Volleyball wraps up regular season, hopes for NCAA bid

Nov. 26, 2012

Jonathan Toman
[email protected]

The UCCS women’s volleyball team finished the regular season 18-10 with a 10-4 record at home. The Mountain Lions finished the 2012 regular season, falling one team short of national tournament qualification.

“We had a good season,” said Head Coach Keith Barnett. “We had to replace five starters from last year, and we finished tied for fifth in the conference this year.”

“I couldn’t have asked for a better season to finish my career on. The chemistry with the team on and off the court was unlike many teams I’ve ever played on,” said senior middle blocker Nikki Kinzer, who is originally from Colorado Springs.

“Each player was able to bring their own talents to the court, which was really special to watch,” she added.

As with any sport, the UCCS women’s volleyball team saw change and improvement as the season progressed.

“We started the season off with a ton of raw talent, and because we were such a young team, I think other teams kind of looked past our potential,” said Kinzer. “It was awesome to see everyone capitalize on their strengths and shock a few teams.”

For the head coach, having the team gain experience was the most important aspect of their successful season.

“The main change was that we have gained a ton of experience. We have seen the gyms, understood the travel and gotten used to the rigors of college volleyball,” said Barnett.

“I think that was the biggest change and improvement: The younger girls learning about how the college game is different from the high school game,” said Kinzer.

Further, the Gallogly Events Center became a bastion of winning for the team this season. “We were great at home until the last four games and started 10-0 for the first time,” said Barnett.

Kinzer, who led the nation in blocks per set, leaves the program in good hands.

“I keep telling the girls how excited I am to see what they do with this program for the next three-plus years. It’s awesome to think that we had such an awesome season with a young team, so it’ll be super exciting to see what these girls can do when they’re juniors or seniors,” said Kinzer.

“I am confident in their potential and can’t wait to watch them take the UCCS volleyball program to places it’s never been before.”