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LAKEWOOD, Colorado. Western Colorado broke even with host Colorado Christian University in straight sets Saturday night in Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference volleyball action, but the Cougars added wins in the third and fourth sets for a 3-1 win over the Mountaineers.

THE ESSENTIALS

Final score: CCU def. West, 3-1 (25-18, 23-25, 25-17, 25-15)

Recordings: West 3-20 (2-14 RMAC), CCU 15-10 (10-6)

Location: CCU Event Center, Lakewood, Colorado.

HOW DID IT HAPPEN

  • Every set winner, at one time or another, has used a series of unanswered points to swing the outcome – although the loser of each set has their own run.
  • Western went 8-1 in the second set, a string that included a 5-0 streak, to rally to a 9-6 disadvantage. The Cougars responded to that run with a 9-1 streak to regain the lead, 20-16, only to give way down the stretch to the Mountaineers.
  • A 4-0 run, which was highlighted by a block from Randi Wellhoefer and Carsen Glaser and followed by a service ace by Hailee Martinez, tied the score at 20-20. Western scored five of the last seven points to win the set and tie the match at one set apiece.
  • The third set was tied early on, including seven draws in a period that made it 10-10. A pair of 3-0 pushes by CCU gave him some breathing room and despite Western falling back to less than three, 19-16, the Cougars were able to end the start on a 6-1 run to take a lead of 2-1 on the match scoreboard.
  • The deciding fourth set opened with a 5-0 CCU run that was answered by Western’s own chain 4-0. A 4-0 response from the Cougars that was part of a 7-1 breakaway made things tough for the Mountaineers.
  • Although Caroline Parker would fend off a pair of match points with a pair of wins, CCU put one final point on the board to take the set and clinch the match victory.
  • The opening set that gave CCU the lead saw West come back from a six-point deficit to move closer to two late, 20-18, but the Cougars scored five unanswered to win the opening set. .

BEHIND THE NUMBERS

  • The Cougars’ hitting percentage was key in their loss to the Mountaineers as CCU finished at .396 with just 10 offensive errors on 101 attacks.
  • Western started well, .217 in the first set, improved that to .300 for the second set, but fell to .185 in the third and .043 in the fourth to finish the game at .167 with 24 errors. ‘offensive.
  • Mountaineer’s offense was also partially delayed by CCU’s defensive net play. The Cougars recorded 11.0 blocks overall, compared to 5.0 by the Western defense.
  • Parker, with 10 wins, and Carsen Glaser and Jordyn Todd with 9 each, led the Mountaineers on offense. The trio were unable to match the 19 and 11 wins of the CCU duo of Libby Goodman and Lilly Woods, respectively.
  • Many times throughout the game, it was service points that got Western going. He finished the night with 11 aces, paced by Martinez and compatriot Lexi Wilmoth.

LOOK AHEAD

The Mountaineers will wrap up their 2022 schedule at home on Friday and Saturday during the team’s food drive weekend. Highland University of New Mexico heads to Paul Wright Gym on Nov. 4 for faculty appreciation night, with Adams State University taking on Western on its senior night.

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