Saturday night saw the Mines volleyball team travel down to Colorado Springs to take on a University of Colorado-Colorado Springs Mountain Lions squad intent on upsetting the 19th ranked Lady Orediggers. That dream for UCCS almost turned into a reality, as Mines needed all five sets and a late rally to emerge victorious.
CSM jumped out to a quick 5-1 lead in the first set, but it quickly disappeared into a point-for-point struggle. Knotted up at 15 apiece, the Mountain Lions dominated the set from there on out, ending on a 9-4 run to win 25-19. The second set was played out in almost identical fashion, with the Orediggers keeping close until an 11-5 UCCS run gave the Lions the set 25-17.
Down two sets to none going into the third, it appeared as though the Lady Orediggers’ six-game winning streak was in jeopardy. Deep into the set, Mines found themselves in another tight, late set situation holding a 19-18 lead. However, this time it was the Orediggers that had the late rally, closing the set on a 6-1 run for the 25-19 win. They seemed to carry that momentum into the fourth set, where they charged out to an early 8-0 lead and never trailed the duration of the set, winning it 25-17.
All tied up at two sets apiece, this match came down to the fifth and final set, which turned out to be the closest one of the night. The score was tight virtually all set long, with three different lead changes and neither team ever leading by more than three points. A Mines rally with the score at 12 each gave the Lady Orediggers the 15-12 win in the set, and the 3-2 win overall, extending their current win streak to seven games.
Much of the Orediggers’ offensive success in the match came from outstanding performances by Alanna Winfield, who recorded a career-high 25 kills, as well as Sarah Pekarek and Melanie Wannamaker (14 kills each). Pekarek was key on the defensive side as well, leading the team with 21 digs. Strong defensive performances were also had by Taryn Huber (18 digs), Hannah Margheim (16 digs), and Danielle Johnson-Hazlewood (14 digs).
Mines Volleyball will look to extend their winning streak to eight games next week when they take on Metro State 7PM on Friday, September 27th in Denver.