Mountain Lions volleyball splits final two matches, ends season on positive note 

Nov 10 vs CSU Pueblo  

The Mountain Lions were defeated 3-1 on Nov. 10 on the road against the CSU-Pueblo Thunderwolves despite efforts during the match to come back.  

Three straight kills by graduate student outside hitter Lauryn Shockley kickstarted the Mountain Lions ahead during the opening set. However, the Thunderwolves managed to climb back early and kept the score between both teams close. A series of rallies tied the set 9-9 before a 6-1 run by CSU Pueblo gave them a 15-10 lead that they refused to relinquish.  

Despite Shockley accumulating a team-lead in kills through the set, the Wolfpack won the first set 25-18, putting the Mountain Lions behind after the opening set.  

However, the Mountain Lions redeemed themselves in the second set despite an early 5-2 deficit. This was due to a number of kills from sophomore setter Joei Barela, senior middle blocker Nicole Medlin and freshman outside hitter Sydnee Walker.  

The Thunderwolves attempted to shut down the Mountain Lions in the latter stages of the set as they narrowed the score to within two points at 19-17. 

Two aces from sophomore defensive specialist Mackenzie Ransom facilitated a 6-1 run by the Mountain Lions, giving them enough space to breathe and regroup. A kill by Shockley ended the second set 25-18, tying the match 1-1.  

The third set was full of suspense as both teams kept overtaking each other with the lead. The Mountain Lions dominated the set, achieving a 22-16 lead. However, a 7-1 run by the Thunderwolves allowed them to climb back and knot the set at 23 apiece.  

A decisive kill and ace ended the set in favor of CSU Pueblo as they nabbed the third set, 27-25.  

This lead in the match inspired the Thunderwolves, as they cruised to a 25-20 victory in the fourth and final set. Throughout the match, Payton Van Veen notched 15 kills for the Thunderwolves whilst Sadie Scoville grabbed 14.  

Despite the defeat, multiple Mountain Lions also managed to showcase in the statistics. Shockley accumulated a team high of 12 kills whilst Walker grabbed 10. Ransom and Barela ended the match sharing two aces each. Barela also owned a commendable 35 out of UCCS’ 43 assists.  

CSU-P’s win allowed them to break the all-time series tie at 31-31. It now stands at 32-31.  

Tara Hittle’s side face one more challenge in the RMAC conference as they end their regular season in Alamosa against Adams State University.  

Nov 11 vs Adams State  

The Mountain Lions’ last match of the season at Plachy Hall in Alamosa was packed with action and full of suspense as they battled resiliently against the Grizzlies through five sets to clinch the victory, 3-2.  

The back-and-forth point scoring of the first set reflected the nature of the match. However, the early exchange of leads was eventually stifled by a 5-1 run from the Mountain Lions. This placed the score at 19-14, giving UCCS some breathing space.  

One block and a pair of kills by senior middle blocker Nicole Medlin allowed UCCS to grab the last three points in the set as it finished in favor of the Mountain Lions, 25-20.  

The second set was just as eventful as neither side was able to run away with more than a three-point lead. However, it was the Grizzlies that took the set as they capitalized on a pair of errors by the Mountain Lions, snatching the set 27-25.  

Again, UCCS fell short of ASU halfway through the third set as they stood at a 14-12 deficit. However, four kills by Walker contributed to the Mountain Lions running away with a 19-16 lead, and a 25-22 win to break the tied sets. 

Holding a 2-1 lead in the match, the Mountain Lions struggled as they entered the fourth set ASU took advantage as they put themselves five points ahead at an 18-13 lead. The Grizzlies maintained this lead for the rest of the set as they snagged a 25-20 lead, tying the match at 2-2.  

The final set was one full of excitement as the battle between both teams continued with the same intensity. This was signified by an 8-8 tie as the set progressed.  

Kills by Medlin, Shockley and redshirt junior outside hitter Raegen Emery contributed to UCCS’ eventual lead.  

A match-winning performance was epitomized by a match-winning kill from Emery as UCCS snatched the set and match 15-13.  

Throughout the game, Medlin led both teams with a staggering total of 25 kills. This deservedly makes her last match of the season her career night as she sets new records for individual highs at UCCS.  

Sophomore setter Joei Barela also set a career high of 59 assists.  

Shockley caps off her six-year athletic career at UCCS by being the Mountain Lion with the most played matches ever at 127.  

The Mountain Lions have now won their last ten matches against ASU.  

This win by the Mountain Lions is their last of the season, as they finish their regular season in the RMAC at 11th place, failing to quality for the RMAC and NCAA tournament.

Photo from