UCCS Volleyball lost back-to-back at home against rivals CSU Pueblo and Regis, falling 1-3 in both games.
The home opener on Sept. 6 against the CSU Pueblo ThunderWolves began close with both teams scoring two points each. UCCS took a 3-point lead, 5-2. The teams went back and forth until they tied 15-15 halfway through the set.
CSU Pueblo broke away with a five-point lead late into the set, 22-17. Kills by senior middle blocker Julia Geiger and redshirt freshman setter Reilly Babcock brought the lead down to three points. But the ThunderWolves ended any chance for a comeback in the set with three more points, taking the first set 25-21.
The second set was similar to the first with both teams trading points to an even 10-10. A couple of errors from CSU Pueblo paired with junior middle blocker Nicole Medlin’s first kill as a Mountain Lion helped the team garner a six-point lead.
The ThunderWolves never recovered as UCCS won by a nine-point margin, 25-16, the team’s largest lead of the game.
CSUP took hold of the early game in the third set, starting with a 9-4 lead. Kills from several Mountain Lions, including redshirt senior outside hitter Hannah Ammerman, helped but never brought the Mountain Lions to a lead.
CSUP ended the set with a 25-19 victory and kept the momentum in the fourth and final set, winning 25-13. UCCS never came close to winning after committing several errors throughout the final set.
Ammerman led UCCS with a match-high 18 kills and Babcock had a match-high 32 assists.
Despite the loss, Ammerman felt the team performed well in the face of adversity after graduate student outside hitter Lauryn Shockley got injured the weekend prior.
“We had just one day to practice with this line-up,” Ammerman said. “So, I’m not disappointed. I think we could have minimized our errors a little bit. But other than that, we have a lot of work to do.”
After a week to practice with the new line-up, UCCS hosted the Regis Raiders on Sept. 10. The first set began close with a 15-15 tie. UCCS broke away thanks to kills by Geiger and a couple of attack errors by the Raiders, staying two points ahead for most of the set.
UCCS was ahead by one point, 24-23 when Regis scored three unanswered points to win the first set in a close bout, 26-24.
The second set began with Regis scoring 10 straight points. UCCS never recovered, and Regis held a lead above nine points for the entire course of the set.
UCCS kept the game within two points for most of the third set until Regis took a late three-point lead, 23-20. The Mountain Lions came back with five unanswered points and won the set, 25-23.
UCCS carried their momentum into set four with a comfortable 10-6 lead, thanks to kills from Geiger, Ammerman and Babcock. The lead was short lived as Regis tied the game on four straight points.
After Regis took the lead 11-10, UCCS only scored six more points and lost the set and game, 25-16.
The loss now places UCCS at a 5-5 record. Despite losing, Babcock finished with over 30 assists for the second straight game. Geiger ended up leading the Mountain Lions with 11 kills, with Medlin and redshirt sophomore outside hitter Raegen Emery following behind with seven kills apiece.
UCCS Volleyball heads to MSU Denver on Friday, Sept. 16, and Colorado Christian on Saturday, Sept. 17. The team’s next home game is the annual White Out Game on Sept. 23 against the Adams State Grizzlies.
Photo caption: #5 Hannah Ammerman attacks against Colorado State Pueblo on Sep. 6. Photo by Lillian Davis.