Mountaineer VB take on host Skyhawks

Western Colorado at Fort Lewis College

6 p.m., Tue, September 13 | Whalen Gymnasium | Durango, Colorado.
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DURANGO, Col. Western Colorado volleyball enters week two of Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference competition with Tuesday night’s away game at Fort Lewis College.

Western is coming off a 1-1 home weekend in which it won its RMAC opener on Friday against the South Dakota School of Mines in a thrilling five-setter match, 3-2.

The Mountaineers and Fort Lewis have played once in the 2021 season, with Western taking a 3-1 decision against the visiting Skyhawks.

Defensive net play has been a strong point this season for the Mountaineers. They are sixth in the league in blocking at 1.84 blocks per set. Randi Wellhoefer leads the way for Western, recording two solo blocks (BS) and 25 block assists (BA) for 14.5 total blocks (TB) and a 0.87/set average that ranks 11th in the league.

Jaeda Davis-Golliher (5 BS/14 BA) with 12.0 total blocks trails only Wellhoefer in the West stats, while Savanna Meyer (3/11, 8.5 TB) is next, followed by Caroline Parker (2/12, 8.0TB).

Clean up behind the blocks are Elizabeth Rupprecht and Emily Mangone. Rupprecht – who had a record 15 digs in the five-set win over SD Mines – leads with 87 digs, with Mangone adding another 70 to the team’s total.

The clean play in attack is led by Mangone and Davis-Golliher. Mangone leads with 68 kills and Davis-Golliher is next with 63.

Setting up the offense, and with almost identical results, are Hailee Martinez (138 assists) and Lexi Wilmoth (135).

Adding points behind the service line is Mangone, who sits sixth in the RMAC with a service ace mark of 0.47 per set in 14-9 games.

The Skyhawks are 3-5 overall and, like the Mountaineers, are 1-1 in the league. In its final game, Fort Lewis surrendered a 3-1 home decision to 4th Metropolitan State University in Denver.

Fort Lewis is difficult to face from service. As a team, they lost 60 service aces, led by Ella Butler’s 13 and Alexis Hobie’s 11.

Hobie ranks 12th in RMAC on offense with 85 kills, certainly with the majority of those set up by Natalia Lambos who ranks 10th in RMAC with 239 assists – out of a team total of 302 assists. .

Defensively, the Skyhawks have four players with at least 55 digs. Lauren Shea is the leader by a narrow margin with 60 on the year.

The tandem of Butler and Rylee Johnson set up the block for the Skyhawks. Butler has 18 assist blocks to lead the team and added to his 3 solo blocks also leads with 12.0 blocks overall. Johnson’s 6 solo blocks top the Skyhawks, and his 11 BAs total 11.5 blocks overall.

After the game at Fort Lewis, Western Colorado returns to play an RMAC home game on Saturday against Regis University.


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