Akers keys win over Chadron State
COLORADO SPRINGS - Brooke Akers had 11 kills and six blocks, both match highs, to lead the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs to a 3-0 (30-17, 30-23, 30-20) victory over the Chadron State Eagles Friday night at the Lions' Den.
Diane Sheldon and Caroline Ottino added nine kills each for the Mountain Lions (13-11, 10-6 Rocky Mountain Lions Conference), who have won nine of their past 11 matches.
With the RMAC playoffs looming less than two weeks away, UCCS is picking the right time to peak.
"We've been going into practice ready to go," said Akers. "They've been the most intense practices all year long."
Akers had a hitting percentage of .500 and Lindsey Myers posted a .556 mark on six kills as UCCS hit .216 as a team. Six of the team's best hitting performances this season have come in the past seven matches.
Akers said the improvement had a lot to do with the team's recent work on fundamentals.
"We've been doing a lot of individual stuff," said Akers. "The setters have been going off on their own and working their hands and we've been doing our thing as hitters and defenders.
"It's been a lot of one-on-one work, but we make sure that once we put it together we're ready to go."
Elizabeth Most led Chadron State (2-26, 1-15 RMAC) with eight kills.
The UCCS defense was effective against the Eagles' top two scorers, Cassie Drinkwalter and Patrice Henson. The duo accounted for only seven kills while committing 15 hitting errors. As a team, Chadron State hit in the red at -.015.
Despite the shortness of the match, the Mountain Lions had 13 blocks, their third-best total of the season. Ottino participated in five of those blocks, two solo and three assisted, while Stephanie Laband came off the bench to register four block assists.
Behind the blockers, Laura Meeter (21 digs) and Andrea Weedman (16 digs) keyed the defense.
All of those elements will need to be primed on Saturday at 4 p.m., when the Mountain Lions play Nebraska-Kearney. UCCS has never beaten the Lopers, who are currently in their customary position atop the RMAC East Division standings.
Nebraska-Kearney is a classic power team, with high sets and thunderous hits. Akers said UCCS must keep up its offensive tempo.
"They run a slower pace," said Akers. "We want to run our game and not get caught up in their game."
UCCS Players/Staff Featured
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