#25 Rangers Dominate the Eagles in Straight Sets
Denver, Colo.: (By Cassidee Young) After a tough lost last night, the Rangers came out firing against Chadron State defeating them in straight sets to secure their 20th victory of the season.
Freshman middle blocker Gina Morgan set the offensive tone for the Rangers in the beginning of the first set, allowing them to take an early five point lead, 8-3. Regis (20-7, 11-5) continued to play clean volleyball and sophomore outside hitter, Lauren Flanagan contributed a tough offense from the outside and helped the Rangers keep a substantial lead over the Eagles. Towards the end of the first set, the Rangers had a series of service errors, but ultimately was able to finish off the match with a service ace from sophomore setter, Sage Martinson and won 25-17.
Flanagan and senior middle blocker, Lyz Kann started off the second set strong with with a series of kills. Kann continued to produce for the Rangers and freshman outside hitter Jessica Wojcik mixed up her kills with a couple of roll shots and tips to give the Rangers a more diverse offense. Freshman middle blocker, Cedar Bellows also stepped up for the Rangers and put down a few kills, taking the score to 13-4. The Eagles pushed and closed the gap, bringing the score to 15-10. However, the Rangers resisted their push and did not allowChadron State (5-23, 0-16 RMAC) to score more than two more points. The second set would end with a score of 25-12.
In the start of the third set, sophomore defensive specialist, Jaymee Kau came in and delivered a series of tough serves for the Rangers. With a couple of service aces from Kau, the Rangers started off the set with a 4-0 lead. Martinson also became more present offensively in this set and allowed the Rangers to keep a steady lead over the Eagles. With a couple of Regis attack errors in the middle of the set, the Eagles were able to come within three points. However, with a continued strong offense, the Rangers shut out the match in this final set, 25-18.
Flanagan lad the match with 13 kills, hitting .310. Wojcik added another 12 for the Rangers and Kann put down an additional eight. Senior libero, Cassidee Young had a team-high 15 digs with Martinson contributing nine more. The Rangers' team hitting percentage was an impressive .345 in tonight's match.
The Rangers did not ever trail in the match and there were also no ties.
It marks the first time since 2001 that a Ranger volleyball team has reached the 20-win plateau and they will finish the regular season with two more games. On Tuesday, the Rangers host cross-town rival Metro State, while on Saturday night they take on Colorado Christian.
The Rangers are currently in fourth place in the east division and have the same record as Colorado Mines who is in third but the Rangers lost both matches to the Orediggers so they are in third place. The top four teams in each division will make the RMAC Tournament, which is different than the past.
Regis holds a slim one-match lead over Colorado Christian which the Rangers beat earlier in the season. Regis and CCU will meet on Saturday in the regular season finale for both teams. The top two teams in each division will host quarterfinal matches intradivisionally. The team with the best record following the quarterfinal matches will be host the final four.