UCCS wins ninth straight home match
The middle blockers of the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs accounted for 22 kills and hit a robust .576 as the Mountain Lions defeated the Grand Canyon â€˜Lopes 3-0 (30-25, 30-17, 30-22) Wednesday night at the Lionsâ€TM Den.
Kelly Angel led UCCS (13-7) with 13 kills while hitting .440. Caroline Ottino, playing her first match after missing the past five, added six kills and hit .750. Brittany Ramsay, who has played extensively in Ottinoâ€TMs absence, had three kills and a .400 percentage.
A big part of the trioâ€TMs success was due to setters Jocelyn Evans and Jessica Stewart, who had 22 assists, recognizing that Grand Canyon was leaving the middle exposed.
â€œThey were waiting on the outsides for sure,â€ said Evans, who had five kills and 11 assists. â€œEvery single time (Grand Canyon) had a double block on the outside.â€
Being able to recognize what a defense is doing is a big part of why UCCS has won 12 of its past 14 matches and nine straight at home. The two freshmen setters have grown into their roles running the Mountain Lionsâ€TM offense.
â€œWe are at a time right now where weâ€TMre used to everything thatâ€TMs going on,â€ said Evans.
She also credited extensive preparation by coach Jessica Wood and her staff.
â€œOur coach gives us a lot of pregame advice,â€ said Evans. â€œShe tells us a lot about what they do offensively and defensively so it helps us setters figure out what to do and whatâ€TMs successful.â€
The Mountain Lions defense continued to frustrate opponents, holding the â€˜Lopes to a lackluster .009 hitting percentage, which was the highest a UCCS opponent has hit in three matches. The previous two opponents, Colorado Christian and Regis, had a negative hitting percentage.
Andrea Weedman keyed the defense with 12 digs, while Stephanie Laband and Jill Wrenn added nine each.
â€œWe were running everything down â€" picking everything up,â€ said Evans. â€œThe kind of stuff (the â€˜Lopes) throw over the net, a lot of people donâ€TMt pick up. Our defense is really quick on our feet.
â€œEveryone did their job and knew what to do.â€
Ashley Handley and Tonya Rooth led Grand Canyon (8-14) with six kills each.
UCCS trailed 20-15 in Game 1, but Diane Sheldon, Ramsay and Angel had two kills each as the Mountain Lions rallied to outscore the â€˜Lopes 15-5 the rest of the way. Angel finished with six kills on only eight hits in the game.
Angel added four more kills in Game 2, as the Mountain Lions led wire-to-wire.
Ottino finally got extensive playing time in Game 3 and rewarded UCCS coach Jessic Wood with five kills on six attacks. As the Grand Canyon defense tried to adjust, Evans found the dump shot open and converted kills on three of them.
The Mountain Lions travel to No. 3 Nebraska-Kearney on Saturday and to Fort Hays State on Sunday.
â€œI think weâ€TMre ready mentally,â€ said Evans. â€œWe know this is a big job ahead of us.â€
UCCS Players/Staff Featured
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|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.|
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|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.|