UCCS thumps Highlands to remain in first-place tie
COLORADO SPRINGS - The Mountain Lions faced their first true must-win situation of the season Saturday night and passed the test.
Behind 11 kills and 10 digs by Andrea Weedman, the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs defeated the New Mexico Highlands Cowgirls 3-0 (32-30, 30-26, 30-26) to remain tied for first place in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conferenceâ€TMs Western Division.
UCCS improved its RMAC record to 11-4, 15-9 overall, which ties the Mountain Lions with Mesa State for first. By virtue of the loss, New Mexico Highlands (15-6, 10-5 RMAC) dropped a game behind those two.
It was a big departure from Friday nightâ€TMs disappointing loss to Adams State.
â€œWe had a long team meeting before the game,â€ said Weedman after Saturdayâ€TMs win. â€œWe talked for a long time about how we knew we could beat them, we knew we were better than them and we really wanted to get revenge on them (for a loss earlier this season)
â€œWe just knew we needed to focus more than last night. We really came out and did it instead of just saying it.â€
The Mountain Lions led by as many as nine in the first game but Highlands was able to rally to tie the match at 28. A Jill Wrenn block gave UCCS the lead, but a service error, one of 13 committed by UCCS on the night, tied the match again. Another block, this time by Wrenn and Kelley Angel, made it 30-29, but a block error retied the score. A pair of errant hits by the Cowgirls gave UCCS a 1-0 games lead.
Both teams hit in negative numbers in the first game as the teams combined for seven blocks.
The Mountain Lions were much more efficient offensively in Game 2. Diane Sheldon had five of her nine kills in the game as UCCS hit .303 and added three more blocks to help offset seven service errors.
Weedman pointed out that, although the number of service errors (13 total) was high, serving was one of the keys to a UCCS defense that held the Cowgirls to .034 hitting.
â€œEven though we had a lot of serving errors, we were serving tough on them,â€ said Weedman, â€œand our blockers were reading their setter really well. I think thatâ€TMs why they didnâ€TMt hit well.â€
Weedman took over in Game 3, registering six kills while Jessica Stewart had six assists and six digs.
UCCS will play at Western State on Friday night, then will head to Grand Junction for what should be a pivotal matchup against Mesa State on Saturday.
After Saturdayâ€TMs win, Weedman credited the mental part of the game.
â€œWe did a really good job of focusing tonight,â€ said Weedman. â€œThatâ€TMs we came out to do. We did a good job of that.â€
UCCS Players/Staff Featured
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