Season comes to an end in Kearney

By Mike McNeely published November 13, 2004

Perhaps if the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs hadnâ€TMt 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 thatâ€TMs 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.

“Kearneyâ€TMs coach (Rick Squiers) made mention to me before the game that they were preparing for us because of our earlier meeting,” said CU-Colorado Springs coach Jessica Wood. “They would have been ready to play no matter what.”

It didnâ€TMt take the Lopers long to take control of the match.In a blink of an eye Nebraska-Kearney sprinted to an 8-0 lead in Game 1.The Lopers led by as many as 19 points in the opening game as they cruised to the 30-13 victory. Games 2 and 3 were slightly more competitive but the Lopers were just too much for the younger Mountain Lions.

Erin Brosz and Erin Gudmundson, who came into the night as the two top hitters in the RMAC, combined for 25 kills and seven blocks to lead the Lopers.

Jill Wrenn had eight kills to lead CU-Colorado Springs (15-15) while senior Kelly Olson had seven kills in her final game in Mountain Lion uniform.

CU-Colorado Springs end the season with more wins 15, than they had the last two years combined, nine.

“I thought this season was incredible success,” said Wood. “The girls worked their tales off and they saw a total turnaround. Making it to the tournament was more than we could have expected (at the beginning of the season.”

It was the first trip to the RMAC Tournament since 2001 for the Mountain Lions, who were picked to finish second to last in the RMAC preseason coaches' poll. CU-Colorado Springs will return everyone except Olson who is the teamâ€TMs lone senior.

“This was a valuable experience for our team,” said Wood. “It was a great prep for future tournaments.”

UCCS Players/Staff Featured

Kelly OlsonKelly Olson2OHSr.
Kelly OlsonKelly Olson2OHJr.
Jill WrennJill Wrenn4RSSo.
Jill WrennJill Wrenn5OH/RSFr.
Jill WrennJill Wrenn5RS
Jill WrennJill Wrenn5RS
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