Metro State overcomes two-set deficit to drop UCCS
COLORADO SPRINGS - Skylar Lewandowski's five service aces, one away from tying the University of Colorado Colorado Spring record, weren't enough to keep the Metro State Roadrunners from pulling off their second stunning comeback victory in as many nights as the Mountain Lions fell 3-2 (16-25, 21-25, 25-21, 25-18, 16-14) Saturday evening at the Gallogly Events Center.
Friday, Metro State overcame a two-set deficit to stun No. 22-ranked Colorado School of Mines. Saturday, Metro State made it two in a row on the road, also sweeping aside a two-set deficit to beat UCCS.
The Roadrunners' resident stars were everything expected Saturday. Emily Greenhalgh and Bri Morley had 22 and 19 kills respectively. Ngoc Phan, the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference's top libero, had a match-high 28 digs.
"They have some good players," said UCCS coach Keith Barnett. "They put the ball away when they had to."
Metro State improved to 19-4 overall and 11-3 in RMAC play. UCCS slipped to 13-11, 7-7 RMAC.
The Mountain Lions had their chances in the fifth set. UCCS went up 5-2 before Phan served Metro State into a 5-5 tie. An Alex Wood kills gave the Mountain Lions a 10-8 lead, but a UCCS hitting error and consecutive kills by Shayne Kovach, Alysa Heath and Morley reversed the gap, giving the Roadrunners as 12-10 lead.
Down 13-11, UCCS scored three straight with a Jenica Shippy kill, a Metro State ball handling error and an assisted block by Nikki Kinzer and Cindy Bathelt.
Facing match point, the Roadrunners responded with a kill by Greenhalgh and tow by Julie Casseaux to take the match.
"We played well enough to win," said Barnett. "(We were) inches away; 14-13 we're up and then 16-14 we're down."
Shippy and Wood had 12 kills each to lead UCCS, while Megan Koop added 10 and Kinzer had nine. Sonja Johnson and Lewandowski had 18 and 17 kills respectively and setter Cindy Bathelt had 40 assists and six kills.
Lewandowski leads the Mountain Lions with 30 aces this season, 13 better than the next closest Mountain Lion.
"We have (assistant coach J.J. Glavan) to thank for calling all of the zones. I just go back there, take a deep breath and focus on where to serve," said Lewandowski. "He calls short or deep and I try to pick out the seams and place it between people."
As simple as it sounds, it worked immediately Saturday as Lewandowski had three aces to stake UCCS to a 5-0 lead in the first set. The Mountain Lions' .344 hitting mark made sure her effort wasn't wasted. A 6-0 run sparked by a pair of Kinzer kills turned a two-point deficit into a four-point lead at 16-12 in the second set and the Mountain Lions made it stand.
Metro State controlled the UCCS service game in the third and fourth sets, posting sideout percentages of 86.4 and 72.2.
"They came out really well," said Lewandowski about Metro State in the third set. "We needed to focus and calm ourselves down a little bit. I think we got a little bit too excited."
The fifth set, though, was epic.
"It's a game of the small things," said Barnett. "They get one or two calls here or there or they get one or two real good swings here or there and a couple of touches - that's what it comes down to."
UCCS Players/Staff Featured
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|February 27, 2012||Cindy Bathelt to play professional volleyball in Rome||Cindy Bathelt will be playing in Rome next fall! The UCCS senior setter will be playing for Aprilia Volleyball Club from August 2012 through May 2013. Aprilia is currently a ‘Serie C’ team that is looking to regain its form and move up the ladder in the Italian rankings. The club is serious about this undertaking, as they’ve hired a trio of American players. Joining Cindy are an outside hitter from Wake Forest and a middle blocker from the University of Miami. They will be 20 minutes south of Rome and living together after a month each with a host family. Italian lessons are mandatory and Cindy is excited to, “have the opportunity to pursue the next chapter in (her) career in such an incredible place as Italy. The people are very outgoing, rich in culture, and the pizza is the best in the world!”|
|November 16, 2011||Kinzer named to Daktronics All-Central Region Team||University of Colorado Colorado Springs middle blocker Nikki Kinzer was named second-team Daktronics All-Central Region, it was announced Wednesday.|
|November 11, 2011||UCCS' Bathelt named to academic all-district team||Cindy Bathelt of the University of Colorado Colorado Springs was named to the 2011 Capital One Division II Academic All-District VII Volleyball Team, it was announced Thursday.|
|November 8, 2011||Kinzer, Bathelt named all-RMAC||COLORADO SPRINGS - Nikki Kinzer and Cindy Bathelt of the University of Colorado Colorado Springs were each named to the 2011 all-Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Team, the RMAC announced Tuesday.|
|November 5, 2011||UCCS concludes season with win over Chadron State||CHADRON, Neb. – Behind solid production from the team’s seniors, each of whom was likely playing in their final collegiate match, the University of Colorado Colorado Springs swept the Chadron State Eagles 3-0 (25-18, 25-15, 25-19).|