Roadrunners rally for 5-game win over host Grizzlies
ALAMOSA, Colo.— A match and career-high 25 kills and an impressive .364 hitting effort from sophomore outside hitter Sheena Brundage was not enough to stop a spirited Metro State College comeback as the Roadrunners won the final three games of an important Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference volleyball match against the host Adams State College Grizzlies on Thursday night in Plachy Hall. The 3-time defending RMAC Champion Roadrunners had five players with 10 or more kills and seized momentum in the middle section of game three before going on to post the 31-33, 20-30, 30-27, 31-29, 15-10 win, their sixth of the season.
Now 6-10 overall and 3-4 in RMAC play, MSC was led by freshman outside hitter Julie Green, who put down 22 kills. ASC, which also received a career-high 20 kills from junior outside hitter Ashton Thomas, fell to 9-5 overall and 4-3 in league action.
Down two games and tied at 15 in the third, Green put down two straight kills triggering a 4-0 Roadrunner run and the beginning of the comeback. Down 28-23, the Grizzlies tried to get back into the set and used a Brundage kill and one of their 14 blocks to pull to within two before another Green kill started a 2-for-1 exchange, good for MSC’s first game win.
Looking even better in the early portions of the fourth, the Roadrunners leapt to an early 10-4 lead before steadily building a 23-16 edge. The Grizzlies then came roaring back as Brundage put away four kills in a 10-2 ASC spurt, that gave ASC a 26-25 lead and hope of ending the match. The teams then traded the next four points before Green tied the set at 28.
Senior Sarah Lively, playing as a setter, then teamed with Renee Hazelwood for a big block of Thomas to give the Roadrunners a game point and a 29-28 lead before a Roadrunner service error by libero Taryn Drescher knotted things at 29. Green then put down another kill before Hazelwood and Stefanie Allison blocked Thomas once again as the Roadrunners sealed up the set.
Going into their first 5-game match of the season, the Grizzlies watched the Roadrunners continue their momentum advantage, using a 3-0 run to build a 5-2 lead in the fifth and deciding set.
Closing to within 5-4 on Megan Jennings and Brundage kills, ASC was within two at 8-6 before Hazelwood’s 10th kill triggered a 3-0 Roadrunner spurt and the ensuing match victory. Leading 14-8, the Grizzlies did stave off two match points with a Roadrunner hitting error and a Monica Garcia service ace, one of a match-high four, before Andra Pederson, a freshman middle blocker finished the match with her 13th kill.
Pederson and Lively, normally a right side hitter who had played in just six of MSC's 15 matches coming in, each had six blocks for the Roadrunners while Sheena McLaughlin recorded 16 kills and a match-high 20 digs. Allison had 14 kills and as many digs while Lively finished the night with 64 assists and 19 digs.
Brundage, who had 12 digs to go along with her 25 kills, also had three blocks while freshman middle blocker Leah Hill finished with a career-high seven blocks, after coming off the bench. Junior libero Carly Simpson had 18 digs while Jennings finished with a quiet nine kills, four blocks and a .364 attack percentage.
Garcia, a 5-foot-7 Albuquerque, N.M. native had 54 assists and 13 digs and is now just 53 assists shy of becoming the third ASC player to reach the 3,000 milestone for her career.
She and the Grizzlies will now try to bounce back on Friday night as they host Colorado Christian University (2-13, 0-6 RMAC) at 7 o’clock. ASC will also host Regis University (6-8, 4-2 RMAC) on Saturday at 7 p.m.