Complete effort on display as Mountain Lions defeat Cougars

By Doug Fitzgerald published September 9, 2008

COLORADO SPRINGS- This was the one University of Colorado at Colorado Springs volleyball coach Jessica Wood was waiting for.

Her young Mountain Lions had shown flashes of brilliance through their first eight matches, tempering enthusiasm with maddening moments of inconsistency. Tuesday night, the former was paramount.

UCCS hammered the Colorado Christian Cougars 3-0 (25-13, 25-11, 25-14) at the Lions'Den in what was easily the team's most complete effort of the season.

“It was nice to see everybody get in and do what they needed to do and keep focus,” said Wood, who played all 12 members of her roster extensively."œWe have a strong enough team that no matter who's in there, they're going to do a good job.”

The Mountain Lions attacked well, putting up a .267 hitting mark. They passed well, giving up no aces and keeping the offense in system. They defended well, holding the Cougars to a dismal -.033 hitting mark. They served well, with 10 aces.

“Our serving was really strong,” said freshman libero Kelsey Pobar."œWe knew that if we could take them out of system, we could take over the match.”

Pobar had 16 digs, twice as many as any other player, and three aces. She and the rest of the UCCS defenders benefited from a strong net game. While the Mountain Lions had a modest five blocks, they got their hands on several others, allowing the defense to get the dig, and also forced Colorado Christian hitters to alter several other attacks, accounting for the low hitting mark.

“The block was set up really well and the defense could read around the block so there weren't that many kills,” said Pobar.

UCCS, meanwhile, enjoyed a balanced offense with seven kills each by Kim Boogaard and Molly Crockett, plus six more by Karina Miastkowska. Setter Jessica Stewart matched Pobar's three aces and dished out a match-high 17 assists in just two sets. Freshman Alex Nuttall took over at setter in the third set and had six assists and two kills.

“We have really strong hitters and they all execute really well,” said Pobar."œWe look to set the person who is matched up against the weaker blocker.”

Cassie Schott led Colorado Christian (3-4, 0-1 RMAC) with six kills.

Six of Boogaard's kills came in a dominant first set. The sophomore, who transferred to UCCS from Division I Iona, also had a solo block and an assisted block.

The second set was a tale of two serves. UCCS had five aces, two each by Pobar and Andrea Brodie and one by Miastkowska, while Colorado Christian had five service errors.

The Cougars miscues continued into the third set as Colorado Christian, frustrated by the UCCS defense, had 10 hitting errors and five more service errors.

“We've been focusing on what we need to do as a team and making personal goals and they've been working really hard on pursuing those,” said Wood."œWith such a young team, they've taken a little time to gel but they're finally getting there.”

At least on Tuesday, it was well worth the wait.

UCCS Players/Staff Featured

Jessica StewartJessica Stewart8SJr.
Jessica StewartJessica Stewart8SJr.
Jessica StewartJessica Stewart8SJr.
Jessica StewartJessica Stewart8SJr.
Karina MiastkowskaKarina Miastkowska1MB
Kelsey PobarKelsey Pobar11DS/L
Kelsey PobarKelsey Pobar11DS/L
Alex WoodAlex Wood13RSJr
Alex WoodAlex Wood13RSSo
Alex WoodAlex Wood13RSFr
Alex WoodAlex Wood13RSSr
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