Mountain Lions drop away matches, go winless in RMAC Regional Pod 

Sept. 28 vs #13 Regis 

UCCS Mountain Lions’ volleyball team was defeated Thursday evening by the #13 Regis University Rangers in the first match of the RMAC Regional Pod, 3-0, snapping their three-game winning streak. 

Regis took all three sets as the Mountain Lions failed to find their footing and build enough momentum against the Rangers. This loss disrupts UCCS’ recent display of good form within their previous three RMAC matches. 

The Rangers provided an immediate challenge for the Mountain Lions during the opening set as they accumulated a 14-3 lead. The Rangers’ dominance continued throughout the rest of the set as they totalled sixteen kills and took the set, 25-7, despite UCCS’ best attempts to stifle Regis’ success. Graduate student outside hitter Lauryn Shockley and senior middle blocker Nicole Medlin both contributed significantly to this attempt.  

Two consecutive kills by redshirt junior outside hitter Raegen Emery kicked off the second set for the Mountain Lions as they fought to secure a 2-2 draw in its opening stages.  

However, Regis remained resilient and responded with a 6-0 run. This consistency was maintained throughout the rest of the second set during its defensive and attacking stages. The Rangers managed to block six Mountain Lions attacks at the net en route to a second set win, 25-9. 

The start of the third set favored the Mountain Lions as they managed to grasp onto a 4-2 lead, their largest of the match thus far. However, Regis continued their ascent and accumulated nine consecutive points and an early time-out by head coach Tara Hittle.  

UCCS was not able to recover from their deficit, and their attempts to come back proved unsuccessful as the Rangers cruised to a 25-16 win.  

Regis accumulated 41 kills to UCCS’ 17, a key factor in the Mountain Lions’ loss. The Rangers senior Halle Theis tallied a match-high 11 kills and a 58% hitting percentage.  

Emery led the Mountain Lions with five kills, followed closely by Medlin with four. Sophomore setter Joei Barela grabbed a team-high 15 assists in addition to one kill and one dig.  

Shockley is now tied for eighth all-time in career matches played at 113. 

Sept. 29 vs CSU-Pueblo 

The Mountain Lions ended their bout in the RMAC Regional Pod with a loss to the CSU-Pueblo Thunderwolves in a second straight 3-0 defeat. 

UCCS started the match on the right foot as they began the opening set leading 4-2. Graduate student middle blocker Julia Geieger was responsible for the early success, winning three of the four opening points.  

However, this lead was unstable, and the Thunderwolves overtook the Mountain Lions, 25-18, following some attack errors on UCCS’ side. 

The Thunderwolves then dominated the second set, securing a 17-1 lead over the struggling Mountain Lions. Geiger and Emery’s blocks finally halted CSU-Pueblo’s 14-0 run. However, UCCS’ attempts to salvage something from the second set were only consolations, as the Thunderwolves took the set, 25-7.  

The third and final set quickly and firmly cemented the Thunderwolves’ success as they hunted down UCCS’ small advantage and failed to lose it for the rest of the game. CSU-Pueblo confirmed their victory by winning the final set 25-16.  

CSU-Pueblo’s victory can be largely attributed to Kendall Harrington and Payton Van Veen who led the match by collecting a staggering 13 kills each. Again, the Mountain Lions were out-killed 44-24. 

Geiger put down seven kills and added one ace, one dig and one block assist for the Mountain Lions. 

Senior middle blocker Nicole Medlin and graduate student outside hitter Lauryn Shockley both managed five kills each. An astonishing 21 out of the Mountain Lions’ 22 assists came from sophomore setter Joei Barela.  

Shockley is now knotted with Nikki Kinzer for the 10th most scored points in program history (1,170) and jumped up the leaderboard to seventh place for most matches played (114).  

This win by the Thunderwolves ties the all-time series record between UCCS and CSU-Pueblo at 31-31, with the Thunderwolves adding to their seven-match winning streak.  

UCCS’ record this season is now 5-8, whilst their RMAC conference record remains perfect at 3-0.  

The Mountain Lions will continue RMAC conference play and head home for their next matches on October 6-7. They will face Chadron State College and Colorado Christian University and look to improve their winning record in the conference. 

#11 Raegen Emery, outside hitter/right side, receives the ball against Bemidji State on Sept. 9. Photo by Lillian Davis.