Mountain Lions end streak, beat Highlands in three
For over a month the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs (4-19, 2-12 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference) had been mired in a frustrating losing streak that had reached 12 matches.
On Tuesday night at the Lions' Den, the Mountain Lions took out much of that frustration on the New Mexico Highlands Cowgirls (8-13, 5-9 RMAC). CU-Colorado Springs ended the streak, dominating the Cowgirls in three-games, 30-24, 30-26, 30-24.
Coach Tara Miller talked about how big the one was.
"There was a lot weight bearing down on us with all those losses, said Miller. "(The win) took the world off our shoulders."
The win gave the Mountain Lions a split in the season-series with the Cowgirls, avenging a five-game loss in Las Vegas, NM, on Sept 9. A fact that Mountain Lion outside-hitter Kristen Denman was quick to point out after the game.
"We lost a tough game to them earlier, said Denman. "Tonight was all about revenge, and we got it."
Denman led the Mountain Lions with 13 kills, hitting a career-high .367 for the match. Jill Wrenn was nearly unstoppable at times tallying 12 kills on just 19 attempts. Wren committed just two hitting errors and finished the match hitting a career-high .526.
"(Wrenn and Denman) were both at the top of their game tonight," said Miller
Game 1 went back-and-fourth until New Mexico Highlands went on a mini-spurt to take a 22-19 lead, giving the Cowgirls their biggest lead of the game. CU-Colorado Springs responding with four straight points capped by a Wrenn kill to take the lead for good 23-22. CU-Colorado Springs closed the game by winning seven of the final nine points.
The momentum from Game 1 rolled right over into Game 2 for the Mountain Lions.
The Mountain Lions used back-to-back kills by Denman and Caroline Ottino to take a 5-3 lead that they would not relinquish. CU-Colorado Springs pushed its lead to as many as ten points on three occasions and led 28-18 when Highlands went on a run to sneak back into the match. The Cowgirls rolled off seven straight points to cut the lead to 28-25. After a timeout the Mountain Lions regrouped and put the game away to go to the locker room up 2-0.
Game 3 was a near mirror image of Game 2. The Mountain Lions dominating the entire game before letting Highlands creep close enough to make it interesting.
With CU-Colorado Springs up 27-19 Highlands went on a 4-0 to make it 27-23. CU-Colorado Springs answered back scoring two of the next three points
Leading 28-23 CU-Colorado Springs' setter Lindsey Hillegass, who finished the match with 35 assists, set Wren in transition who hit the ball out for only her second error of the night. Miller told her setter to get the ball to Wren again.
"I told (Hillegass) to set (Wren) again, she deserved to end it for us," said Miller. "I had no doubt that she would put it away."
And she did. On the very next play Hillegass set Wren who sent a laser shot down the center of the Cowgirls' defense to put the match away.
"Tonight was a total team effort," said Wren "We all wanted this win."
UCCS Players/Staff Featured
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