Mountain Lions grab second Friday win with decision over Winona State

By Doug Fitzgerald published September 10, 2010

COLORADO SPRINGS - The Mountain Lions were lethargic, lackadaisical and ultimately successful in Friday's late match.

Nikki Kinzer and Sonja Johnson each had 12 kills and Alex Nuttall added 23 digs, eight kills and seven assists as the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs won for the second time in as many matches Friday during the first day of the 2010 Hyatt Place Mountain Lions Invitational. The evening win was a 3-1 (26-24, 23-25, 25-18, 25-12) decision over the Winona State Warriors.

The win, combined with a morning decision over Fort Lewis, raised UCCS' season record to 4-3. Winona State slipped to 3-3.

"Both games were regional, so both were very important," said UCCS coach Keith Barnett. "We went 2-0 so it's good."

The Mountain Lions didn't look all that good in the first two sets of the late game, however. They trailed by as many as five in the first set but rallied to score eight of the final 10 points and escape with a 26-24 decision. They fell behind in the second set as well and again rallied, but the six-point hole proved too much and they lost the set 25-23.

That all changed midway through the third set.

"We decided that this was where we needed to pull away like the good team that we are and just pull away," said Kinzer.

They did exactly that. The Mountain Lions closed the frame with a 13-6 run to turn a 12-all tie into a decisive 25-18 win. The rally started, as had been the case in the morning match, with Skylar Lewandowski reeling off five points during her service rotation.

"It's exciting that a freshman can come in with all that pressure and keep rallying off those serves," said Kinzer, who was Lewandowski's teammate at Rampart High School in Colorado Springs. "Skylar has always been the most aggressive and consistent server I know. Even through high school, she was always the one who, when she went back to serve, you'd be confident."

The momentum carried over into the fourth set. Up 8-5, UCCS grew the advantage to 13-9 while sending Lewandowski to serve again. She responded with a six-point run that included three kills by Kinzer. The Mountain Lions cruised from there to take the set 25-12.

"Everyone put the effort in and everyone was there doing their job," said Barnett. "You can't ask for any more."

Setter Lindsey Stich was again efficient in her running of the offense. The sophomore from San Antonio, Texas, had 35 assists, seven gigs and four kills (on just six attacks).

"Lindsey Stich made some awfully good choices running the offense and getting us to 2-0 in this tournament," said Barnett. "Everyone else did well, too, you can't really pick just two."

UCCS Players/Staff Featured

Sonja JohnsonSonja Johnson6OH
Sonja JohnsonSonja Johnson6OH
Sonja JohnsonSonja Johnson6OH
Sonja JohnsonSonja Johnson6OH
Lindsey StichLindsey Stich1SFr
Lindsey StichLindsey Stich1SSr
Lindsey StichLindsey Stich1SSo
Lindsey StichLindsey Stich1SJr
Alex WoodAlex Wood13RSJr
Alex WoodAlex Wood13RSSo
Alex WoodAlex Wood13RSFr
Alex WoodAlex Wood13RSSr
Nikki KinzerNikki Kinzer2MBSr
Nikki KinzerNikki Kinzer2MB
Nikki KinzerNikki Kinzer2MB
Skylar LewandowskiSkylar Lewandowski11DS/L
Skylar LewandowskiSkylar Lewandowski11DS/L
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