There was no mistaking the result Thursday night in Colorado Springs. The Fort Lewis College volleyball team proved it is primed to be a winner.
Fort Lewis College beat No. 22 University of Colorado at Colorado Springs in a five-set match 23-25, 25-19, 25-19, 16-25, 15-12 on Thursday night for one of the team’s biggest wins in the last decade.
According to an FLC news release, it was the Skyhawks’ first win against a nationally-ranked opponent since it has competed in NCAA Division II.
“It’s very exciting to represent Fort Lewis on such a scale. I’m still trying to process it, honestly,” FLC first-year head coach Giedre Tarnauskaite said in a news release. “It’s exciting to see our hard work and everything we’ve talked about get rewarded. We’ve challenged our team in so many ways this season. To shed some light on Fort Lewis is unbelievable. I told the team at the very beginning of the season that this was going to be a record-setting year. I think we’re living it, setting new career highs, and now having this added to it is fantastic.”
Avynn La Rose had a career-high 14 kills to go with three blocks for FLC (3-3, 3-3 RMAC). Rylee Johnson added 12 kills, two aces, two blocks and eight digs, while Alexa Treguboff had seven kills and 11 digs.
La Rose finished with the match-winning kill.
“I’m so proud of Avynn. She was unstoppable,” Tarnauskaite said. “(UCCS) managed to get a block on her later on in the match, but for most of the night she was unstoppable.”
Madi Nash came through with six kills and 13 digs, while Kamryn Lopez finished with a team-best 17 digs. Makena Ahuna also had three of FLC’s eight aces in the match to go with a team-high 41 assists.
Lauryn Shockley had a match-high 18 kills for UCCS (2-3, 2-2 RMAC). She also had 15 digs, while Jordyn Kinsey led UCCS with 22 digs. Emily Ettel finished with 47 assists. Grace Ferguson added 12 kills and three blocks for the Mountain Lions.
FLC played hard in a 3-1 loss to previously 19th-ranked Colorado School of Mines earlier in the season but got over the hump of beating a ranked opponent on Thursday night.
FLC will travel to South Dakota to face South Dakota Mines and Colorado Mesa University on Feb. 20.
“This win will give us a boost of energy and it’s what we needed as we continue to prepare for pods,” Tarnauskaite said. “It’ll be a long trip for us, but I think the team is just ready to go to work and carry that mentality of winning and being a threat.”