Mountain Lions equal last year's win mark

By Matt Sandstead published September 3, 2004

GUNNISON, Colo. - The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs volleyball team equaled its win total for all of 2003 when the Mountain Lions defeated St. Joseph's 3-2 (29-31, 30-23, 31-29, 30-32, 15-9) at the Comfort Inn Invitational Friday night.

CU-Colorado Springs is now 5-1 this season, a remarkable record considering the team's 5-25 record a year ago. New coach Jessica Wood has now led the team to its best start since 2000, when the Mountain Lions began the season 8-0. Ironically, assistant coach Stephanie Shalosky was the setter on the 2000 Mountain Lions and set the school mark for assists with 1,486. A.J. Joseph is Woodâ€TMs other assistant coach.

CU-Colorado Springs started Friday night's match slower than this season's fans have become accustomed to seeing. After the score reached 1-5 in St. Joseph's favor, the Mountain Lions finally woke up and started playing.

The Mountain Lions got a major spark from freshman Andrea Weedman and sophomore Caroline Ottino when they combined for four consecutive kills to bring the score to 5-5.

Then junior Lindsey Hillegass started dumping the ball, taking the St. Joseph's defense by surprise.

With the Pumas leading 29-28, CU-Colorado Springs pulled a save out of what seemed like a broken play. That was quickly followed a net violation by St. Joseph's on their return. St. Joseph's, however, rebounded from the violation and got two lightning fast points to give CU-Colorado Springs its first game lost in the tournament.

Hillegass dumped the ball to begin the second game. Soon after, Weedman planted a kill right off the face a St. Joseph's defender. From there, the Mountain Lions cruised to a 30-23 win to even the match.

St. Joseph's took an early 4-0 lead in Game 3. Sophomore Kelly Angel outwitted the St. Joseph's defense when she fake a power spike then quickly tipped the ball over the block to get CU-Colorado Springs its first point in game three.

After the Mountain Lions slipped to a 21-14 deficit, they turned on the pressure and reeled off five straight points. That rally proved temporarily fruitless as the Pumas had five-point rally to tale a 25-19 lead.

The Mountain Lions kept their composure and started a second comeback with an ace from freshman Laura Meeter. That started a chain of events that fell in CU-Colorado Springs' favor. The first was a ferocious block from Ottino, followed by a thunderous kill, courtesy of sophomore Jill Wrenn.

With the Mountain Lions' offense coming at them so fast and furious, St. Joseph's seemed to get flustered and were called for a rotation penalty which gave CU-Colorado Springs a 29-28 lead.

Weedman put the finishing touches on the Game 3 comeback with a stylish kill, which went sailing through the block.

As they had in each of the first three games, the Mountain Lions started slowly in Game 4, falling quickly behind 4-1. Wrenn, though, answered with three straight kills.

Wrenn wasn't done. She scored four of the next nine points for CU-Colorado Springs.

Even with Wrenn blasting kills from virtually everywhere on the court, CU-Colorado Springs still found itself trailing 25-22. That seemed to be the cue for Ottino, who wailed a kill directly off the face of a St. Joseph defender.

Coming back once more, CU-Colorado Springs fought off a 30-29 deficit when Wrenn glided a kill to the floor to tie the score.

Her effort was wasted when the Mountain Lions hit a ball out and mishandled a serve to give St. Joseph's the fourth game and tie the match at two games apiece.

Since the match was tied, a tiebreaker game would be played, but the only two differences between a tiebreaker game and a regular game, is that the teams only play to 15 and they switch sides after the first team reaches eight points.

CU-Colorado Springs started the way they had all match, by letting St. Joseph's take a 2-4 lead.

Facing an 8-5 deficit, CU-Colorado Springs displayed poise rather than panic and rallied, outscoring the Pumas 7-1 the rest of the way to win the match.

Wrenn led CU-Colorado Springs with 21 kills, while Weedman had 17, Angel had 14 and Ottino added 12. Freshman Laura Meeter led the defense with a match-high 26 digs, while senior Kelly Olson and Weedman each had 16.

UCCS Players/Staff Featured

Kelly OlsonKelly Olson2OHSr.
Kelly OlsonKelly Olson2OHJr.
Caroline OttinoCaroline Ottino8MBFr.
Caroline OttinoCaroline Ottino14MB
Caroline OttinoCaroline Ottino13MDSo.
Caroline OttinoCaroline Ottino13MB
Caroline OttinoCaroline Ottino13MB
Lindsey HillegassLindsey Hillegass10SJr.
Lindsey HillegassLindsey Hillegass10SSo.
Jill WrennJill Wrenn5OH/RSFr.
Jill WrennJill Wrenn4RSSo.
Jill WrennJill Wrenn5RS
Jill WrennJill Wrenn5RS
Andrea WeedmanAndrea Weedman9OHFr.
Andrea WeedmanAndrea Weedman9OH/DSSr.
Andrea WeedmanAndrea Weedman9OH/DSSr.
Andrea WeedmanAndrea Weedman9OH/DSSr.
Laura MeeterLaura Meeter6S/LFr.
Laura MeeterLaura Meeter6S/LFr.
Laura MeeterLaura Meeter6S/LFr.
Laura MeeterLaura Meeter6S/LFr.
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