Oct. 3, 2011
Riding high on a six-game winning streak, the UCCS women’s volleyball team managed to take down the Chadron State Eagles in a clean sweep on Sept. 23, improving their streak to a season high seven games.
Unfortunately, the streak ended as the team was swept by the nationally-ranked Nebraska-Kearney Lopers Sept. 24 at the Gallogly Events Center.
Having lost to Colorado Mines the night before, which was considered a major upset amongst the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC), Nebraska-Kearney was determined to shake off the bitter loss when they faced UCCS.
The Lopers, who have always been the most dominant team in the RMAC, had never lost back-to-back conference matches before.
Head coach Keith Barnett agreed that it was tough playing such a good team that was coming off such a shocking upset. “Nebraska-Kearney was coming off a tough loss at Mines. They were not very happy about losing to them and made up for it by beating us pretty bad the next night,” stated Barnett.
Although the team did lose to the Lopers, which ended their seven-game winning streak, there were still plenty of positive points of play that came out of the weekend.
UCCS dominated the Chadron State Eagles, winning all three matches (25-11, 25-11, 25-19).
Junior Megan Koop led the team with 10 kills while junior Nikki Kinzer and senior Alex Wood had seven apiece. Senior Cindy Bathelt lead the team with 27 assists and senior Sonja Johnson lead the team in digs with 15.
Barnett was happy with the way the team played and expected them to win. “We got a very solid win over a team that everyone in our conference will probably beat,” stated Barnett. “We played well as a team, too, and everyone contributed,” he said.
The lady Mountain Lions may now face the toughest part of their season, but Barnett believes that they still have work to do if they want to compete with the likes of Nebraska-Kearney.
“We have some big games coming up versus Colorado Christian, Metro-State and Regis,” stated Barnett.
“We need to be more aggressive as a team and find a way to compete versus tough opponents because that is all there is left to face this season. We have a battle on our hands to finish in the top-half of the eastern division of the RMAC, so will see what happens,” he said.
As of right now, the team is tied for fourth place with Colorado Mines and may need to play well the rest of the season if they hope to make their second straight postseason appearance in a row.
“The RMAC recently changed the playoff format for the teams, so we will see if we can make it. We still have plenty of work to do, though,” concluded Barnett.
After travelling to Regis and Metro State on Oct. 7 to Oct. 8, the lady Mountain Lions will return home to the Gallogly Events Center Oct. 13 to take on CSU-Pueblo, which will mark the beginning of the seven-game home stand the ladies will play in 12 days.