Grizzlies take out Dixie State in four, Tuck named to all-tourney team
by Chris Day
ALAMOSA, Colo.— Sophomore outside hitter Andrea Tuck (Erie, Colo.) recorded a match-high 17 kills while sophomore middle blocker Darcy Jennings (Lakin, Kan.) and freshman setter Mary McNeil each recorded double-doubles as the Adams State College Grizzlies posted a 4-game win over the Dixie State College of Utah Rebels, Saturday morning in Plachy Hall. Tuck then put down another 15 kills that evening against nationally-ranked Rockhurst (Mo.) University and was tabbed to the Best Western Alamosa Inn/Grizzly Inn Volleyball Classic All-Tournament team that was announced following the match, the last of 14 played over three days.
Tuck finished the weekend with a tournament-high 77 kills as she led the Grizzlies to a 2-2 start.
Rockhurst, ranked 22nd in the CSTV/American Volleyball Coaches Association Top 25 Poll, finished the weekend 3-1 as did Western New Mexico, Winona State (Minn.) and Texas-Permian Basin, who had upset Rockhurst in a 5-game thriller earlier Saturday afternoon. Western New Mexico also spoiled Winona State’s perfect weekend by sweeping the Warriors on Saturday afternoon.
Grand Canyon (Ariz.) and Dixie State each finished the weekend 0-4.
In the match against, the Rebels, Tuck hit a strong .311. Jennings, who also recorded and 14 digs, and senior Brittany Muchmore (Peoria, Ariz.) also put down 12 kills a piece as the Grizzlies dropped a tight-first set by a 30-26 margin before storming back to take 30-22, 30-23 and 30-20 decisions.
McNeil finished with 47 assists and a career-high 17 digs while junior libero Jessie Pickens (Cortez, Colo.) dug up 22 Rebel attacks, a season and match-high.
After the tight first game, that featured eight ties, the Grizzlies dominated the rest of the way putting down 50 kills compared to Dixie’s 30 in the final three sets. They also had a 7-1 advantage in service aces throughout the match.
Down an early game, the Grizzlies came out firing in the second game building a 6-2 lead that they would never relinquish. The third set was a little closer in the beginning before an 8-0 Grizzly run, keyed by Tuck’s serving and four Muchmore kills, put ASC up 13-7.
The Grizzlies never trailed during the rest of that game and continued to pour it on as they started the fourth set with an 8-2 lead thanks to a 6-0 run with Tuck behind the service line.
They extended that led to 23-8 before cruising to the victory, the first in two all-time tries against the Rebels, who had posted a 5-game win over ASC last season in Salt Lake City, Utah.
The Grizzlies were unable to do the same in the night-cap against the Hawks as they never led. Playing evenly in the very early going, Rockhurst went on a 10-5 run to open a 16-11 first set lead. Closing that game out with a 6-1 run, the Hawks poured the pressure on taking 10-1 and 12-1 leads in the second and third games, respectively, as they posted the 30-20, 30-23, 30-14 win.
All-Tournament selection Rachel Fowler led the way for RU with 16 kills and five blocks. She hit .560. Savannah Leeper added 11 kills, five blocks and a .500 attack percentage. Using a 2-setter attack, the Hawks hit .336 as a team and recorded 56 digs and 12 blocks.
The Grizzlies hit just .102 while registering 46 digs and six blocks.
ASC continues tournament play this weekend as they travel to Golden for the Days Inn-Denver West Oredigger Classic, hosted by the Colorado School of Mines. The Grizzlies will face Ferris State (Mich.) and first-year program Missouri-Rolla on Friday before taking on Concordia-St. Paul (Minn.) and Merrimack (Mass.) on Saturday. Concordia-St. Paul is ranked sixth in the CSTV/AVCA poll and lays claim the Sports Imports/AVCA Division II National Player of the Week Whitney Meierotto.