CSU-Pueblo survives 4-game battle with ASC
ALAMOSA, Colo.— Erasing two third game points and a 7-1 fourth game deficit, the Colorado State University-Pueblo Thunderwolves rallied for a key and tight 22-30, 30-21, 34-32, 30-28 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference volleyball victory over the Adams State College Grizzlies on Saturday night in Plachy Hall. The win allowed CSU-P to improve to 9-14 overall and more importantly 9-6 in RMAC action while the Grizzlies suffered just their third home loss of the season falling to 12-10 overall and 7-8 in conference play, respectively.
After splitting the first two games, the Thunderwolves took a 22-18 third game lead before a service error, Grizzly block and back-to-back Monica Garcia service aces tied things at 22. Going up 24-22 on a CSU-P hitting error and Emily Bussey kill, one of 15, the Grizzlies watched CSU-P knot it up at 22. The teams then battled back-and-forth in the epic game that was tied at every point from 24 to 28. The Grizzlies then went up 29-28 when junior outside hitter Ashton Thomas, playing against her hometown team, hammered one of her match-high 19 kills.
Looking to seize control of the match, Garcia sailed a Thunderwolf overpass just a foot long as the Thunderwolves survived their first game point. Earning one of their own on a Thomas hitting error, ASC dodged a bullet when Thomas, a 5-foot-11 Pueblo Centennial High School graduate, answered right back.
Bussey then misfired before answering back with a kill of her own to tie the game at 31 before a Cara Dunsmoor miscue gave ASC a second game point at 32-31. Garcia then sailed a serve just over the end line before two Grizzly hitting errors gave the Thunderwolves the set.
Not going down without a fight, the Grizzlies valiantly fought back to take a 7-1 lead in the fourth game before a 7-1 Thunderwolf spurt, sparked by two of Amy Lacey’s match-high 11 blocks, tied the set at 8.
Going on to take a 19-13 lead thanks to two Grizzly hitting errors, two Darlene Tafoya service aces and two kills, the Thunderwolves allowed ASC to gradually claw to within two at 21-19.
Down 25-21 on a Dunsmoor kill and 28-23 on a hitting miscue, the Grizzlies went on a 5-0 run behind some tough Bussey serving to tie the game at 28. Lacey and Michele Chlopek then put down kills to give CSU-P the victory, a win that salvaged a split in the season series.
Garcia, a 5-foot-7 Albuquerque, N.M. native, finished the night with a season-high 60 assists, just three shy of a career-high and five shy of a school record. She was playing in the final home match of her career and also had eight digs, three blocks and a match-high three service aces.
Bussey recorded her first double-double in two seasons as she had 13 digs while junior middle blocker Megan Jennings put down 12 kills while hitting .321. Monica Garcia’s younger sister Jocelyn had a match-high 19 digs.
Thunderwolf setter Amber Jessen had 55 assists and was one of was one of three CSU-P players with a double-double. Lacey had a team-high 14 kills and a .312 hitting percentage to go along with her blocks while Chlopek put down 11 kills while digging up a team-high 15 Grizzly attacks.
CSU-P dominated the net outblocking 16-9, including a 7-1 advantage in the second game, a set in which the Thunderwolves held ASC to a .041 hitting percentage while playing at a .237 clip of their own.
The Grizzlies now face another key RMAC matchup on Tuesday night at New Mexico Highlands University, a team that entered the night in a tie with the Grizzlies in the RMAC West Division standings. Winning a 4-game match over CU-Colorado Springs on Saturday evening, the Cowgirls are now a match ahead of ASC at 8-7 in league action. The match, that begins at 7 p.m., can be heard live on KSPK-FM (103.5 in Alamosa) and via the internet at www.kspk.com.