2004 Season Preview

By Mike McNeely published August 20, 2004

First year head coach Jessica Wood will look to a pair of wily veterans to provide leadership on what is otherwise a young University of Colorado at Colorado Springs volleyball team.

Fifth-year senior Kelly Olson and junior Lindsey Hillegass are the lone upperclassman for the Mountain Lions. Besides being among the most physically talent players in the conference, they are also very cerebral players.

“(Olson and Hillegass) both have an integrant knowledge of the game,” said Wood “That allows them to help us with our on court strategy. Thatâ€TMs important because it lets (the coaching staff) watch whatâ€TMs happening on the other side (of the net).”

Olson, who sat out all of the 2002 season, had her 2003 season cut short as well by a knee injury. She has worked her way back and is looking very strong at practice. Olson, an outside hitter will likely be the Mountain Lions main offensive weapon.

“(Olson) is moving very quickly,” said Wood, “She is going to do well for us all the way around.”

Hillegass, who was named All-Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference honorable mention last season, will quarterback the team from the setter position. Hillegass is fast, smart, and a 5-6 still has enough ups to be a blocking threat when on the front row. Wood believes that her court vision is her biggest asset.

“(Hillegass) can see both sides of the court at once,” said Wood. “She will make our hitters better.”

An addition to Hillegass and Olson the roster is chopped full of talented young hitters.

Andrea Weedman, a freshman Scottsdale, will see a lot of playing time opposite Olson as the Mountain Lions other outside hitter. Weedman is an incredible defender along with be a potent hitter.

“Weedman hits a heavy ball,” said Wood of the freshmanâ€TMs power. “The ball just drops its coming with so much power.”

Jill Wrenn will be the teams staring right side. Wrenn is coming off a stellar freshman year in 2003 where she had 241 kills. Wrenn has come back noticeably stronger and is absolutely pounding the ball.

“Wrenn has fixed a lot of little mechanical details in her swing,” said Wood. “That has made her a tougher hitter.”

Lindsey Myers, a freshman from Winter Park, Colo., is a very strong player on the net and has excellent ball control. She will provide depth at right side. As well will Laureen Timmons who as been hampered for much of pre-season with a knee injury.

Caroline Ottino will see a lot of playing time at middle-blocker. Like Wrenn, Ottino had a great season as a freshman last year and as only gotten better. Not only is Ottino hitting harder she also can put up a massive block.

“(Ottino) is going to be very strong at setting up a wall for opposing hitters to hit past,” said Wood.

Kelly Angel, who sat out the 2003 season, returns to the team and should give the Mountain Lions an offensive option at middle blocker. Freshman Brittany Ramsey will also fight for playing time at mid.

Freshman Laura Meter, who was a setter in high school, will likely see most of her time as a defender this season. She will be fighting for a spot on the court with transfer Kathryn Ciamaichelo and Natalie Newberry.

“Between the three of them I think they will do a fantastic job,” said Wood.

With experienced leaders and raw young talent the Mountain Lions could surprise many RMAC foes this season.

“Iâ€TMm not making any predictions but we certainly have goals,” said Wood. ““I think we will see a lot more wins this year.”

UCCS Players/Staff Featured

Kelly OlsonKelly Olson2OHSr.
Kelly OlsonKelly Olson2OHJr.
Caroline OttinoCaroline Ottino13MDSo.
Caroline OttinoCaroline Ottino8MBFr.
Caroline OttinoCaroline Ottino14MB
Caroline OttinoCaroline Ottino13MB
Caroline OttinoCaroline Ottino13MB
Lindsey HillegassLindsey Hillegass10SSo.
Lindsey HillegassLindsey Hillegass10SJr.
Jill WrennJill Wrenn5OH/RSFr.
Jill WrennJill Wrenn4RSSo.
Jill WrennJill Wrenn5RS
Jill WrennJill Wrenn5RS
Natalie NewberryNatalie Newberry11L/DSFr.
Laureen TimmonsLaureen Timmons14RS/OHJr.
Laureen TimmonsLaureen Timmons14RS/OH
Andrea WeedmanAndrea Weedman9OHFr.
Andrea WeedmanAndrea Weedman9OH/DSSr.
Andrea WeedmanAndrea Weedman9OH/DSSr.
Andrea WeedmanAndrea Weedman9OH/DSSr.
Kathryn CiamaicheloKathryn Ciamaichelo8DS/L
Additional News Stories
November 29, 2004Volleyball adds two key recruitsThe transformation of the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs volleyball program moved into phase 2 Monday when second-year coach Jessica Wood announced the addition of two key recruits during the early signing period.
November 13, 2004Season comes to an end in KearneyPerhaps if the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs hadn’t played the Nebraska Kearney Lopers so tightly in their first meeting of the season, the Lopers may have looked past CU-Colorado Springs.After the Mountain Lions gave No. 1 Nebraska Kearney all they could handle on Oct. 16, the Lopers knew they would have to bring their A-game when the two teams met again in the opening round of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Tournament Friday night in Kearney, Neb. And that’s exactly what the Lopers did.As they have done all season Nebraska-Kearney (34-0) proved it was the best team in the country dismantling the Mountain Lions 3-0 (30-13, 30-20, 30-21). Kearney outhit CU-Colorado Springs .361 to .077.
November 6, 2004Mountain Lions playoff boundThe University of Colorado at Colorado Springs defeated the Colorado College Tigers 3-0 (30-22, 30-28, 30-25) in a match that ended at 7:20 p.m. Saturday night. But the Mountain Lions’ bigger victory came two hours later in the mountain town of Gunnison.
November 5, 2004Mountain Lions WaitingIt's out of their hands now.
November 3, 2004Mountain Lions stay alive, beat CSU-PThe University of Colorado at Colorado Springs beat its biggest rival Tuesday evening in Pueblo. The Mountain Lions won a hard-fought match over the Colorado State-Pueblo Thunderwolves 3-1 (24-30, 30-24, 30-28, 32-30).
Visit our Facebook pageVisit the UCCS Mount Lion's Twitter pageVisit the UCCS Mountain Lions Youtube pageVisit UCCS Rss feeds