Stockebrand, Meyer lead Grizzlies to Senior Night win
by Chris Day
ALAMOSA, Colo.— Senior Tiffany Stockebrand (Alamosa, Colo.) and true freshman Gina Meyer (Blanding, Utah) combined for 42 kills while each hit over .300 to lead the Adams State College volleyball team to a convincing 4-game Senior Night victory over visiting New Mexico Highlands University on Friday night in Plachy Hall. Stockebrand, the team’s lone senior, was honored before the match and then went out to record a season-high 24 kills in the 30-22, 30-25, 28-30, 30-25 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference win that snapped ASC’s 9-match losing streak. Meyer put down another 18 kills, a career-high, for the now 5-22 (4-14 RMAC) Grizzlies.
NMHU, led by 21 Audra Williams kills, dropped to 8-21 overall and to 3-15 in league action.
The win snapped ASC’s longest losing streak in more than a decade (1995) and allowed the Grizzlies to sweep the season series with the Cowgirls for the first time since winning the RMAC West Division Title in 2003. The Grizzlies had taken a 5-game win over NMHU on Sept. 16 in Las Vegas, N.M.
Stockebrand, who matched her career-high set in last year’s home match with the Cowgirls, hit .302 on the 53 swings uring the night. The 6-foot outside hitter also added four blocks. Meyer, a 5-foot-10 middle blocker, hit .308 on 39 swings. She, redshirt freshman Darcy Jennings (Lakin, Kan.) and junior setter Ashly Heikes (Hartington, Neb.) had five blocks apiece leading the Grizzlies to a slight 14-13 advantage at the net. Heikes also had 54 assists and a match-high four service aces guiding the Grizzlies to a big 10-4 advantage behind the service line.
The Grizzlies got out to big leads in the first two games and used those early advantages to the fullest. They fell behind the Cowgirls by as many as eight points in Game 3 but nearly rallied to complete the sweep. However, Leanne Parshall, who added 11 kills for NMHU, put one down to stop the Grizzly rally that came within 29-28 on a Stockebrand smash.
However, the Grizzlies were determined not to go to a fifth set and used a 9-3 run in the fourth game to go up 18-10 en-route to the match-clinching set that was ended with a Stockebrand solo block.
"In the first two games we were really went out and played our game. The fast start just got us fired up and on a roll. When we play aggressively, we play pretty well,” said sophomore Jessie Pickens (Cortez, Colo.), who was just one kill shy of a first career double-double (9 kills, 10 digs).
"Tiffany (Stockebrand) played really well, it's going to be different without her here next year. She hit the ball well and really played great tonight,” Pickens said of her captain.
Stockebrand had 10 kills in the first two games before heating up to put down seven in Game 3 alone. Meyer was especially hot in Game 2, when she put down eight kills. The Grizzly offense, under Heikes’ control, hit a potent .405 in that set finishing the night with a .247 attack percentage, the team’s best in more than two months.
"We just came ready to play and weren't afraid to attack the ball. We played together and when we do that we win,” Meyer said of the effort.
"It felt good," Meyer said of her hitting. "I didn't think through my swing, I just swung and it helped." Meyer entered the night ranked sixth in the entire RMAC with a team-best .266 hitting percentage.
"I didn't feel any different before the game,” Stockebrand said. “I just knew I had two chances to get a win this weekend and I wasn't going to waste any opportunities. I told myself and the team that we weren't going to lose this game."
She and the Grizzlies now prepare for their season finale, a 2 p.m. Saturday match with Western New Mexico, which posted a 3-game sweep at Colorado State-Pueblo on Friday night. The Mustangs (24-5, 15-3 RMAC) are winners of 12 of their last 13 and clinched the RMAC West Division title with Friday’s win. They can clinch the right to host next week’s RMAC Tournament with a win over the Grizzlies.