The University of Nebraska at Omaha will close its season with the Great West Conference tournament this weekend in Farmers Branch, Texas.
It will be the payoff for the long hours of practice and work in the weight room, coach Jeanne Scarpello said.
“What a great opportunity to possibly bring home a Division I conference championship,’’ Scarpello said.
The Mavericks are competing in the Great West this season before moving to their permanent home in the Summit League.
The No. 2 seed Mavericks will open the four-team double-elimination tournament against No. 3 seed Houston Baptist at 12:30 p.m. Sunday. The final is set for 1 p.m. Monday.
UNO is ineligible for NCAA tournament play until 2015-16 as it transitions into Division I competition.
The 23-16 Mavericks haven’t played since May 2 against Drake, and Scarpello thought the long stretch of practices leading up to Sunday might be tough. She’s had her players do lots of hitting against their own teammates to keep the offense sharp.
“They are doing a great job. They came with a plan each day to be better,” she said. “They want to finish it out strong. They are proud of what we’ve done.”
* * *
Feichtinger won’t return to Mavericks
Senior Molly Feichtinger has closed the book on playing again for UNO.
She played hurt last year, including a numb leg, and then was injured again in the fall, keeping her out of the lineup all spring.
Scarpello said Feichtinger came to practice every day and helped the younger players with their fundamentals.
“She’s a great player and great leader still,’’ Scarpello said.
Feichtinger continues to undergo phsycial therapy, Scarpello said, “to get ready for regular life.’’