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Volleyball outright RMAC Champions after win over UCCS

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The No. 12 Colorado School of Mines volleyball team entered the week needing just two wins to claim the outright RMAC title for the first time in school history. With games against Colorado Christian University and UC-Colorado Springs, the Orediggers were looking to make their mark on the record books.

On “Greek Night,” sponsored by Jimmy Johns, the Lady Orediggers welcomed the visiting Colorado Christian University Cougars to Lockridge Arena for the final home game of the year. With a win, Mines would claim at least a share of the RMAC regular season title. The first set was a battle; Mines had an early 4-3 lead before CCU took control and ran off four straight points. The Cougars would extend their lead to five at 17-12, and a few points later they still lead 21-17. With the first set slipping away from them, the Lady Orediggers battled back to tie the set at 25 apiece, and Melanie Wannamaker put the final two points away to complete the comeback and capture the first set 27-25 for the home team.

The second set was also hotly contested, as neither team was able to hold more than a four point lead during the set. The set would go back and forth before CCU evened the score at 24 each. But, after a CCU service error, senior Holly Hutchison earned her fifth kill of the set giving Mines the 26-24 win and a two set to none lead. The third set would prove to be the clincher, but Mines had to come back from a four point deficit with the score 20-16 before finally winning 25-23.

Wannamaker led the Lady Orediggers with 16 kills and three blocks, and both Danielle Johnson-Hazlewood and Sarah Pekarek had 15 digs to lead the team. Overall, Mines had three service aces, 62 kills, 5 blocks, and a .232 kill percentage. he match was far more competitive than the final outcome would suggest, but in the end Mines came out the victor and with the victory, they claimed at least a share of the RMAC title.

With at least a share of the conference title, the Lady Orediggers traveled to Colorado Springs to take on the 18-9 Mountain Lions of UCCS. A win and the Orediggers would claim the outright RMAC title for the first time in school history. This match was also a rematch from earlier in the year when UCCS came to Golden and handed Mines one of only five losses on the year. The Lady Orediggers raced to an early 6-1 lead thanks to a few kills by All-American Jackie Stabell. UCCS was not about to go down without a fight, and they stormed back to lead the set at 10-7. The set stayed close, but Mines was able to pull away in the end for the 25-21 set victory.
The second set was even closer than the first, and UCCS scored five straight points after Mines took the first point to grab the early 5-1 lead. Later in the set, with UCCS leading 16-8, Mines rallied off a few points and eventually tied the set up at 20 points apiece. Stabell captured the final three kills of the second set for the Lady Orediggers to give mines the 25-23 set victory and a 2-0 lead in the match.

The third and final set was a blowout from the start, and Mines quickly saw themselves up 7-0 and then 12-3. UCCS got the score to within six points at 15-9, but never got any closer as the Lady Orediggers cruised to a 25-12 final set victory and the Outright RMAC regular season title.

Wannamaker again led Mines with 14 kills for the match and Stabell recorded 13 kills. Hutchinson led Mines with 5 blocks, Johnson-Hazlewood had 37 assists, and Pekarek tallied 14 digs to lead the Lady Orediggers. As a team, Mines recorded 10 blocks, 63 digs, 3 aces, and a .241 kill percentage. On the season, Stabell leads the team with 349 kills at a .254 kill percentage and Wannamaker is second on the team with 322 kills at .388 percent. Hannah Margheim leads the team with 365 digs, and Johnson-Hazlewood leads with 918 assists on the year.

The win also gives Mines the number one seed in the RMAC conference tournament this coming weekend at Lockridge Arena. With a record of 23-5, the No. 12 Orediggers recorded their most successful season in school history with 23 total wins, and 17 conference victories.



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