Mountain Lions lose match, Bathelt in season opener

By Doug Fitzgerald published September 2, 2010

BOCA RATON, Fla. - The Mountain Lions won, lost and lost again Thursday at the de Hoernle Center.

The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs grabbed a set from the No. 16-ranked Lewis Flyers but dropped the match 3-1 (25-12, 25-23, 21-25, 25-19). In the process, the Mountain Lions lost starting setter Cindy Bathelt to an ankle injury.

The extent of Bathelt's injury and the time she will miss couldn't be assessed Thursday.

"Cindy is not playing the rest of the tournament," said UCCS coach Keith Barnett.

Lindsey Stich stepped into the setter spot and played well, registering 11 assists and three digs in the final set.

"She has to do four more good jobs," said Barnett. "We have four more matches (at this tournament)."

The match was the first of the 2010 Lynn University Courtyard by Marriott Invitational.

Facing an 0-2 deficit in sets, UCCS forced two straight hitting errors and got a block from Nicole Pederson and Bathelt to turn a tie into a 17-14 lead. The teams traded points the rest of the way as the Mountain Lions managed a 25-21 win. In the set, middle blockers Nikki Kinzer and Pederson recorded five and four kills respectively.

"The third set, we pretty much played start to finish, which was nice," said Barnett.

Kinzer, Sonja Johnson and Jenica Shippy each had 10 kills to lead UCCS (0-1), while Pederson added nine. Junior Alex Nuttall, who originally came to UCCS as a setter, was a front-row starter and got a team-best 18 digs to go along with her six kills and five assists.

Lauren Seliga led Lewis (1-0) with 14 kills and 20 digs.

Lewis opened the first set with leads of 7-0 and 9-1 behind a pair of kills and a block by Carly Perschnick. The Flyers added a pair of four-point runs to cruise to an easy 25-12 win as Seliga led Lewis with five kills.

The second set was anything but easy, though, as UCCS used a 5-0 run to take a 16-11 lead. The Mountain Lions were ahead 20-14 when a four-point Lewis run cut the gap to two. UCCS was on the verge of winning the set with a 23-20 advantage when Adria Phillips, who had served runs of seven and four points in the first set, closed the second with a 5-0 run to give the Flyers a 2-0 lead. Johnson had five kills in the set for UCCS.

"After the first set we started to play real volleyball," said Barnett. "I thought we had the second set (but Lewis) played well and they played in. They didn't make mistakes at the end of that set so they won."

Phillips finished with four of the Flyers' 11 service aces. Barnett said the difference in altitude and humidity between Colorado and Florida were factors.

"Phillips) has a good serve, it has a lot of topspin," said Barnett. "At sea level, your serve receive is different and so is your serve pass. We're not used to the ball dying like that; in Colorado it doesn't."

Lewis was leading 3-1 when Bathelt went down in the final set. Stich came in and set two kills to Johnson and one each to Jenica Shippy and Pederson to lead the Mountain Lions to a seven-point and an 8-4 lead. The Flyers recovered to score three straight, eventually tying the set at 11. It was still knotted at 14, but Lewis managed to score at least one point on five of its final six service rotations, allowing them to pull away for a 25-19 set victory and a 3-1 match win.

"They did some things well, we did some things well," said Barnett. "We made some in-game adjustments and it was a well-played match after the first (set). If we get that second set it's a whole new match."

UCCS Players/Staff Featured

Nicole PedersonNicole Pederson15MB
Nicole PedersonNicole Pederson15MB
Jenica ShippyJenica Shippy9OH
Jenica ShippyJenica Shippy9OH
Jenica ShippyJenica Shippy9OH
Cindy BatheltCindy Bathelt16S
Cindy BatheltCindy Bathelt16S
Cindy BatheltCindy Bathelt16S
Alex WoodAlex Wood13RSJr
Alex WoodAlex Wood13RSSo
Alex WoodAlex Wood13RSFr
Alex WoodAlex Wood13RSSr
Nikki KinzerNikki Kinzer2MB
Nikki KinzerNikki Kinzer2MBSr
Nikki KinzerNikki Kinzer2MB
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