Volleyball stuns Metro State
Sometimes, ignorance really is bliss.
Take Thursday night, for instance. The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs volleyball was playing the Metro State Roadrunners, who came into the match ranked second in the North Central Region. Worse, Metro State had beaten UCCS 21 of the 22 times the teams had played. So complete was the domination that the last time UCCS won in the series was on Sept. 20, 1994.
"I didn't know that," said UCCS junior Jill Wrenn when presented with the above information after Thursday's match.
Apparently, neither did any of her teammates.
Wrenn and Kelley Angel each had 15 kills as the Mountain Lions stunned Metro State 3-0 (30-26, 32-30, 30-28) at the Lions' Den.
"We thought we could beat them but before the game I would never have guessed it would have been three games," said Wrenn. "It's definitely a big stepping stone for our team. They're one of the top teams in the nation."
The Mountain Lions (10-7, 7-2 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference) didn't showed a hint of intimidation and never trailed in Game 1. A Stephanie Laband kill gave capped a 13-5 run that gave UCCS a 17-9 lead. The Roadrunners recovered to close to 22-21, and the teams traded points up to 26-25. Angel executed a beautiful tip for a kill and followed it with a service ace. One point later, Diane Sheldon blasted two of her 14 kills on the night to seal the game for UCCS.
Metro State was leading the second game 25-22 when an Angel kill and a Sheldon block closed the gap to one. The teams traded points, allowing Metro State to serve for game point at 30-29, but another Angel kill tied the score. Setter Jocelyn Evans followed with a dump shot to give UCCS the lead and an errant attach by Metro's Gabrielle Curtis put UCCS up 2-0 in the match.
The Mountain Lions raced to an 11-3 lead in Game 3 thanks largely to a pair of kills and a service ace by Laband. As they did all night, though, the Roadrunner surged back and tied the game at 24.
"We were just letting up. We weren't focusing on the little things," said Wrenn about Metro's repeated comebacks. As had been the pattern all evening, the Mountain Lions were able to answer Metro State's rallies.
"When we bring it together and look each other in the eye and say, " let's get this together," it always works out," said Wrenn.
And it did Thursday. Game 3 was still tied at 28 when a Sheldon kill and an Andrea Weedman ace closed out the match.
It was a breakthrough performance on several levels. The Mountain Lions hit .270, their second-best percentage of the season. Much of the credit for that goes to freshmen setters Jessica Stewart (27 assists) and Jocelyn Evans (20 assists).
"They've done a great job," said Wrenn. "As freshmen, that's always a hard transition anyway, but then starting is another story. Tonight they were placing the ball great."
Defensively, UCCS held the RMAC's third-best hitting team to a .178 percentage.
"We served them tough and took them out of their offense," said UCCS coach Jessica Wood, pointing out that the Mountain Lions not only had 11 aces, but also forced a number of ineffective passes off the serve. "Their offense is so fast and very spread out. If you don't serve them tough they're going to get a ton of one-on-ones."
And knowing that is obviously much more valuable than knowing the past.
UCCS Players/Staff Featured
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