Ottino leads UCCS volleyball to second straight win
COLORADO SPRINGS â€" Caroline Ottino had 12 kills and hit .579 as the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs volleyball team defeated the Colorado Christian Cougars 3-0 (30-17, 30-19, 30-21) Friday evening at the Lionsâ€TM Den.
The Mountain Lions (6-9, 3-4 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference) trailed 2-0 and 3-1 to start Game 3 but otherwise led throughout.
Diane Sheldon and Brooke Akers each added eight kills for UCCS, which has won two straight since a potentially devastating loss to Regis on Sept. 12. The Regis loss was the type of match that could prove to be a watershed event where a team either collapses or finds itself.
For the Mountain Lions itâ€TMs so far, so good.
â€œWe had been struggling with a focus factor,â€ said Ottino. â€œWeâ€TMd been starting off kind of slow and then slowing again at the end.â€
So coach Jessica Wood and her team actually put a real emphasis on an old sports clichÃ© â€" they took it a point at a time
â€œWhat weâ€TMve really been working on is playing from point zero to 30 without having any lapses,â€ said Ottino. â€œWe had a good week of practice and that carried over.â€
One of the primary results of that renewed focus came in the teamâ€TMs passing, which had been a sore point so far this season. UCCS passed a 2.5 by the count of assistant coaches Stephanie Shalosky and Jeremy Sands. What that meant was that setter Jessica Stewart had and average of 2.5 setting options per pass. A perfect score would have been 3.0
â€œWe passed really well,â€ said Ottino. â€œWe had options the whole night which made it easy for (Stewart) to mix it around and leave us with one-on-one blocks.â€
Stewart took advantage, registering 33 assists.
Meredith Hawryluk led Colorado Christian (4-11, 1-5 RMAC) with six kills.
The Cougars erased an early Game 1 lead to creep to within two at 15-13 when Brooke Akers served a 9-0 UCCS run. Colorado Christian committed six of their 15 Game 1 hitting errors during the stretch and hit a miserable -.314 for the game. UCCS, meanwhile, got a rare game win while also hitting in the red (-.057).
The Mountain Lionsâ€TM erratic hitting didnâ€TMt carry over into Game 2, though, as UCCS hit .282. Ottino and Sheldon each had four kills as the Mountain Lions raced to a 9-3 lead and were never seriously threatened.
Ottino had five kills and Akers four in Game 3 as UCCS put together a 7-1 run to break open what had been a tight 19-15 affair.
The Mountain Lions will face Metro State Saturday at the Lionsâ€TM Den. While the Roadrunners have won 20 of the 22 all-time meetings between the schools, donâ€TMt expect the Mountain Lions to be wide-eyed.
â€œWeâ€TMre trying not to focus too much on the other team,â€ said Ottino. â€œIn most of our losses, weâ€TMve felt like weâ€TMve been beating ourselves. Weâ€TMre just trying to stay focused on whatâ€TMs going on on our side.â€
UCCS Players/Staff Featured
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