12 November 2019
The UCCS volleyball team went 1-1 the past weekend at home against MSU Denver and Chadron State.
On Friday, the Mountain Lions won the first set 25-16 before losing the next three sets to the RMAC 2nd-ranked Roadrunners. In the first set, volleyball forced MSU Denver to seven errors. In the second set, the Roadrunners gained momentum behind a .500 hitting percentage with zero errors.
For the Roadrunners, Kayla White had a game-high 14 digs on defense, and Rylee Hladky had a game-high 14 kills. For volleyball, Lauren Brown had a game-high 8 blocks and Raelynn Edge had 21 assists. The Roadrunners are 12-2 currently in conference play. Last year, they were the runner-up in the RMAC tournament and made it to the first round of the NCAA tournament.
On Saturday, the Mountain Lions finished their back-to-back weekend beating out RMAC-ranked 9th Chadron State in five sets. This was a huge win for volleyball to move their ranking as 8th in the RMAC.
Chadron took the first set, but volleyball was able to win the 2nd, 3rd and 5th sets behind a strong overall team performance. Leading the way for volleyball’s offense was Lauryn Shockley, who had a game-high 21 kills. Setter Raelynn Edge contributed with a match high 47 assists. On the back line, volleyball was able to defend Chadron’s .255 hitting percentage lead by libero Jordyn Kinsey with a game-high 28 digs. Volleyball additionally had the advantage with aces served; volleyball had six to Chadron’s three.
The match was close throughout the first four sets, with a pivotal call late in the fourth set. When Chadron took a 19-14 lead, an attack error against volleyball was in question. For a long break, the refs confided three different times with a representative from each team able to be updated by the head official. Ultimately, the point remained with Chadron and Chadron won the 4th set.
In the fifth set, there were six early lead changes and ties, but volleyball was able to secure the win behind a strong offensive set to win the overall match.
The win over Chadron was critical among the RMAC rankings. The top eight teams make the conference tournament, and volleyball currently sits in the 8th seed. Last year, volleyball made the RMAC tournament and is looking to make it again this season.
The Mountain Lions will be on the road Nov. 8 and 9 playing RMAC-ranked 10th Western Friday and. RMAC-ranked 4th Colorado Mesa before returning home for the last regular season game. The last home game at Gallogly Events Center will be on Nov. 15 against RMAC-ranked 5th Colorado School of Mines. The Mountain Lions look to maintain their spot in the RMAC tournament by finishing out the season strong.
Last year in the RMAC tournament, volleyball went in as the 7th seed, losing to Dixie State in the first round. Before this weekend, volleyball was one spot out of the RMAC tournament. Now, sitting in 8th, volleyball is looking to finish out the season strong and to keep their conference standings, since only the top 8 teams qualify for the RMAC tournament. If volleyball maintains their 8th place standing, they will most likely play nationally ranked 12th place Regis University the first round of RMACs.