Sparked by a match-high 26 assists from sophomore Lizzy Counts and 10 kills from fellow sophomore Haley Harris, the Colorado College women's volleyball team stunned the No. 1-ranked Division III team in the country, Calvin College, 25-22, 25-16, 25-22, Saturday at the Elmhurst Invitational.
Colorado College, ranked No. 5 in the nation, then completed a perfect 4-0 weekend and improved to 11-0 overall with a 26-24, 25-21, 22-25, 25-15 victory over Aurora University in the team's final match of the tournament.
"After battling for five hours on Friday and very little time to recover, we found a way to beat Calvin," head coach Rick Swan said. "We focused on trying to be as fast as possible and keep them off balance. We really used our depth to win the match."
With the first set tied at 22-all, Calvin's Anna Kemp missed a serve, then sophomore Jordan Mullen put the Tigers up 24-22 with one of her eight kills, and sophomore Anna Gurolnick closed out the set with a service ace.
With the second set tied at nine, the Tigers went on a 12-4 run, including three kills by junior Aria Dudley and a pair from Harris. The third set was similar to the first with the Tigers holding a lead of no more than three points. Calvin cut CC's lead to 23-22, but the Tigers won the final two points to take the match.
Counts and Gurolnick led the Tigers with eight digs apiece, while Harris posted a match-high three aces as the Tigers collected their first-ever victory over a No. 1-ranked team.
In the four-set victory over Aurora, Dudley led the team with 12 kills and a match-high seven block assists, while Counts recorded 48 assists.
Trailing 24-23 in the first set, the Tigers stormed back with kills from Dudley, senior Glenna Yancey and junior Myca Steffey-Bean to win 26-24.
The Tigers never trailed in the second set, winning 25-21, but Aurora battled back to take the third set, 25-22.
CC used a 14-7 run to take a 20-13 lead in the fourth and final set and won the final five points after Aurora cut the lead to 20-15.
Harris led the Tigers with 15 digs, followed by Gurolnick and Counts with 13 apiece.
"We were excited to play some great teams this weekend," Swan said. "We just focused on one match at a time."
The Tigers open SCAC play next weekend in Sherman, Texas, with matches against the University of Dallas and Austin College on Saturday, Sept. 23, and Centenary College on Sunday, Sept, 24.