The UCCS Mountain Lion women’s volleyball team had another winning performance last Friday evening against New Mexico Highlands University, leading to them cementing a third straight win in the RMAC.
The Mountain Lions looked efficient as they won three consecutive sets, 3-0, to earn their hard-fought victory against the Cowgirls.
Despite this, the Cowgirls started the game leading the opening set 7-4. However, a 5-1 run headlined by two kills by graduate student outside hitter Lauryn Shockley gave the Mountain Lions a 9-8 lead.
The momentum from this streak continued throughout the first set as UCCS managed to win it 25-20. 20 of the Mountain Lions’ points during the first set were achieved through kills, the most in a set so far this season.
The Mountain Lions’ slow start was replicated in the second set as they failed to grab the first lead until they were 23 points into the run of play, instigated by a series of back-to-back kills by graduate student Julia Geiger and a blocked Cowgirls attack by Camden Strain. The Mountain Lions won the second set 25-22, a slightly narrower margin than the first, but a set victory nonetheless.
As the third set commenced, the Cowgirls were granted another glimpse of hope as the Mountain Lions once again failed to take a strong grip of play, falling behind 7-4. However, this initial fragility was resolved by a 6-0 streak of points that allowed them to lead 11-7.
A calm and focused performance for the rest of the set allowed UCCS to maintain their lead and close out the third set 25-14, extinguishing any thoughts of a comeback victory by the Cowgirls and winning them their third consecutive match in the conference.
The Mountain Lions accumulated 50 kills throughout the match, compared to the 29 kills achieved by the Cowgirls. Freshman outside hitter Sydnee Walker was the biggest contributor to this, winning 12 kills while also setting up her teammates with five assists. Aziza Morris led the Cowgirls with a total of nine kills.
Shockley also recorded her 112th career match at UCCS, tying her at 10th for all-time appearances in the program as a Mountain Lion.
The last time that the Mountain Lions started the conference 3-0 was over a decade ago in 2012. This also becomes head coach Tara Hittle’s longest time spent undefeated since her hiring in 2022.
Their next opponents look to end this unbeaten run on Thursday, Sept. 28, as the Mountain Lions will travel down to Denver to face Regis University at 5 p.m. The following day, they will face another challenge against the CSU-Pueblo Thunderwolves.
#11 Raegen Emery (left), outside hitter/right side, and #14 Julia Geiger (right), middle blocker, block the ball against Bemidji State on Sept. 9. Photo by Lillian Davis.