2013 Volleyball Preview-Second of Four Editions: Middle Blockers

By MJ Arjomandi published September 2, 2013

The biggest position change this season for the UCCS volleyball team is at middle blocker, as the Mountain Lions are without their three starting middle blockers from a season ago: Amy Einspahr, Megan Koop, and Nikki Kinzer.

Amy Einspahr was second best on the team for blocks per set (.91), and added 78 block assists. She was named to the 2012 All-Mountain Lion Invitational team. Megan Koop was a two year starter for the Mountain Lions. In 2012, she had the second most total blocks (94) and solo blocks (8), while also earning a spot on the 2012 All-Mountain Lion Invitational team.

Nikki Kinzer graduates from UCCS as one of the top players in program history, ranking amongst the best in several major statistical categories. She is first all-time in program history for block assists (386), second all-time in the rally scoring era (since 2001) in career solo blocks (43), and eighth all-time in program history with for kills (880).

As difficult as it is to imagine replacing the 2012 RMAC Defensive Player of the year, Nikki Kinzer, Coach Elder feels confident that one of her new middle blockers could very well do that. Elder states that Kristen Sciacca, "will be very Nikki Kinzer like. She is very good defensively and maybe even a little bit better than Nikki offensively. I think that she is going to be somebody that surprises a lot of people." Elder goes on to say that the only downfall to the senior transfer from Fresno State "is that we only have her for one year."

The Mountain Lions also add Emily Whitelaw to help fill the void at the middle blocker position. According to Coach Elder, "Whitelaw will a wildcard this year. She is very athletic, very composed, very competitive, and will have a very important role on the team. But she is a freshman, and you just never know what you're going to get with freshmen. Knowing Emily though, I don't think we are going to have a problem."

Whitelaw played on the varsity team for St. Mary's high school the previous three seasons and helped lead the team to three consecutive Tri Peaks League Championships. She was a co-captain and the starting middle in her junior and senior seasons. In her senior season, she helped lead St. Mary's to an overall record of 26-2 and an undefeated league record of 10-0. She played 82 sets and recorded 230 attack kills, hitting .325, with 68 service aces, 62 total blocks and 16 solo blocks with a Colorado state rank of 33.  

UCCS Players/Staff Featured

Kristen SciaccaKristen Sciacca2MBSr.
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