No. 1 Tampa tops UCCS

By Doug Fitzgerald published August 25, 2007

TAMPA -- University of Colorado at Colorado Springs volleyball coach Jessica Wood took the Mountain Lions to Florida in order to play some of the best teams in the country. They don't get much better than the Tampa Spartans, who beat the Mountain Lions 3-0 (30-15, 30-12, 30-26) Saturday.

The Spartans (2-1), the hosts of the 2007 Tampa Invitational, are the defending Division II national champions and are currently ranked No. 1 in the national poll.

"We're seeing incredibly tough competition which a) reveals your weaknesses and b) makes you stronger and smarter," said Wood. "We're going to be used to playing at very high level when we get to RMAC games."

That tough competition is also putting the learning curve on UCCS' new, quicker offense on the fast track.

To run the quick-set, a team must develop the timing and precision of a circus trapeze act. That requires patience during the learning phase. When Fort Lewis coach Shelly Aaland installed the quick-set prior to the 2005 season, the Skyhawks opened the campaign with nine straight losses.

But there's a big payoff once the team adjusts. Fort Lewis finished the 2005 season by winning 13 of its final 20 matches. In 2006, the Skyhawks went 20-10.

"We're looking stronger than I've ever seen this team be," said Brooke Akers, who led the Mountain Lions with eight kills.. "I believe that as we go into the conference season we'll be doing great things."

Lauren Orth added six kills for UCCS (1-3), while Diane Sheldon, Stephanie Laband and Heidi Fehringer each had five. Jessica Stewart and Cortney Weedman had 12 and 11 assists respectively.

A kill by Laband got UCCS to within three at 12-9 in Game 1, but Tampa's Camila Saade served a 5-0 run to help the Spartans run away with a 30-15 decision. Tampa showed both their power and execution in the game, committing only two hitting errors and hitting a robust .500.

Tampa's Melissa Vanderhall took control in early in Game 2; recording four aces during a 11-0 run that staked the Spartans to a 19-4 lead. They cruised to a 30-12 decision, hitting .552 with only one hitting error.

Orth and Fehringer each had three kills in the third game as UCCS refused to allow Tampa the long runs it had enjoyed in the first two.

UCCS Players/Staff Featured

Diane SheldonDiane Sheldon11OH/RSSr.
Diane SheldonDiane Sheldon11OH/RSSr.
Diane SheldonDiane Sheldon11OH/RSSr.
Jessica StewartJessica Stewart8SJr.
Jessica StewartJessica Stewart8SJr.
Jessica StewartJessica Stewart8SJr.
Jessica StewartJessica Stewart8SJr.
Stephanie LabandStephanie Laband15OH/RSSr.
Stephanie LabandStephanie Laband15OH/RSSr.
Stephanie LabandStephanie Laband15OH/RSSr.
Heidi FehringerHeidi Fehringer7MB
Heidi FehringerHeidi Fehringer7MB
Lauren OrthLauren Orth5OHFr.
Lauren OrthLauren Orth5OHFr.
Lauren OrthLauren Orth5OHFr.
Cortney WeedmanCortney Weedman14S
Cortney WeedmanCortney Weedman14S
Additional News Stories
November 12, 2012Mountain Lions qualify for NCAA TournamentCOLORADO SPRINGS -- For the first time in program history, the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs volleyball team qualified for the NCAA Tournament.
November 16, 2007Season ends with loss in NCAA TournamentKEARNEY, Neb. -- The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs' first trip to the NCAA tournament ended all too quickly, as the Mountain Lions were beaten 3-0 (30-25, 32-30, 30-22) by the Metro State Roadrunners Friday in the first match of the Southwest regional at the University of Nebraska-Kearney's Health and Sports Center.
November 14, 2007Akers named second-team All-Southwest RegionUniversity of Colorado at Colorado Springs middle blocker Brooke Akers was named to the 2007 Daktronics Division II All-Southwest Region Volleyball second team, the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) announced Wednesday.
November 11, 2007 Lopers top UCCS in RMAC championship matchKEARNEY, Neb. -- It was fitting that Sunday was Veteran's Day.
November 10, 2007Laband helps send UCCS to RMAC title matchKEARNEY, Neb. -- The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs came out for warm-ups prior to Saturday's Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Tournament semifinal against Adams State sporting T-shirts that said, ‘the more difficult the challenge, the sweeter the victory.'
Visit our Facebook pageVisit the UCCS Mount Lion's Twitter pageVisit the UCCS Mountain Lions Youtube pageVisit UCCS Rss feeds