Volleyball's five-match win Streak ends
GUNNISON, Colo. - It took reinforcements from Europe to slow down the streaking Mountain Lions.
Behind three big hitters from Poland, the Dowling Golden Lions ended the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs' five-match winning streak 2-3 (30-24, 21-30, 22-30, 30-23, and 10-15) to wrap up the Comfort Inn Invitational Saturday.
The winning streak was the longest for CU-Colorado Springs since 2001. The five victories also equals the Mountain Lions' win total for 2003.
Led by the Polish trio of Marta Slodnik, Justyna Michon and Natalia Koryzna, Dowling was by far the most powerful team CU-Colorado Springs faced in the tournament. Slodnik led the New York-based school with 21 kills, while Michon added 11. The Golden Lions' 64 kills were the most allowed by CU-Colorado Springs' stingy defense this season, as were the Golden Lions' 13 service aces.
The first game began with a quicker pace than all of CU-Colorado Springs' previous matches in the tournament. The pace suited the Mountain Lions as they jumped to an early 7-4 lead, but slowly relinquished their grasp on the lead and fell behind 15-13.
Towards the end of the first game, Dowling got called for a rotation violation and junior Lindsey Hillegass took full advantage of their confusion by landing two straight aces to bring the score to 24-21. CU-Colorado Springs maintained the momentum and won Game 1 30-24.
In game two, CU-Colorado Springs faced its largest deficit of the tournament when Dowling raced to a 27-15 lead. CU-Colorado Springs Freshman Natalie Newberry made a miraculous one-handed dig, that not only prevented a Dowling point, but also landed untouched on the other side of the net.
Newberry's amazing dig was immediately followed by a play in which freshman Andrea Weedman blasted the ball directly in the face of a Dowling defender. Somehow Dowling was able to return the ball over the net, but Weedman was right there to tip it back for a point.
Despite the efforts of Newberry and Weedman, Dowling held on for a 30-21 win in Game 2 to even the match.
Dowling maintained the in Game 3, using its power game to take a 30-22 win and a 2-1 match lead. Dowling hit .375 in Game 2 and .244 in Game 3.
CU-Colorado Springs became more aggressive at the net in Game 4 and it paid dividends. Denied its power game, Dowling hit only .128 and often seemed uncertain on the floor.
With the Mountain Lions leading 28-22, Hillegass scored her team-high fourth ace then the teams traded points to give CU-Colorado Springs the game and even the match.
Entering the second tiebreaking fifth game in under 24 hours, CU-Colorado Springs gave solid effort, but was hurt by mistakes. The Mountain Lions committed five of their 11 service errors in the deciding game. They also had a pair of hitting errors and two botched service returns as Dowling took Game 5 15-10.
Weedman and sophomore Jill Wrenn led CU-Colorado Springs with 16 kills each. Weedman was also outstanding defensively with 21 digs, while fellow freshman Laura Meeter added 19.
UCCS Players/Staff Featured
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