Tough Mustang defense proves to be difference in UCCS loss

By Doug Fitzgerald published October 11, 2008

By posted on Saturday October 11th, 2008

COLORADO SPRINGS- Lauren Orth had 14 kills and Molly Crockett added 12 kills and 17 digs but the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs couldn't overcome a stingy Western New Mexico defense as the Mustangs won 3-1 (25-20, 23-25, 25-19, 20-25) Saturday evening at the Lions'Den.

Western New Mexico (13-5, 7-3 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference) had four players register double-figure digs and had 75 as a team. The Mustangs also had eight blocks and deflected several others, allowing them to hold UCCS (9-10, 4-6 RMAC) to a .124 hitting mark.

“Western New Mexico's a strong team,” said UCCS coach Jessica Wood."œThey play incredible defense.”

Alzie Auelua led the Mustangs with 18 kills and 15 digs. Dreanne Shaw added 13 kills and 11 digs.

While WNMU benefited from its veteran savvy, the young Mountain Lions held their own.

“We were playing some really good defense, too,” said Wood."œI'm pleased with the way we've been playing. We just need to put things together for games in a row instead of spurts.”

One of those spurts came right from the start. The Mountain Lions appeared to have built a 12-6 lead in the first set but had two points removed after an officiating error. The call seemed to rob UCCS of momentum as the Mustangs worked their way back to tie it at 14. The set was still tied at 19 when kills by Shaw and Tirzah Armenta contributed to a 6-1 closing run by WNMU.

UCCS'Karina Miastkowska had five of her eight kills in the set.

Orth and Crockett each had six kills as the Mountain Lions took the second set to tie the match. UCCS trailed only ones"" at 2-1"" but also never led by more than five. Neither team scored more than three consecutive points during the set.

Western New Mexico led wire-to-wire in the third set, hitting .286. Trailing 21-11, UCCS did manage a 5-0 run behind two Orth kills but never seriously threatened.

The late run in the third set didn't carry over for the Mountain Lions as WNMU leapt out to a 7-1 lead. The advantage quickly grew to 14-3 and was sitting at 17-7 when UCCS, behind a good setting performance by freshman Alex Nuttall, put together a 6-1 run. That's as close as the Mountain Lions would get, though.

“We threw in some different people and they did exactly what they needed to do,” said Wood."œAlex Nuttall stepped in and did an amazing job.”

UCCS will play at Colorado State-Pueblo on Tuesday in a rescheduled match from Oct. 2. The match will have increased importance for both schools because of the Steel & Silver Series points that will be on the line.

UCCS Players/Staff Featured

Lauren OrthLauren Orth5OHFr.
Lauren OrthLauren Orth5OHFr.
Lauren OrthLauren Orth5OHFr.
Molly CrockettMolly Crockett14OH
Molly CrockettMolly Crockett14OH
Molly CrockettMolly Crockett14OH
Alex WoodAlex Wood13RSFr
Alex WoodAlex Wood13RSSo
Alex WoodAlex Wood13RSJr
Alex WoodAlex Wood13RSSr
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