Grizzlies fall at Fort Lewis
by Chris Day
DURANGO, Colo.ó Reigning Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Player of the Year Nicole Schwab recorded 16 kills and six blocks, both team-highs, to lead the Fort Lewis College Skyhawks past sophomore outside hitter Andrea Tuck (Erie, Colo.) and the Adams State College Grizzlies who saw a 3-match winning streak end with a 4-game (30-16, 30-23, 26-30, 30-22) setback on Friday night in the Whalen Activity Center.
Both teams now stand 6-5 overall and 2-1 in RMAC play, a game behind idle Western New Mexico for first place in the West Division.
Schwab hit .444 on 27 attempts throughout the night and helped lead FLC to a 13-6 blocking advantage. Sarah Feehan also chipped in an 11-dig, 17-dig double-double effort to aid the win.
Tuck, the RMAC leader in kills, had 51 attempts throughout the night, hitting at a .235 efficiency. Senior Brittany Muchmore (Peoria, Ariz.) was also in double figures, recording 12 kills. She had missed ASCís first two RMAC matches with a back injury.
ASC freshman setter Mary McNeil (Phoenix, Ariz.), the current RMAC West Division/Baden Player of the Week, turned in another double-double, her sixth of the season, with 42 assists and 14 digs. Junior libero Jessie Pickens (Cortez, Colo.) also had 14 digs but was charged with eight reception errors.
It was at the service line that the Skyhawks really controlled the match. They recorded 12 service aces and committed just nine errors. Meanwhile, the Grizzlies had just three aces while committing 17 service errors.
The Grizzlies were also guilty of 31 attacking errors and hit .110. FLC hit .163 throughout but especially dominated the first two games hitting .333 and .250.
The Grizzlies struggled to put the ball down hitting .079 and .103 as Skyhawk libero Adrianne Dettler recorded an impressive 27 digs while leading the back row.
The Grizzlies jumped out to a 5-2 lead in the first game but allowed a 9-0 run that was started by a service error. Schwab had two of her blocks and a kill in that spurt that put FLC up 11-5.
The Grizzlies clawed to within four at 15-11 but were unable to put three straight serves in as a 13-3 Skyhawk run put the game out of reach.
ASC also had a 11-9 lead in the second game before a 8-2 Skyhawk spurt that featured back-to-back Melissa Childs service aces put FLC up 17-13 forcing ASC Coach Lindy Mortensen to call timeout.
The Grizzlies pulled to within three on a McNeil kill and service ace before a pair of Schwab kills surrounding a Schwab-Feehan block of Tuck put FLC 23-17.
ASC did not get any closer in that game but did come out firing in the third set taking an 8-3 lead thanks in part to back-to-back Muchmore kills spread around a Skyhawk timeout.
The Grizzlies gradually built an 8-point (18-10) lead but gave half of it back with four straight attacking errors that prompted another timeout. The Skyhawks then received an ace from the hands of Anna Meekel to close within three but got no closer than within two as Darcy Jennings (Lakin, Kan.) started a 4-2 game-ending run with one of her seven kills to end the game, closed by a Tuck kill and a bad Skyhawk set.
The fourth game was tight in the early going before an 11-3 run by the home team broke open a 9-8 set. The Skyhawks had three blocks in that portion of the match and never looked back winning for the fourth time in five matches.
The Grizzlies will look to bounce back on Saturday at 7 p.m. when they head north to face Mesa State in another RMAC road match.