Mountain Lions Fall to Rollins, Finish Florida Tournament with 2-3 Record
BOCA RATON, Fla. - The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs completed its participation at the 2010 Lynn University Courtyard by Marriott Invitational with a 3-0 (25-22, 25-19, 25-21) loss to the Rollins Tars Saturday afternoon at the de Hoernle Center.
Earlier in the day, the Mountain Lions dropped a 3-0 decision to Lynn. Both teams play out of the powerful Sunshine State Conference.
"Those two teams stuck it to us," said UCCS coach Keith Barnett. "Those are two teams that are hard to start with, much less finish a five-game tournament with.
"We got to see what good volleyball is; these were all good teams down here. Valdosta State finished fourth in their league last year and are returning a lot of good players and they got shelled. We were fourth in our league and returning a lot of players and we got shelled and finished 2-3.
"Welcome to the national scene."
Rollins played a grinder's match on Saturday, excelling at keeping the play alive. The Tars had 60 digs to UCCS' 44 and outblocked the Mountain Lions 7-1. Rollins was also effective in the service game with nine aces.
Offensively, Sarah Mendoza (16 kills), Camille Indest (11 kills) and Kiana Parks (40 assists) carried most of the load.
Alex Nuttall led the Mountain Lions with 10 kills, while middle blockers Nicole Pederson and Nikki Kinzer each added nine. Lindsey Stich handed out 30 assists and Kendall Utz and Nuttall each had 11 digs.
Nuttall was named to the all-tournament team after placing second on the team in kills (2.18 per set), digs (3.24 per set) and assists (14).
UCCS led the first set 11-10 when Rollins took control with a 12-4 run. The Mountain Lions made it close with a seven-point rally while facing set point, but had allowed the gap to become too large to bridge and fell 25-22.
A 6-1 run in the second set allowed the Tars to break open a 12-all tie. UCCS scored five of the next seven points, but faded as Rollins closed the 25-19 set with a 5-1 rally.
The Tars kept that momentum by scoring the first five points of the final set. The Mountain Lions closed to within two at 17-15 and again at 23-21, but could get no closer and dropped the set 25-21.
The Mountain Lions go into next week's Marriott Mountain Lion Invitational at the Gallogly Events Center with a 2-3 record. UCCS will face Fort Lewis and Winona State on Friday and Lees McRae and Grand Canyon on Sept. 10.
The Florida tournament served its purpose. Barnett now has a good feel for where his team is at and what he needs to do to help it get where they want it to be.
"We learned a lot about our team," said Barnett. "We got to see what Lindsey Stich can do, we got to see what (Erika Cushnie) can do.
"We've got some work to do and that's a good thing. If we came down here and went 5-0, then I didn't do a very good job picking out a good tournament."
UCCS Players/Staff Featured
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