After a tough loss to Metro State Friday night, the Colorado School of Mines women’s volleyball team was able to come back with a win over Regis University on Saturday.
Friday, the #22 Lady Orediggers took on #11 Metro State University in what proved to be a heartbreaking loss. The first two games went well, with Mines winning the first 25-18 and the second 25-21. Metro State struggled with their blocks and setting early, allowing Mines to cruise through the first two games. Senior setter Amanda Massey led the way during these wins with two dumps, a service ace, and 27 assists.
After the second game everything changed for the Orediggers. Their passing began to fall apart, as did their blocking and hitting. The atmosphere changed, and by the fifth game there was no coming back. CSM lost the third 19-25, the fourth 25-27, and the fifth 9-15. The loss snapped a 10 game winning streak for Mines dating back to September 17.
Saturday, Mines faced off against #25 Regis University. Having lost the previous night, the Lady Orediggers came out fighting, winning the first game 25-16. Mines took advantage of Regis’ missed serves and capitalized on scoring chances, highlighted by a series of plays where Sam Johnson drilled the ball directly into a blocker’s face twice in a row, earning CSM two critical points.
In the second and third games, it appeared that Mines was heading towards the same fate that befell them previous night against Metro. Mines’ hitting became erratic. In the second and third games they only had .162 and .163 hitting percentages respectively. “We aren’t going to win many games hitting .162 or .163,” said Head Coach Jamie Skadeland. The two poor performances left Mines trailing 2-1 heading into game four.
Game four started off strong for the Orediggers. Melanie Wannamaker solo blocked a huge hit by Regis’ Lyz Kann and Jackie Stabel had five kills in the game as Mines took control early and completely changed the energy of the match. They ended up cruising to a 25-15 win to tie the match at 2-2.
The Lady Orediggers were able to carry the energy from the fourth set into the fifth, and finished the match strong. Mines’ first four points were all earned from kills by Sam Johnson as the Orediggers soared to a 4-2 lead. Holly Hutchison then went on a serving streak, extending a later 7-5 lead to 11-5. CSM won the game 15-10, taking the match and earning a much-needed victory.
Not only was this a critical win for CSM, but it was potentially their last home match of the season and in turn, Massey’s last game in Lockridge Arena as an Oredigger. Upon completion of the match there was a short ceremony honoring Massey’s four years at Mines. “Amanda has been a key part of the team and program. They [the team] her Freshman year was good but not great, now we are nationally ranked. She has been a starter all four years, a huge contributor to the team,” said coach Skadeland.
But Massey doesn’t see this as the end. “If we do what we need to do, hopefully tonight won’t be the last time I play here.” Mines now goes on a four game road trip playing University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, Colorado Christian University, Chadron State College, and the University of Nebraska-Kearney over the next two weeks. Upon the conclusion of those games the Orediggers will head to the district tournament. If Mines performs well enough the rest of this season, they will have the opportunity to host the district tournament and allow Massey to return home one last time.