Win over Fort Hays keeps UCCS atop Western Division
The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs volleyball team went into this weekend's difficult road trip needing a split to retain its spot at the top of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference's Western division.
The Mountain Lions got what they needed Sunday afternoon with a 3-2 (29-31, 30-27, 32-34, 30-19, 15-7) victory over the Fort Hays State Tigers at Gross Memorial Coliseum in Hays, Kan.
UCCS (15-8, 10-3 RMAC) leads New Mexico Highlands and Mesa State by one game.
As has been the case for much of this season, it was the Mountain Lions' defense that made the difference. UCCS had 134 digs, the third highest single-match total in school history.
Andrea Weedman accounted for 38 of those digs, matching Laura Meeter for the second-highest individual total in school history. Meeter accomplished the feat on Oct. 1 of this season against Chadron State. Leslie McKenzie set the UCCS record with 43 digs on Oct. 22, 1992 against Denver.
Sunday's marathon affair also put a dent in the offensive record book. The Mountain Lions' 80 kills is tied for the fourth-highest output in school history.
Kelley Angel led UCCS with 23 kills, while fellow middle blocker Caroline Ottino added 16 and Weedman had 13.
Kellyn Thaut led Fort Hays State (12-12, 6-7 RMAC) with 19 kills.
The Mountain Lions were serving for game point in the opener, but consecutive kills by Thaut and Neeley Remmers put Fort Hays up 30-29. An block by Leanna Roberts and Remmers gave the Tigers the game.
Game 2 was also a back-and-forth affair, but thanks to six kills by Angel and four more by Jill Wrenn, including the clincher, UCCS evened the match with a 30-27 decision.
The Mountain Lions were again serving for game point, leading the third 29-26 after a kill by Sheldon. Kills by Thaut and Remmers and a pair of UCCS attack errors put the Tigers up 30-29. The teams traded points until Remmers and Katie Carnes had consecutive kills to give Fort Hays State a 34-32 game win and a 2-1 match advantage.
That's when the match changed - decidedly.
The Mountain Lions opened Game 4 with a 16-9 lead behind three kills each by Wrenn and Ottino. Weedman took over the rest of the way, notching five of her game-high six kills as UCCS rolled to a 30-19 decision.
That momentum carried over to the tiebreaker as UCCS flew out to a 9-1 lead. Fort Hays State could do no better than match points afterward as the Mountain Lions clinched the road win by taking Game 5 15-7.
The Mountain Lions, who finished their sojourn through the RMAC's Eastern Division with a 5-2 record, will now have one more go-through against its Western Division rivals as the season enters its stretch run. UCCS plays Adams State on Friday, then a crucial rematch against New Mexico Highlands on Saturday. Both matches will be at the Lions' Den.
UCCS Players/Staff Featured
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