Mavericks come back to take over RMAC West lead
ALAMOSA, Colo.ó Down a game before surving three game points in the second game, the Mesa State College Mavericks came back to post a 22-30, 35-33, 30-23, 30-21 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference win over the host Adams State College Grizzlies in an incredibly intense first place battle on Friday night in Plachy Hall. The win, their eighth straight, allowed the Mavericks, 8-4 overall, to take over sole possesion of first place in the RMACís West Division. ASC, now 7-3 and 2-1 in RMAC play, lost in front of a home crowd for the first time since Oct. 25, 2003, a span of 328 days, and saw a 5-match winning streak halted.
The Grizzlies committed nine service errors on the night, five in the crucial second game and wasted three opportunities to go into the intermission ahead two games to none. Down 26-23 in the second game, the Grizzlies rallied to tie the set at 27 thanks to a Megan Jennings kill and block.
Jennings, who had seven kills on the night, then had another to give ASC a 28-27 lead before MSCís Nikki Green and ASCís Sheena Brundage traded shots, as they did all night, giving ASC its first game point. The Mavericks overcame that when first referee Rob Lee overruled the line judge on a Brundage attack, that if called in, would have given ASC a 30-28 win.
Getting their first opportunity after a Grizzly hitting error, the Mavericks watched Jennings, a 6-foot junior middle blocker from Lakin, Kan., put down a kill before Brundage narrowly missed again equaling the set at 30. After another Grizzly miscue, Brundage put down one of her co-team leading 18 kills to tie the game at 31 before MSC freshman right side hitter Drew Choules gave MSC a second game point with one of her 17 kills. Missing on her next swing, Choules and the Mavericks were unable to stop ASCís Ashton Thomas, who smacked one of her career-high 18 kills to give the Grizzlies a third game point at 34-33.
However, the Mavericks responded to tie things once again on a Lauren Powley kill before two ASC mistakes tied the match at a game a piece.
Green, a junior outside hitter from Littleton, then took over for MSC putting down nine of her match-high 25 kills in the third game, a set in which MSC outhit the Grizzlies .246 to .188. Hitting just .061 entering the set, Green made just one miscue in her 17 third-game attacks raising her percentage to .200.
Taking control of the match with a 7-3 run, the Mavericks led 14-9 in the third game forcing a Grizzly timeout. ASC did not respond and trailed 19-11 before calling another timeout. This time, the Grizzlies clawed back into it using a 5-1 run to pull within four at 20-16. However, MSC and Green would not relinquish the lead as the Mavericks pulled away for the 7-point win and a two games to one lead.
Down 16-11 in the fourth game, the Grizzies did not give up and pulled to within 17-16 on three straight Maverick errors. After an exchange of points, Green had back-to-back kills as the Mavericks began to pull away winning 11 of the final 15 points of the 2-hour, 1-minute night.
MSC setter Allison Krug finished the night with 60 assists and was one of four Mavericks to record a double-double thanks to 12 digs. Choules, who had a team-high 18 digs, Green and Stacey Vogel (10 kills, 12 digs) were the others. Grizzly setter Monica Garcia did the same with 52 assists and 17 digs, both season-highs. Junior libero Carly Simpson had a match-high 27 digs while Brundage chipped in 13 to record her fourth double-double of the season and the 16th of her career.
Each team had six blocks, although MSC had a 7-2 service ace advantage, thanks to four from defensive specialist Kehau Regidor.
ASC will attempt to bounce back on Saturday night when they host the Western State College Mountaineers at 7 oíclock. MSC will travel to Las Vegas, N.M. to face New Mexico Highlands on Saturdy evening.