UCCS wins ninth straight home match

By Doug Fitzgerald published October 12, 2005

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 ‘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.

“They were waiting on the outsides for sure,” said Evans, who had five kills and 11 assists. “Every single time (Grand Canyon) had a double block on the outside.”

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.

“We are at a time right now where weâ€TMre used to everything thatâ€TMs going on,” said Evans.

She also credited extensive preparation by coach Jessica Wood and her staff.

“Our coach gives us a lot of pregame advice,” said Evans. “She 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.”

The Mountain Lions defense continued to frustrate opponents, holding the ‘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.

“We were running everything down â€" picking everything up,” said Evans. “The kind of stuff (the ‘Lopes) throw over the net, a lot of people donâ€TMt pick up. Our defense is really quick on our feet.

“Everyone did their job and knew what to do.”

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 ‘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.

“I think weâ€TMre ready mentally,” said Evans. “We know this is a big job ahead of us.”

UCCS Players/Staff Featured

Caroline OttinoCaroline Ottino14MB
Caroline OttinoCaroline Ottino8MBFr.
Caroline OttinoCaroline Ottino13MDSo.
Caroline OttinoCaroline Ottino13MB
Caroline OttinoCaroline Ottino13MB
Jill WrennJill Wrenn5OH/RSFr.
Jill WrennJill Wrenn4RSSo.
Jill WrennJill Wrenn5RS
Jill WrennJill Wrenn5RS
Brittany RamsayBrittany Ramsay1MB
Andrea WeedmanAndrea Weedman9OHFr.
Andrea WeedmanAndrea Weedman9OH/DSSr.
Andrea WeedmanAndrea Weedman9OH/DSSr.
Andrea WeedmanAndrea Weedman9OH/DSSr.
Diane SheldonDiane Sheldon11OH/RSSr.
Diane SheldonDiane Sheldon11OH/RSSr.
Diane SheldonDiane Sheldon11OH/RSSr.
Jocelyn EvansJocelyn Evans2S
Jessica StewartJessica Stewart8SJr.
Jessica StewartJessica Stewart8SJr.
Jessica StewartJessica Stewart8SJr.
Jessica StewartJessica Stewart8SJr.
Stephanie LabandStephanie Laband15OH/RSSr.
Stephanie LabandStephanie Laband15OH/RSSr.
Stephanie LabandStephanie Laband15OH/RSSr.
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