Mountain Lions Use comeback to win fifth straight vs. RMAC

By Mike McNeely published October 3, 2004

With the match and the University of Colorado at Colorado Springsâ€TM three-game win streak on the line, Natalie Newberry delivered in the clutch.

After Jill Wrenn nailed a kill to tie the fifth game at 11-11 it was Newberryâ€TMs turn in the Mountain Lionsâ€TM serve rotation. The freshman stepped behind the red line and nailed four straight outstanding serves. As Newberry served the Mountain Lions won the final four points of the game to break the Colorado Mines Orediggers hearts 3-2 (30-25, 28-30, 17-30, 30-19, 15-11).

“(Newberry) is proving to be a very strong, mentally-tough player,” said Mountain Lion coach Jessica Wood. “It‘s very easy to lose focus an miss a serve when games are tight. But she went after it aggressively and took care of it.”

“Thatâ€TMs when you know you have to come up with a good, tough serve,” said Newberry. “Placement is key. You want to serve it to one of their weaker passers.”

Newberry did just that, forcing Colorado Mines (6-12, 1-8 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference) completely out of its offense. With the Orediggers scrambling just to get the ball over the net, CU-Colorado Springs (10-6, 5-3) was able to get its hitters good attempts. Caroline Ottino took full advantage.

After a Colorado Mines attack error, Ottino slammed back-to-back kills to lift the Mountain Lions to a 15-11 win in Game 5.

It was CU-Colorado Springs fourth win in a row overall and fifth straight against RMAC competition. The Mountain Lions have already won was many games this year, 10, then they did the past two years combined.

Coming into the game, CU-Colorado Springs found itself an unfamiliar situation - the Mountain Lions were the favorite. They were “supposed to” beat Colorado Mines. And when the Mountain Lions sprinted out to a 25-15 lead in Game 1, it seemed they were headed for a quick victory. Then, CU-Colorado Springs let Mines back into game. The Orediggers went on a 9-2 run to make it 27-24, the Mountain Lions held off the Orediggers to win the game but the momentum had shifted.

“They relaxed,” said Wood. “You canâ€TMt do that in college ball.

“I think when we lost focus it started a ripple affect that carried over into (Games 2 and 3).”

The Mountain Lions looked out of sync offensively in Game 2, but still had their chances to pull it out. The Mountain Lions made a late surge to erase a six-point deficit and eventually tie the game at 28-28, but the Orediggers won the final two points and the game 30-28.

Colorado Mines blew out the Mountain Lions 30-17 in Game 3. Mines completely controlled the tempo, as CU-Colorado Springs hit a whopping .000.

“Iâ€TMm surprised it wasnâ€TMt negative,” joked Wood.

Looking dead in the water, the Mountain Lions, as if flipping a switch, turned it on in Game 4. CU-Colorado Springs quickly dispatched of the Orgediggers 30-19 to force the fifth and deciding game.

“This shows that we are able to fight,” said setterLindsey Hillegass, who had 58 assists. “To come back the way we did after a tough loss (in Game 3) says a lot about us.”

UCCS Players/Staff Featured

Caroline OttinoCaroline Ottino14MB
Caroline OttinoCaroline Ottino8MBFr.
Caroline OttinoCaroline Ottino13MDSo.
Caroline OttinoCaroline Ottino13MB
Caroline OttinoCaroline Ottino13MB
Jill WrennJill Wrenn4RSSo.
Jill WrennJill Wrenn5OH/RSFr.
Jill WrennJill Wrenn5RS
Jill WrennJill Wrenn5RS
Natalie NewberryNatalie Newberry11L/DSFr.
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