December 05, 2016
Fall sports have wrapped up at UCCS, and the Athletics department looks forward to a new winter season after multiple conference victories this fall.
Changes have been made in the department, providing for a lot of firsts for the teams, according to athletic director Nate Gibson.
“In general, I’m really happy with the way the fall went,” said Gibson.
Gibson highlighted the triumphs of the men’s golf, women’s cross country and women’s volleyball teams, who have performed at a high level this fall, said Gibson.
“Specifically, for our fall sports, I was really pleased, especially with our men’s golf team, who won another regular season championship,” said Gibson.
“It’s become commonplace that women’s cross country and men’s golf perform at such a high level. They just become two premiere programs. They have high expectations for themselves.”
For those who missed any games, here is an overview of the fall sports season.
Women’s volleyball ended their season with an overall record of 18-10, the most wins since 2012. The team also earned the third seed in the RMAC had their longest postseason game run since 2007, earning the third seed in the RMAC Tournament and hosting the quarterfinals where they beat Colorado Christian 3-1.
The team lost 1-3 to Colorado School of Mines in the RMAC semifinals, and missed the bid for the NCAA tournament.
Individual players broke records this season this well. Natasha Habert, junior libero, broke two records: the Mountain Lion single-season digs and digs per set. Habert by scored 555 digs and made 4.91 digs per set this season.
Senior setter Morgan Evans finished third in the volleyball program’s history with 2,903 sets this season.
Evans also came in second with 9.68 assists per set.
Fellow senior Cassidy Bush, middle blocker, finished her volleyball career with 953 kills, making her eighth in program history; 262 block assists, putting her in fifth; and 301 total blocks, putting her in seventh.
Men’s soccer finished their season with an overall record of 12-7- 1. The team lost 1-2 to Regis in the RMAC Semifinals on Nov. 24. The team placed third in the RMAC after earning 10 shut-outs.
A few players had standout performances, which earned them conference awards throughout the season.
Senior defender Derek Saunier was named to the Division II Conference Commissioner’s Association Men’s Soccer All-South Central Region Second Team on Nov. 16 after being named the RMAC Defensive Player of the Year. Saunier is fourth in the men’s soccer program history with 5,212 total minutes played.
Junior David Meyer was voted the Goalkeeper of the Year on Oct. 11 after being recognized as RMAC Goalkeeper of the Week twice. Junior Jake McAllister was named the RMAC Preseason Player of the Year in August, and won the game against Regis 1-0, which helped the team to advance to the RMAC Semifinals.
Meyer and junior McAllister were both named to the All-RMAC First Team.
Freshman Alex Vonholle, senior Cort Searls and sophomore Aaron Haefner all received Honorable Mention.
Women’s soccer finished their season with a 3-12- 1 overall record. The team won 1-0 against New Mexico Highlands in their last RMAC game of the season on Oct. 30.
On Oct. 31, head coach Nicole Ridenour resigned. Ridenour started the women’s soccer program and served as head coach for eight years.
Senior forward Michaela Mansfield was named as part of the All-RMAC Women’s Soccer First Team on Nov. 1. Mansfield is the all-time leading points earner in the program with 68 points, 25 goals, 178 shots and 88 shots on goal.
Junior Lo Vyvlecka received Honorable Mention after finishing third on the team with three points.
Men’s cross country
Men’s cross country began their season in first place out of four teams at the Rust Buster Quadrangular on Sept. 2. The team went on to place in No. 12 place at the Michigan State Spartan Invitational meet on Sept. 16, followed by second place at the Roadrunner Invitational on Oct. 1.
The team came in seventh in the RMAC Championships and eighth at the 2016 NCAA DII South Central Region Championships. The team advanced by one spot compared to the 2015 regional championships and moved to seventh among 16 RMAC teams.
Junior David Kimaiyo led the team in the Regional Championships and placed No. 27 with a time of 32:39.
The runner was six spots away from qualifying for the national championships.
The distance runners will be off from competition for a month before the start of the indoor track and field season on Dec. 8-9 at the Colorado Mines Alumni Classic and Multis meet.
Women’s cross country
Women’s cross country placed fourth or better in all season meets. The team had their best regional performance in program after placing third at the South Central Region championships.
The team qualified for the 2016 NCAA Division II National Championships where they finished the season at No. 20 with no seniors on the squad.
The team was led by sophomore Aubrey Till and junior Heather Bates, who both earned All-RMAC First Team. Till and Bates also earned U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association all-region honors.
Kayla Wooten earned a spot on the All-RMAC Second Team and was second among the conference freshmen.
The team will be off until the start of the upcoming indoor track and field season, when they compete in the Alumni Classic and Multi’s meet in Golden Dec 8-9.
While the men’s golf season ended in October, it will pick back up again starting next semester.
To end the first half of their season, UCCS tied for eighth at the Otter Invitational in Seaside, Calif. on Oct. 18 with Western Washington University with a total score of 896.
At the start of the semester, UCCS was ranked first in the RMAC Preseason Coaches’ Poll with 62 points and junior Colin Prater was named the RMAC Men’s Preseason Player of the Year.
For the 13th time at UCCS, the men’s golf team also earned a RMAC Championship for the ’16-’17 school year.
Freshman Tanner Comes was named the RMAC Golfer of the Week on Oct. 13.
The East-West Invitational will be Feb. 27-28 in Livermore, Calif.