Mines Too Deep for Mountain Lions

By Doug Fitzgerald published September 28, 2010

COLORADO SPRINGS - Alex Nuttall's 17 kills and 10 digs weren't enough to keep the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs volleyball team from dropping a 3-1 (26-24, 25-22, 25-27, 25-19) decision to the Colorado School of Mines Orediggers Tuesday evening at the Gallogly Events Center.

Jenica Shippy added 12 kills for the Mountain Lions, who dropped to 9-6 overall and 3-3 in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference. Nikki Kinzer and Nicole Pederson each added 11 kills. Kendall Utz had a team-best 21 digs and Cindy Bathelt had 51 assists.

Mines rode big play at the net in improving to 11-3, 5-1 RMAC. The Orediggers had 15 blocks, a performance that took it from sixth in the conference (2.12 per set) all the way up to second (2.25). The big block also altered multiple UCCS shots, forcing the Mountain Lions to try to place lobs in the corners rather than the big kills that are their M.O.

Holly Hutchison led Mines with 15 kills, followed by Elizabeth Serra-HSU (14) and Jackie Stabell (13). Hannah Margheim had a match-high 22 digs and Amanda Massey added 52 assists.

The Mountain Lions overcame a five-point deficit to take a 16-15 lead in the first set. That lead grew to 23-20, but two Melanie Wannamaker kills and a kill and an ace by Massey helped Mines close with a 6-1 run to steal the set.

UCCS overcame another early deficit in the second set, scoring four straight to tie it at seven. After a remarkable 17 tie scores, the Orediggers got two blocks and an attack error caused by trying to avoid the block to close the set with a three-point run and a 25-22 win.

"Both teams played pretty well," said UCCS coach Keith Barnett. "Down the stretch they made a few more plays than us and that was the difference in the game."

Kinzer changed that in the third set. Trailing 24-23, a Kinzer kill tied it. The Orediggers got a kill by Massey to force another match point but Kinzer answered with three straight kills to close

As the fourth set began, the momentum looked to have changed as UCCS stormed to a 7-2 lead. Mines answered the challenge with a 13-4 run.

"The fourth game, we got up and we got comfortable," said Barnett. "Once they got the lead we were unwilling to fight to get it back."

The Mountain Lions cut the gap to one twice, but couldn't get closer and dropped the set 25-19.

UCCS Players/Staff Featured

Nicole PedersonNicole Pederson15MB
Nicole PedersonNicole Pederson15MB
Jenica ShippyJenica Shippy9OH
Jenica ShippyJenica Shippy9OH
Jenica ShippyJenica Shippy9OH
Alex WoodAlex Wood13RSSo
Alex WoodAlex Wood13RSFr
Alex WoodAlex Wood13RSJr
Alex WoodAlex Wood13RSSr
Kendall UtzKendall Utz8L
Kendall UtzKendall Utz8L
Nikki KinzerNikki Kinzer2MBSr
Nikki KinzerNikki Kinzer2MB
Nikki KinzerNikki Kinzer2MB
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