goals among all conference newcomers, second among all players in assists and second in points per game with 1.15. Only Offensive Player of the Year Kyle Bethel of Oakland averaged more points per game.
2013 Resolutions - With a young team that finished fourth in the standings, things can only get better. The Mavs will resolve to finish even higher this year and complete their 2012 goal of being undefeated at home.
UNO went 4-1 at home last season, but just 5-10-1 overall. The conference finish was good, but the Mavs will resolve to get closer to .500.
As part of the Great Western Conference in 2012, Maverick softball was able to play in a postseason conference tournament. In 2013 it’s likely UNO will qualify to do that again, but reclassification won’t allow it in The Summit League.
The Mavs should have the conference’s best pitcher in Elsasser, one of the best offensive threats in Amber Lutmer and one of the best teams top to bottom. They’ll have to wait a few years, but UNO softball is ready to compete for a conference crown now.
2013 Resolutions – The Mavs can’t win it now, but they can spoil it for a few teams and give the conference a preview of what’s to come. Elsasser won 13 last year. Let’s see if she can get above 15 in 2013.
If UNO is to compete in D-I and in The Summit League, they’ll need some taller players. Head Coach Rose Shires started to fulfill some of that requirement with the signing of three players 6-feet or taller.
Freshman Kelley Wollak looks to be one of the Mavs’ best for years to come, but she’s gonna need help. Natalie Ebke’s graduation leaves Wollak as the best offensive threat on the roster.
If Bailey Baxter can gain more consistency at setter and Michaela Schimmer can continue to grow into her role, things will get better.
2013 Resolutions – Double digit wins for the first time since 2010, increase the conference win total by at least three.
Like softball, women’s basketball appears ready to compete for a conference championship right now. Through four Summit League games, the Mavs are 3-1 and have leaders in almost every statistical category.
Saturday, Jamie Nash broke the school record for career assists and is approaching 1,000 points for her career. Paige Frauendorfer is right there nearing 1,000 points as well and is among the conference leaders in offensive and defensive rebounding.
UNO is having success because they’re one of the most complete teams in the conference. Head Coach Chance Lindley has his players understanding their roles and embracing what they bring to the team.
2013 Resolutions – Finish near the top of the conference, place one if not two players on the All-Summit League First Team.
After 18 games the Mavs are allowing an average of almost 83 points per game. Opponents are shooting over 48 percent from the floor and over 38 percent from long-range. Some of that has to do with UNO’s fast-paced system, but the Mavs also need more size on the roster.
UNO has given up 93 more offensive rebounds, and 166 more total. There are still 13 games left in the season; going somewhere close to 6-7 in those final 10 would be a big step forward for next year.