GREELEY – The University of Northern Colorado takes it to five games but falls just short in 2-3 loss to the California Polytechnic Mustangs in a home game at the Bank of Colorado Arena.
Despite the loss, the Bears (6-6) played a competitive game against the Mustangs (6-5) who are rising through the Big West standings. UNC (4th in the Big Sky) could rely on sophomore outside hitter Kailey Jo Ince, who notched an incredible 25 kills on the night.
After a close 25-21 game one loss, the Bears struck back in game two, managing a decisive 25-12 victory. Game three fell to Cal Poly, 25-16, and the Bears narrowly defeated the Mustangs 25-22 in game four. Unfortunately, the girls fell just short in game five, losing 15-10. Cal Poly scored 99 overall points on the Bears, who managed to have an almost identical offensive score of 97 on the night.
UNC led in kills (60), assists (53), and digs (60), but were unable to get past a talented Mustang front line who notched ten blocks on the night, as well as tripling the Bears in assists (2) with six on the night.
Another huge part of the Bears’ flourishing offence is setter Daisy Schultz, a Colorado native, who came up big for her teammates with 47 assists on the night. The Bears had little time to rest as this was the last of three games in the Hollywood Suites Volleyball Classic. They defeated the Oregon State Beavers the night before in an exciting five-game frenzy which ended 3-2 overall. They fell to Colorado State University on September 18th 3-0.
Northern Colorado’s woes came at the hands of outside hitter Maia Dvoracek who led her team in kills with 14 on the night. Serving it up to her was fellow California native Avalon DeNecochea, Cal Poly’s six-foot-two setter with 41 total assists in the game. This marks the beginning of interconference play for the Bears, who have just come off of a 12-game sequence of tournaments and invitationals.
The Bears managed to keep it competitive until the very end, which kept former volleyball player and current Northern Colorado chemistry major, Sarah Mitchell, at the edge of her seat.
“The girls played with so much heart and in a lot of ways they were playing better than the Mustangs. It sucks that we couldn’t pick up a win here, but the girls should be proud of how hardly they fought,” Mitchell says.
The Bears’ now begin their interconference play against Big Sky competitors. They’ll be playing the University of Montana Grizzlies (1-10) on Thursday, September 26th at the Bank of Colorado Arena at 7 p.m. Just two days later they’ll be defending their home territory once more, this time against the Montana State University Bobcats (4-5).