Coming off an even 13-13 record season in 2022, the UCCS Mountain Lions volleyball team is hoping to have a successful season for 2023.
Last season’s .500 record was a better result than past years. The team had back-to-back losing records with a 4-10 record in 2020 and 8-17 in 2021. After improving to a 13-13 record in 2022, the Mountain Lions hope to end with a winning record for the 2023 season.
UCCS ended the last volleyball season saying goodbye to Jordyn Kinsey, Hannah Ammerman and Madison McIntosh due to graduation, but the team still has some key players returning and new incoming freshmen. The Mountain Lions will now have freshman outside hitter Sydnee Walker and middle hitter Avery Ahlers.
Outside hitter Lauryn Shockley and middle blocker Julia Geiger will return for the 2023 season at UCCS. Shockley was a consistent player for UCCS in the matches she played in before her injury, leading with the highest kills and points per set played in the 2022 season. Geiger was the third highest scorer in points and averaged 2.35 points per set.
Shockley is coming off a season in which she only played 26 sets. She earned 107 points, 91 kills and 11 service aces by playing those sets. Geiger earned 207 points, 171 kills and 9 service aces.
Sophomore setter Joei Barela and senior middle blocker Nicole Medlin have played a huge role in the wins for UCCS leading in a variety of areas. Barela is a joint leader in assists, service aces and digs while Medlin leads in kills and blocks.
Barela earned 24.5 points and 142 assists and Medlin earned 188 points and 147 kills. Junior right side Tori Perduk was a strong asset to the team in 2022, earning 100 points and 77 kills, as well as redshirt junior outside hitter/right side Raegen Emery, who earned 250.5 points and 231 kills.
Looking back at the 2022 season, UCCS had the most errors in kills and struggled with a below average hitting percentage against opponents, including leading all RMAC teams in service errors. If the team strengthens those areas, the chances of ending with a winning record could dramatically increase.
UCCS opens their season against the Concordia University Irvine Golden Eagle Invitational on Friday, Sep. 1 vs Cal. State East Bay and Azusa Pacific in Irvine, California. They continue the tournament on Saturday, Sep. 2 vs California State, Dominguez Hills and Concordia.
Starting Thursday, Sep. 7, UCCS begins the Mountain Lion Classic, which will last through Saturday, Sep. 9. This is the Mountain Lions’ first home stand that continues through Sep. 15.
Photo courtesy of gomountainlions.com/Isaiah Downing.