Anyone who showed up even slightly late to the Gates Center missed a significant portion of the IPFW women's volleyball team's match.
In a senior night match that lasted less than 75 minutes, IPFW swept Omaha 25-17, 25-10, 25-19 on Saturday to remain tied for first place in the conference and clinch a spot in the Summit League Tournament.
Coach Kelley Hartley Hutton said being able to secure a spot in the four-team conference tournament on Nov. 16-17 in Fargo, N.D., has been one of the top goals for IPFW (22-5, 11-3 Summit League) this entire season.
"It's huge," Hutton said. "All summer these kids are working out and in August in two-a-days that's what we are going for, to compete for a championship. Going out to Fargo in a few weeks is exactly why we're here."
IPFW in its sweep out-hit Omaha .318 to .130, including holding the Mavs (6-20, 1-13 Summit League) to a match-low zero attack percentage in the second game.
The Mastodons' 15-point win in the second game was also their largest margin of victory in a conference match this season.
IPFW libero Tessa McGill led all players with 18 digs against Omaha. The defensive performance also moved McGill into third place in school history for the most digs in a single-season with 643.
Outside attacker Emily Spencer had a match-high 15 kills in the victory. In addition, middle attacker Jessie Manwaring had eight kills, while outside attacker Kendall Wienkes added seven kills.
Hutton said she was pleased with the way her team was able to run a balanced offense. She also said that is something the Mastodons will need to continue to do as they enter the final weeks of the season.
"We played smart volleyball," the coach said. "When things got a little crazy -- and it does, that's our sport -- we were really smart with what we did with the volleyball."
With this victory, IPFW remains tied with in-state rival IUPUI (19-9, 11-3 Summit League) for first place in the Summit League entering the final week of the regular season.
The two schools also stay on pace to play defacto regular season championship match when IPFW travels to IUPUI in their regular season finale Saturday.
"It's awesome that Indiana is representing the Summit League, and it's really exciting and good for our league," Hutton said.
IPFW before that potential regular season title match will play a road match against Western Illinois on Friday, while IUPUI will play Oakland on Friday.
Hutton said not having the team's conference tournament seeding clinched yet could be a good thing for this team because it will prevent the players from looking too far ahead at the conference tournament.
"Everyone is excited about this tournament but we do have two matches in front of us. Important ones and they're on the road," Hutton said. "We are excited that we clinched a seed, but we need to continue to play good volleyball and continue to get better. If we are looking too far ahead I think it will be very difficult to do that."