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No. 12 Diggers Claim Share Of First RMAC Title With 3-0 Win Over CCU

GOLDEN – The No. 12 Colorado School of Mines volleyball team needed just three sets to dispatch visiting Colorado Christian and secure at least a share of the program's first-ever RMAC Championship with a 3-0 victory over the Cougars on Tuesday evening at Lockridge Arena in Golden.

The Orediggers captured the victory behind set scores of 27-25, 26-24 and 25-23 in one of the more competitive three-match victories of the season. 

Mines (22-5, 16-2 RMAC) also secured the top seed in the upcoming RMAC Tournament with the victory after holding tiebreakers over No. 14 Regis and No. 21 Adams State heading into Friday's final regular season match at UC-Colorado Springs. The Orediggers are now one game up in the RMAC Overall and East Division standings with one match to play. 

The Orediggers also tied the program record for victories in a season with their 22nd on Tuesday, and upped their school-record for conference wins in a season to 16. 

Mines held one lead in the first set at 4-3 but trailed throughout the remainder of the stanza until an attack error by CCU (21-8, 11-7 RMAC) tied things up at 22-22. The squads battled back and forth until they were knotted up again at 25-25, but consecutive kills by Melanie Wannamaker closed out the first set for Mines at 27-25.

The second set featured nine tie scores and five lead changes, and the two squads battled their way out to a 24-24 tie before a service error by CCU and a kill by Holly Hutchison closed out the set for Mines at 26-24.

As close as the first two sets were, the third was even closer with 10 tie scores and seven lead changes. Neither team could build much of a lead and again the squads found themselves knotted up at 23-23 before a kill by Wannamaker coupled with a kill by Anna Padget-Shields closed out the set, the match, and the program's first conference title with a 25-23 victory in set three.

Wannamaker led the team with 16 kills on a .483 attack percentage while adding a team-high three blocks. The junior went over 300 kills in a season for the first time in her career and now stands at 308 for the season while leading the conference with a .383 attack percentage.

All-American Jackie Stabell followed with 14 kills on a .333 attack percentage while adding four digs defensively, and Hutchison rounded out the Orediggers in double-digits for kills with 10. 

Freshman Danielle Johnson-Hazlewood notched 43 assists and 15 digs for her 10th double-double of the season, including her third-straight, while Sarah Pekarek tied with Johnson-Hazlewood for the team lead with 15 digs. 

Mines will look to capture the RMAC Championship in outright fashion on Friday when the squad travels to UCCS for the RMAC regular season finale. 

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