The Colorado School of Mines volleyball team won two key RMAC matches this weekend, improving their record to 9-5 (3-2 RMAC).
To start off the weekend the Oredigger ladies were able to beat the 4th-ranked University of Nebraska Kearney Friday night at Lockridge Arena, winning 3-1.
The Orediggers struggled throughout the first game allowing Kearney to take the lead 3-10. The Orediggers had significant problems with their blocking and hitting. They allowed UNK 16 kills with only three errors in 42 attempts, which led to them having a .310 hitting efficiency. In comparison Mines only had 12 kills, but also had eight errors, which led to the Orediggers having a .087 hitting efficiency. The one highlight of the game was the impressive passing of Libero Hannah Marglend. CSM lost 16-25.
In the second game, the lady Orediggers turned it around. They fought hard with UNK for every point and the teams were in close competition until Melanie Wannamaker was able to tool the ball off Kearney’s block to take the lead 13-12. From here they were able to remain in the lead the rest of the game due to their dramatic improvement in hitting, with 18 kills and only three errors in 49 attempts, for a .306 hitting efficiency the Orediggers seemed to be a completely different team. This improvement allowed them to win the game 25-22.
The third game was the real test of which team would prevail. The two teams battled it out keeping the game close until the middle of the game. At 14-15 Anna Padget-Shields put up an impressive block against Kearney’s Liz McGowan stuffing the ball and tying the game. CSM then took the lead which they didn’t relinquish the rest of the game. Mines allowed Kearney only 13 kills and caused them to have eight errors in 47 attempts, giving them a .106 hitting efficiency.
After the third game Kearney was done. CSM annihilated them in the fourth game winning 25-9. Holly Hutchinson served for 11 points taking the Orediggers to an 18-4 lead. Kearney attempted to come back but were shut down, overall Kearney had six kills and eight errors in 39 attempts, giving them a -.051 hitting efficiency. To end the match Hutchinson sent a laser beam kill to Kearney, earning the final point.
This was only the second time in thirty eight attempts that CSM has defeated RMAC rival UNK in volleyball, the first being in 2006. Speaking about the match Head Coach Jamie Skadeland said, “[Our] offense was strong and we were able to take advantage of opportunities they gave us, it was a big confidence booster. [We are now] looking to continue improving, this needs to be the start of the path to regionals again, it will take a lot of work and consistent play though.”
CSM was then able to continue their winning streak through Saturday as they shut out Chadron State at Lockridge Arena, winning 3-0.
The first game proved to be an easy win for CSM, the lady Orediggers came out guns blazing, ready to fight, ready to win, racking the score up to 18-6. After this Chadron State attempted a comeback but CSM was ready and able to shut them down, winning the game 25-17.
The Oredigger’s dominance continued in the second game, when they allowed Chadron State to have six kills and ten errors in 33 attempts, giving them a -.121 hitting efficiency. Sara Pekarek had 4 service aces, helping CSM win 25-9.
CSM was on fire throughout the third match earning 18 kills with only four errors in 32 attempts, giving them a .438 hitting efficiency. Jackie Stabell and Holly Hutchinson earned half of the teams kills with five and four kills respectively. Chadron on the other hand struggled to catch up to CSM, never getting closer than six points. The game was won 25-15.
These two matches were key to CSM’s season, they drastically improved the Orediggers’ RMAC record, and have the potential to be the start of a winning streak taking the team to regionals. The Orediggers will be looking to continue this winning streak against UC-Colorado Springs this Tuesday, Sept. 27 at 7 PM in Lockridge Arena.