UCCS drops first RMAC match of the season
DENVER -- The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs' four-match winning streak came to an end Friday evening as the Mountain Lions dropped a 3-0 (30-21, 30-25, 30-24) decision to the Metro State Roadrunners.
Brooke Akers led UCCS (6-8, 4-1 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference) with 12 kills, while Lauren Orth added 11. Laura Meeter had 18 digs.
"They did a good job taking our setters out of the game by dinking it right at them," said UCCS assistant coach Clay Pinyerd during the break between Games 2 and 3. "That's keeping the ball away from our middles."
It's a strategy continued throughout the match. UCS setters Jessica Stewart and Cortney Weedman were forced to make 15 digs, while players other that the setters accounted for five of the Mountain Lions' 39 assists. Heidi Fehringer, a middle hitter along with Akers, was limited to four kills.
Kelsey Ellis led Metro State (6-8, 4-1 RMAC) with 18 kills, while Julie Green-McFarland added 16. The Roadrunners outhit UCCS .288 to .124.
"Metro State played well tonight," said UCCS head coach Jessica Wood.
Although Halloween is still five weeks way, the Mountain Lions nonetheless entered their personal House of Horrors -- better known as Auraria Fieldhouse. It's a facility, nestled amid the skyscrapers of downtown Denver, which has never seen a UCCS volleyball team earn a win in 12 tries. The same applies to a UCCS men's basketball team. In fact, the only time a UCCS team has made this trip to play the Roadrunners and dove home with a victory was on Jan. 4, 2004, when the Mountain Lions women's basketball team topped Metro State 58-52.
That's a combined 1-40 at Auraria.
"Metro State always has great teams and they have great tradition," said Wood. "That makes this a tough place to play."
While this year's version of the Mountain Lions came into Friday's match blissfully unaware of that statistic, the specter of the Metro State monster nonetheless hung heavy amid the tattered tiles.
And that showed early in Game 1 as UCCS was both dominant and inept. The Mountain Lions showed their power with Orth and Akers each pounding home two kills. During the same period, UCCS kept the game tied with seven of the Roadrunners' first eight points coming by way of UCCS errors.
UCCS trailed 22-20 when the ghosts in the rafters drifted courtside. Thanks in part to a couple of odd caroms, Metro State reeled off seven straight points before sealing a 30-21 decision. The Game 1 loss was UCCS' first in 13 games.
Metro State forged an 8-2 run in Game 2 to break open a 6-all tie. The lead remained between three and five before another 3-0 run gave the Roadrunners a commanding 22-15 advantage. Weedman served a 4-0 Mountain Lion rally to narrow the gap, but Metro State scored three straight kills to regain the momentum, which the Roadrunners rode to a 30-25 win.
After falling behind early in Game 3, the Mountain Lions twice surged back to within one, at 17-16 and at 20-19, but #32 had three kills and #1 added two more as Metro State went on the 30-24 win.
The Mountain Lions will face Colorado Christian on Saturday at Cougar Fieldhouse. They'll also be hoping there are no ghosts in the rafters.
UCCS Players/Staff Featured
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