Roadrunners stop Grizzlies
by Chris Day
ALAMOSA, Colo.— Outside hitters Kelsey Ellis and Julie Green-McFarland combined for 32 kills as the Metro State College Roadrunners held the Adams State College Grizzlies at bay en-route to a 30-28, 30-27, 30-22 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference win, Thursday night at Plachy Hall. Ellis had a match-high 15 kills and 11 digs to record the match’s only double-double while Green-McFarland chipped in another 13 for the Roadrunners who snapped a 2-match slide while improving to 8-10 and 6-3 in RMAC play.
The Grizzlies, led by nine Kimberly Ingram (Roswell, N.M.) kills and six Darcy Jennings (Lakin, Kan.) blocks, fell to 7-10 (3-6 RMAC) with their third straight setback.
ASC, which was held to a .119 hitting percentage, their third lowest of the season, actually out-hit the Roadrunners in the first and second games but had trouble passing as the Roadrunners converted several overpasses into points.
Ellis and Green-McFarland then combined for 10 of MSC’s 18 third-set kills as the Roadrunners hit .293 to close out the match.
The Roadrunners had a 50-36 advantage in total kills and also received solid efforts from freshman middle blocker Lisa Jones, who put down eight kills and nine blocks, and sophomore setter Stephanie Levi, who doled out 40 assists.
Grizzly sophomore outside hitter Andrea Tuck (Erie, Colo.), who redshirted at MSC for the 2005-06 academic year, was held under 10 kills for the first time in her Grizzly uniform. She finished the night with eight but also had 10 digs. Junior libero Jessie Pickens (Cortez, Colo.) had a team-high 14 to match Roadrunner defensive specialist Amy Watanabe.
Although the third game was a little lopsided, the first and second were anything but.
The first set featured six ties and three lead changes as neither team gained a lead of more than four points. Down by that many at 18-14, the Grizzlies chipped away and tied the game at 25 thanks to back-to-back Roadrunner, which forced a timeout.
The Grizzlies then took a 27-25 lead on another error and Tuck kills before Danielle St.-Pierre won a tussle at the net with ASC freshman Sarah Dirmeyer (Albuquerque, N.M.) to tie the game back at 27.
The teams then exchanged points before an Ellis kill from Levi and a Jones put-back on a Grizzly overpass ended the set.
Looking to tie the match, the Grizzlies jumped out to a 4-0 second-game lead on four straight Roadrunner hitting errors before a 6-0 Roadrunner spurt behind the serving of libero Bri Ostler, put MSC in front 7-6. The game stayed nearly even until a 3-0 run put MSC ahead 23-20 en-route to the victory finished off by a Megan Murray kill.
A 9-0 MSC run in the third game was the final blow as the Grizzlies used both of their timeouts before Brittany Muchmore (Peoria, Ariz.), Jennings and Ingram combined for four straight kills to slice a 24-16 deficit in half to 24-20. However, the Roadrunners scored six of the final eight points to end the match.
The Grizzlies, who have now lost six of seven, will try to bounce back against Colorado Mines on Friday night at 7 p.m. ASC also hosts Colorado Christian at 6 o’clock on Saturday evening before departing for a 4-game roadtrip.