Mountain Lions playoff bound

By Doug Fitzgerald published November 6, 2004

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 Lionsâ€TM bigger victory came two hours later in the mountain town of Gunnison.

Thatâ€TMs where Western State defeated Adams State in five games, boosting CU-Colorado Springs into the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference playoffs.

CU-Colorado Springs finished its conference schedule with a record of 9-10 Friday night. When Adams State lost Saturday, the Grizzlies dropped to 8-11 in conference play, leaving the Mountain Lions with one final road trip to Kearney, Neb. and a date with the No. 1-ranked Nebraska-Kearney Lopers.

While Saturdayâ€TMs nonconference match was meaningless in relation to the playoff picture, it was far from meaningless to CU-Colorado Springs since Colorado College (21-11) had beaten the Mountain Lions earlier this season.

CU-Colorado Springs raced to an 11-6 lead in Game 1 only to see the Tigers rally to tie the game at 18. The Mountain Lions, spurred by a strong service game, closed out the game with a 12-4 run.

Freshman Natalie Newberry was particularly effective serving as the Mountain Lions reeled off runs of four- and three-point runs during her two turns behind the service line in Game 1. For the match, CU-Colorado Springs won 21 of the 29 points played while Newberry was serving.

Game 2 was a back and forth affair that the Tigers led 23-19 before a Jill Wrenn kill put Newberry at serve again. Six consecutive points later, the Mountain Lions had a 26-23 lead that they did not relinquish.

Colorado College scored eight straight points to take a 12-4 lead in Game 3. The Mountain Lions countered with a 23-8 run that put the match away.

Wrenn had a match-high 15 kills, while Andrea Weedman added 12 kills and a match-high 15 digs. Kelly Olson and Caroline Ottino each added nine kills.

The Tigers were led by 6-foot-4 hitter Katharine Hauschka, who had 13 kills.

The win improved the Mountain Lionsâ€TM record to 15-14, their first winning record since 2001 and three times their win total from last season.

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