UCCS finishes home schedule a perfect 9-0
COLORADO SPRINGS -- Nobody ever said perfection would be easy.
Behind 24 kills by Brooke Akers and 27 digs by Laura Meeter, the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs fought off a spirited Metro State comeback and defeated the Roadrunners 3-2 (30-24, 30-16, 28-30, 33-35, 15-10) Saturday evening.
With the win, the Mountain Lions (15-9, 13-2 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference) finished their home schedule with a perfect 9-0 record at the Lions' Den. Each of UCCS' final four matches will be played on the road.
"Nine-and-Oh at home is amazing," said senior Stephanie Laband. "It's the best feeling ever. It's a great accomplishment for the whole team."
But the path to that perfect home record was very nearly blocked by a huge Metro State pothole, and that's a barrier with which the UCCS faithful are all too familiar. The Mountain Lions came into Saturday's match with a 3-22 record all-time against the Roadrunners, including a 3-0 loss in Denver on Sept 21 that snapped a four-match winning streak.
And Saturday threatened to be another heartbreak. After UCCS rolled through the first two games 30-24 and 30-16, Metro State emerged from the break a different team. The Roadrunners opened Game 3 with a 21-13 lead only to see the Mountain Lions work their way back to a 28-27 deficit. A Kelsey Ellis kill finally put away a 30-28 decision.
"We kind of fell back on the passing and the defense a little bit," said Laband. "When we were getting the sets, we weren't putting the ball down."
"We fought back even though we were down," she added.
That momentum seemed to carry over as UCCS held a 25-19 lead in game 4. It was thwarted when three Kelsey Ellis kills and a pair of Bri Ostler service aces helped the Roadrunners draw into a 26-all tie. Metro State then fought off four UCCS match points before forcing a deciding fifth game with a 35-33 win.
That's when the Mountain Lions patched the pothole. Akers had three kills and a block as UCCS opened an 8-2 lead in Game 5. Metro State got to within three before a Roadrunner service error and a service ace by Laura Meeter gave the Mountain Lions the match.
"We came out with a vengeance," said Laband, who finished with 15 kills and 16 digs. "We had to finish our business at home."
Heidi Fehringer had 15 kills, while Diane Sheldon added 10 for the Mountain Lions. Andrea Weedman had 21 digs.
Julie Green-McFarland led Metro State (12-12, 10-5 RMAC) with 22 kills, while Bri Ostler had 26 digs. Ellis was a force both offensively and defensively with 17 kills and 21 digs.
UCCS, Nebraska-Kearney and Fort Lewis are all tied atop the RMAC standings with two losses. The team with the best record at the end of the season earns the right to host the RMAC tournament.
Unless the Mountain Lions host the tournament, Saturday was the final home match for six UCCS players. Laband, Sheldon, Akers, Meeter, Weedman and Lindsey Myers are all seniors.
"It's been so much fun to be a part of," said Meeter, who, like Myers and Weedman, has spent all four years of her eligibility at UCCS. "Each year it's totally different and each year we gain a little bit more togetherness. This year, we are such a team. We've become closer each year and it shows on the court."
UCCS Players/Staff Featured
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