Fehringer leads UCCS to win over Mines
It looks like Jessica Wood wasn't completely out of her mind after all.
The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs' fourth-year volleyball coach put the Mountain Lions' through a brutal opening schedule, playing six nationally-ranked opponents in their first nine matches.
"The gameplan worked," said Wood. "We put that schedule together to prepare ourselves for (Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference) games. We wanted to see the toughest teams we could see."
Sophomore Heidi Fehringer had a career-high 15 kills and Brooke Akers added 11 more as the Mountain Lions defeated the Colorado School of Mines Orediggers 3-0 (30-21, 32-30, 30-23) Friday evening at the Lions' Den.
The 26 combined kills was a season-high for the combined effort of UCCS' top two middle blockers. Fehringer attributed the success to communication.
"Our connection with the setters was really on tonight," said Fehringer. "They couldn't stop us; we were just too quick."
Jessica Stewart, who teams with Fehringer in the substitution pattern, led the Mountain Lions with 27 assists. Cortney Weedman, who teams with Akers, added 21 assists.
It was the second straight win for UCCS (4-7) and its second RMAC victory in as many tries.
Fehringer hit .423 to lead an efficient Mountain Lions offense. As a team, UCCS hit .333, its second-best mark this season.
"We've been really working on trying to be focused," said Fehringer. "I was in the zone; I wanted to kill the crap out of the ball."
She laughed as she said that, saying she was encouraged by her teammates to copy Weedman's verbal faux pas from earlier this season.
Kaity Edmiston and Keesha Erickson each had 13 kills for Mines (2-7, 0-1 RMAC).
The score was tied at 6 in Game 1 when UCCS went on a 9-2 run thanks largely to two kills by Akers. Mines never got closer than six after that as Akers and Diane Sheldon each registered four kills in the game.
UCCS held a 20-16 lead in Game 2 when the combination of solid serves by Elizabeth Serra-Hsu and edgy Mountain Lion passing helped the Orediggers roll to game point at 29-26. At that point, UCCS coach Jessica Wood inserted Lindsey Myers to serve.
The move worked. Myers kept Mines off-balance, helping the Mountain Lions tie the match at 29 behind kills by Fehringer and Stephanie Laband. After a kill by Edmiston, UCCS closed the game out with kills by Sheldon and Akers sandwiched by a service ace by Cortney Weedman.
The near-miss in the second game seemed to affect the Orediggers in Game 3. Mines kept it close early, trailing 13-11, but Fehringer notched three of her seven kills in the game during an 11-5 run that blew the game, and the match, wide open.
Andrea Weedman had 10 digs, putting her just one shy of Melissa Clark's UCCS career record of 1,478.
The Mountain Lions face RMAC-powerhouse Nebraska-Kearney on Friday and Chadron State on Saturday, both at the Lions' Den. Success against those two, particularly Nebraska-Kearney, would validate Woods' gameplan beyond any expectation.
Heck, people might even think she's downright smart.
UCCS Players/Staff Featured
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