Sept. 1, 2014

Brandon Applehans
bappleha@uccs.edu

If being ranked tenth in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference preseason poll isn’t enough motivation for the mountain lions, maybe the fact that they have ten freshman recruits is.

The 2013 mountain lions fell short of the RMAC tournament with a total of seven wins. The next season, and the beginning of this new-look team, began soon after.

“We have a bunch of new kids,”said head coach Chrissy Elder.“They’re just young enough to nottake it easy every practice, and they’ve been rocking it every day.”

With only four returners, the team will be starting two freshmen and they welcome the challenge.

“I don’t feel much pressure,” said freshman Maddie Palmer. “I’m just excited with my opportunity and to help the team out. We have to just keep getting better.”

“It’s exciting because each of us have to work for our position and compete with each other by proving if we should be on the court or not,” said freshman Celeste Henderson.

As for the returners, junior Kim Catlett led the mountain lions last season with 26 starts, averaging two kills per set.

“It’s too early to tell,” said Catlett of the season. “We just feel that each night we can go out and prove people wrong because there are nine other teams ranked in front of us.” These mountain lions, however, feel that success is in the near future.

When shopping for new recruits, Coach Elder kept one critical asset in mind: work ethic.

“Work ethic was the first thing we looked at,” said Elder. “Our first recruit was that kid. She was not going to quit at anything.”

Teams with young talent seem to be guided by their seniors. This team has just one returning senior. Katie Maguire believes each game is important, but feels one game this season carries a bit more weight.

“Metro is the game. We’ve been scrimmaging them over the summer and we have a good chance of beating them this year,” said Maguire.

The women’s volleyball team opens up on the road Sept. 5 against Eastern New Mexico. UCCS will
be hosting the annual UCCS/CSUPueblo Classic Sept. 12 and 13, and the mountain lions first home games are Sept. 12 at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. at the Gallogly Events Center.