After critical losses, volleyball looks to adjust, get out of slump before RMAC Tournament

Nov. 16, 2015

Taylor Garcia
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After a four-game losing streak dropped the Mountain Lions from 10-3 in the RMAC to 10-7, the team fell from a tie for second place in the conference to a possible seventh seed.

Three of the four losses – to Chadron State, CSU-Pueblo and Western State – were to teams below UCCS in the conference standings.

With the RMAC tournament starting Nov. 17, the losing slump couldn’t have come at a worse time. But the team is staying optimistic.

“The four losses haven’t been from what is on the other side of the net, it’s been us,” sophomore setter Morgan Evans explained.

“It is what it is,” said junior middle blocker Cassidy Bush. “There were teams we should have taken care of. We need to learn from our losses and right now we are learning a lot. Winning the RMAC is definitely not out of reach.”

The team has one remaining regular season game, against Metro State on Nov. 14.

As a result of the string of defeats, head coach Chrissy Elder has implemented a new offense, moving key players around and bringing in some younger ones.

Elder moved Bush to right side and filled her spot in the middle with freshman Lauren Brown. Evans and Bush explained that the offense will be much faster and gives the team a new, dynamic way to approach the game.

“It gives us a lot more offense and a more controllable defense,” Elder said.

With Bush moving to right side, she will play over previous starter sophomore Celeste Henderson and a substitute, freshman Miranda Sanchez.

“[Henderson and Sanchez] are handling it well. It is never easy going through growing pains,” Elder said.

Evans said the freshmen have been waiting for their opportunities to step up and now Brown has a chance. She also explained that freshman Christina Mandico will have a chance to step up on defense when she rotates in for Bush.

Elder is hopeful that the changes will help her team.

“As a staff, we feel like we have to help them out at practice and holding them accountable to their individual mentalities,” she said.

Evans said the mentality of the team has changed as well.

“Being in a slump creates a point-by-point mentality,” she said.

With the RMAC tournament seeding yet to be determined by press time, it is still up in the air who the team will face.

“To get where we want to go we have to see [Mesa, Mines and Metro]. We just have to come out every night and compete,” Elder said.

The Mountain Lions will play in the first round of the RMAC Tournament Nov. 17.