UCCS takes set, but not match, against No. 4-ranked Washburn

By Doug Fitzgerald published September 9, 2011

DENVER - The University of Colorado Colorado Springs became only the second team this season to take a set off the No. 4-ranked Washburn Lady Blues but couldn't take a second as the Mountain Lions fell 3-1 (25-15, 23-25, 25-18, 25-20) Friday afternoon in both teams' first game at the Colorado Premier Challenge at the Auraria Events Center.

All three of UCCS' losses so far this season have been at the hands of a team listed in the most recent NCAA Division II national poll. Aside from No. 4 Washburn, UCCS has been beaten by No. 21 West Texas A&M and Angelo State, which was ranked in the Top 25 when it beat the Mountain Lions and is fourth among the "others receiving votes" in this week's poll. UCCS' next opponent Friday, West Florida, is third among the "others receiving votes."

The Lady Blues' big two of Hilary Mollie Lacy and Breana Lewis combined for 25 kills and a .480 hitting ark. Hilary Hughes added 10 kills for Washburn (5-0).

Megan Koop and Nikki Kinzer led UCCS (2-3) with 10 kills each, while Laura Loosbrock added nine and Alex Wood had eight. Kinzer assisted on all seven of the Mountain Lions' blocks. Skylar Lewandowski and Sonja Johnson had 17 and 16 digs respectively, and Cindy Bathelt had a match-high 35 assists.

Having already dropped the first set 25-15 and trailing 16-10 in the second, UCCS was looking to be the Lady Blues' fourth sweep victim in five matches. The Mountain Lions rallied to cut the deficit to one behind a pair of blocks (one by Kinzer and Wood, the other by Kinzer and Bathelt). a kill by Loosbrock and a service ace by Wood. Shortly afterward, a kill by Loosbrock and another Kinzer/Bathelt block tied it at 17.

The score was tied at 18, 19, 20, 21, 22 and 23 before and attack error by Washburn and yet another UCCS block, this one by Kinzer and Johnson, gave the Mountain Lions a 25-23 decision and knotted the match at one set each. Kinzer had three kills and four assisted blocks in the set, while Loosbrock had four kills.

A 5-1 run allowed Washburn to turn a 9-8 third-set deficit into a 13-10 lead. UCCS managed to trim the gap back to one three times, but the Lady Blues closed the set by scoring eight of the final 10 points to win 25-18 and go up 2-1 in sets.

The momentum carried over as the Lady Blues opened the fourth set 6-1. The Mountain Lions clawed their way back to tie it at eight and even led 16-14 before a five-point Washburn run gave The Lady Blues a look at the finish line.

The never lost sight of it. UCCS got to within two three times, the last at 22-20, but couldn't complete the comeback.

UCCS Players/Staff Featured

Cindy BatheltCindy Bathelt16S
Cindy BatheltCindy Bathelt16S
Cindy BatheltCindy Bathelt16S
Alex WoodAlex Wood13RSFr
Alex WoodAlex Wood13RSJr
Alex WoodAlex Wood13RSSo
Alex WoodAlex Wood13RSSr
Nikki KinzerNikki Kinzer2MBSr
Nikki KinzerNikki Kinzer2MB
Nikki KinzerNikki Kinzer2MB
Skylar LewandowskiSkylar Lewandowski11DS/L
Skylar LewandowskiSkylar Lewandowski11DS/L
Megan KoopMegan Koop14MBJr
Megan KoopMegan Koop14MBSr
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