Mountain Lions get mad, but can't quite get even in loss to Mesa

By Doug Fitzgerald published October 17, 2008

COLORADO SPRINGS"" Molly Crockett led the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs with 16 kills and 12 digs, but the Mountain Lions were unable to match Mesa State, falling 3-1 (25-15, 25-22, 19-25, 25-20) to the Mavericks Friday evening at the Lions'Den.

Corinne Cascioppo led Mesa State (10-9, 8-4 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference) with 20 kills. Alisan Tompkins added 14 kills, while Meagan Bosch had 12.

Ashley Loftsgard led a stingy Mesa State defense with 25 digs. The Mavericks also had 10 blocks, including six solos.

“They were playing awesome defense,” said Crockett."œWe had to hit it at least two or three times to get (the ball) down on them. It was getting in our heads the first (set). We were like,"˜what the heck? What do we have to do to get the ball down?'”

UCCS (10-11, 5-7 RMAC) matched the block total, with Karina Miastkowska getting a solo block and assisting on five others. Kelsey Pobar added 11 digs and Andrea Brodie had 10 kills.

For Crockett, a freshman, the kill total was the second highest of her brief career.

“The coaches were telling me where to hit open shots and the team was covering really well,” said Crockett. (Jessica Stewart) was setting me great sets outside. It was working; it was fun.

Set 1 had fans thinking it would be a short evening. After opening with a 3-0 lead, the Mountain Lions were outscored 25-12 the rest of the way. Cascioppo had seven kills in the set as Mesa State hit a stunning .500 while UCCS managed only seven digs.

The Mountain Lions made defensive adjustments in the second set, reducing Mesa's hitting percentage to .211. Crockett had six kills, but hitting errors sent UCCS to a 25-22 setback and a 2-0 deficit in sets.

“We definitely adjusted our block, and when we did that, we started blocking more,” said Crockett."œThat got us really fired up. We started coming together from there. Our defense was reading around the block and it settled us down.”

The Mountain Lions came back to take the third set aided, ironically, by a call with which they disagreed. A hard attack by Crocket was dug high enough to contact the basketball backboard that was retracted to the ceiling. Loftsgard, who was chasing the ball, changed directions to counter the new trajectory and ran into the linesperson. The officials originally awarded the point to UCCS but, after considerable complaining by Mesa State coach Dave Fleming, called a replay.

While the call was likely correct, the Mountain Lions nonetheless got mad and their play elevated accordingly. Having managed just one block through the first two sets (the second career solo block for Stewart, a senior), UCCS halted five in Set 3, including four after the disputed call. UCCS also had just a single hitting error after getting angry, leading to a .294 mark for the set.

The Mountain Lions couldn't keep their dander up in the fourth set, however, as the Mavericks had three runs of four points each to take a 25-20 decision and close out the match.

UCCS Players/Staff Featured

Jessica StewartJessica Stewart8SJr.
Jessica StewartJessica Stewart8SJr.
Jessica StewartJessica Stewart8SJr.
Jessica StewartJessica Stewart8SJr.
Karina MiastkowskaKarina Miastkowska1MB
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