UCCS strikes first in Steel and Silver
PUEBLO â€" The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs took the first two points of the newly announced Steel and Silver Series Tuesday thanks to a dramatic come-from-behind 3-2 victory over the Colorado State-Pueblo Thunderwolves at Massari Arena.
And they have Sam to thank for it.
Allow me a moment to explain.
The Mountain Lions were outplayed in Games 1 and 2. The CSU-Pueblo block was where it needed to be, when it needed to be there. The UCCS block, on the other hand, was always a half a step late. In addition, Amber Jessenâ€TMs sets more frequently found her CSU-Pueblo attackers with their momentum going towards the net, allowing them to generate maximum power. Too often, UCCS attackers had no momentum â€" or even had to stop and reach backwards â€" to accelerate their arm swings.
â€œWe came out and we werenâ€TMt in our rhythm,â€ said UCCS coach Jessica Wood. â€œWe looked like we didnâ€TMt know where we were. Our block was having a hard time adjusting.â€
So Wood called on Sam.
â€œCoach gave us an analogy that we were schizophrenic out there and we needed to pull our game together and be Sam and not George,â€ said Diane Sheldon, who shared the team lead with 19 kills. â€œSo we decided to come out and be Sam.â€
Wood saw that her 6-2 lineup was preventing the Mountain Lions (6-5, 3-0 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference) from building continuity, so she sat down Jocelyn Evans in favor of Jessica Stewart.
â€œThatâ€TMs the decision we made before Game 3,â€ said Wood. â€œWe let Stewart set a 5-1 and let the girls get into a rhythm and she did an excellent job.â€
It worked. UCCS took Game 3 30-26, then led Game 4 by as many as nine before cruising to a 30-23 win.
An Andrea Weedman kill gave the Mountain Lions a 10-8 lead in Game 5, but the Thunderwolves answered with three straight kills by taking advantage of the 5-foot-8 Stewartâ€TMs rotation to the front line. So Wood reinserted Evans, who at 6-foot-1 gave UCCS a more formidable block.
â€œOur setters are both very strong at different things,â€ said Sheldon. â€œDepending on what the game needs is whoâ€TMs going to be in.â€
Evans responded immediately with a perfect set to Kelly Angel that tied the game. After a CSU-Pueblo point, Evans slammed down a pass from Lindsey Myers to tie the game again. Two good sets to Sheldon and another kill later and Evans had closed the door.
â€œ(Evans) was amazing coming off the bench,â€ said Sheldon.
Weedman, like Sheldon, had 19 kills and added a team-high 26 digs. Middle blockers Caroline Ottino and Angel added 11 and 10 kills respectively while libero Laura Meeter had 25 digs. Stewart finished with 40 assists while Evans added 13.
Meagan Sater had a game-high 26 kills for CSU-Pueblo (6-5, 2-1 RMAC).
The win earned UCCS the first two points towards the Steel and Silver Series and the trophy that will go to the winning school. It also marked the volleyball team's fifth consecutive win.
Hereâ€TMs hoping Sam will be on the Mountain Lionsâ€TM side the rest of the way.
UCCS Players/Staff Featured
|Additional News Stories|
|December 12, 2005||Joseph promoted to administrative assistant||The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs Athletic Department announced Tuesday that A.J. Joseph has been promoted to administrative assistant to athletic director Stephen W. Kirkham.|
|November 11, 2005||UCCS eliminated from RMAC playoffs||The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs volleyball teamâ€™s season came to an end Friday as the Mountain Lions were defeated 3-0 (30-22, 20-28, 34-32) by the Metro State Roadrunners in the first round of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference playoffs in Kearney, Neb.|
|November 10, 2005||Three Mountain Lions named All-RMAC||UCCS junior middle blocker Kelley Angel was named first-team All-Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, the RMAC announced Thursday. Teammate Andrea Weedman was named second-team All-RMAC, while Jill Wrenn was honorable mention.|
|November 4, 2005||Volleyball loses third straight match||The good news is that the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs volleyball team finished the 2005 regular season with a best-ever 12-7 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference record (16-12 overall) and will be making only its second trip to the RMAC playoffs next week.|
|November 2, 2005||Another record crowd witnesses loss||Behind 17 kills each by Samantha Connelly and Holly Swanson, the Colorado State-Pueblo Thunderwolves grabbed two points in the Steel and Silver Series with a 3-2 (24-30, 30-23, 31-29, 28-30, 15-4) victory over the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs Wednesday before a UCCS-record 402 fans at the U.S. Olympic Training Center.|