Weedman, Mountain Lions each notch historic firsts
COLORADO SPRINGS -- The University of Colorado Springs volleyball team and Mountain Lions senior Andrea Weedman each pulled off an historic first Friday night, with UCCS defeating the Nebraska-Kearney Lopers for the first time ever and Weedman setting a new school career record for digs.
The Mountain Lions' 3-0 (30-26, 30-21, 30-23) victory was their first over Nebraska-Kearney in 17 meetings dating back to 1994.
"It's really, really exciting," said Weedman who, with fellow fourth-year seniors Lindsey Myers and Laura Meeter have come up on the losing side of the matchup six straight times. "That was one of our team goals this year -- to beat them. It was pretty awesome to do it in three games."
Weedman had 10 digs Friday to go along with her five kills. The Scottsdale, Ariz. native now has 1,487 career digs, passing the previous mark of 1,478 set by Melissa Clark from 1992-95.
"It's pretty exciting to be a part of a program that's just building up and have a record," said Weedman. "I know somebody will eventually break it but right now it's pretty cool."
The win was also UCCS' second against a nationally-ranked opponent, both this season. Nebraska-Kearney is ranked No. 24. The Mountain Lions defeated No. 23 Western Washington to open the season.
Brooke Akers led UCCS (5-7, 3-0 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference) with 15 kills and seven blocks, two of which were solo. Fellow middle blocker Heidi Fehringer added seven kills as the Mountain Lions' quick-set offense minimized the Lopers' big-blocking front line. Nebraska-Kearney had just four blocks.
"With our quicker offense this year, we've been working on getting in and making sure we get up before the other team knows what's happening," said Akers, who was able to face just a single blocker most of the evening.
But equally as important was the Mountain Lions' defense, which blocked nine Kearney attacks and held the Lopers to a dismal .017 hitting mark. UCCS hit .175.
"The first line of defense, the blocking, really came into play for us tonight," said Akers. "A big factor was team focus; that's what we were working on this past week."
Nikki Scott, who was dominant with 13 blocks when these same two teams met in the RMAC playoffs a year ago, led the Lopers (10-3, 2-1 RMAC) with 13 kills.
Early on Friday, it looked as if it was going to be just another Nebraska-Kearney blowout. The Lopers opened with a 5-1 advantage and were leading 10-5 when the Mountain Lions went on a 6-1 run behind two kills by Weedman. The score was tied at 13, when UCCS went on an 11-4 run with Akers and Fehringer each notching two kills.
The momentum carried into Game 2 as UCCS broke out to a 6-2 lead and never trailed. Akers had five kills and four blocks in the game.
The Lopers grabbed their final lead of the match, 2-1 in Game 3, but UCCS answered with six consecutive points with Stephanie Laband serving. The Lopers closed to within one at 11-10, but two service errors and two attack errors helped the Mountain Lions go ahead 15-11. Kearney never got closer than three the rest of the way.
The Mountain Lions will try to improve to 4-0 in the RMAC Saturday when they face Chadron State at 7 p.m. in the Lions' Den. UCCS' best conference start ever was 5-0, which happened in 2005.
And with so many firsts, that might just be the next mark to fall.
UCCS Players/Staff Featured
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