It wasn’t a great way to end a season, but it was a close way.
The Fort Lewis College volleyball team lost its final match of the season to Colorado State-Pueblo on Saturday night in five sets – 25-22, 19-25, 23-25, 25-12, 15-13.
“What’s really unfortunate is we were up by eight points in the first set and let it slip through our fingers,” FLC head coach Shelly Aaland said.
The errors made the difference.
Both teams finished with 58 total kills across the five matches, but the ThunderWolves’ .222 attack percentage was good enough for just 24 errors to the Skyhawks’ 35 on a .135 attack percentage.
“That’s going to be the theme of two teams that are trying to get it together,” Aaland said.
“We’re just in a position where we’re afraid to make a mistake, so it’s pretty much guaranteed to happen.”
Ashley Wells and Hannah Starbuck topped the match charts with 15 kills apiece for FLC, followed by 12 from Stephani Sonka.
“We were really close, and that’s been the theme of the whole season,” Aaland said. “To me, it makes it painstakingly clear where we need to go and what changes I need to make (next year).”
Aaland said she’s still looking for a certain type of player to take over the court.
“I need to find players who are confident getting the ball on that last point, who want that ball, who are competitive to the nth degree,” Aaland said.
Pueblo also blocked seven more than FLC with 17 total blocks. Taylor Frederking and Kristin Stephan led the Skyhawks with five blocks each. Wells had three.
The Skyhawks did outpace the Thunderwolves in digs and assists though, finish with ten more digs at 63 and six more assists at 54.
Wells led FLC with 16 digs, followed by Jenna Kinzer’s 14 and Starbuck’s 13, and Ciara Krening tallied 49 of the assists.
“I’ve got a couple of positions where we’re lacking in that. Some of it’s skill, but I think more of it’s a mentality that we need.”
The seniorless Skyhawks finish the season 11-16.
“Overall with the season, I’m happy with the battle they brought to the court,” Aaland said.