Grizzlies sweep #28 ACU, Garcia earns All-Tourney honor after eclipsing 2,500 mark
CANYON, Texas— A 3-game sweep of 28th-ranked Abilene Christian University (Texas) and senior setter Monica Garcia's 2,500th career assist were the highlights of Saturday's Adams State College volleyball action at the West Texas A&M University First General Service Lady Buff Classic, played in "The Box", the common name of WTAMU's fieldhouse. The Grizzlies, who had split matches on Friday, did the same on day two of the tournament, upending of the Wildcats in just 70 minutes by 30-25, 30-27, 30-27 game scores. Garcia, a 5-foot-7 Albuquerque, N.M. native had 35 assists in that match and then recorded another 32 in a 30-14, 30-28, 30-25 loss to Western New Mexico University, ASC's final match of the tournament.
Averaging 10.25 assists per game throughout ASC's 2-2 wekend, Garcia now has 2,530 in her career and was the Grizzlies' llone selection on the 7-player All-Tournament team that was announced after WTAMU's 4-game victory over the University of Incarate Word (Texas), a team the Grizzlies had swept in three games on Friday evening.
Junior outside hitter Sheena Brundage, freshman right side hitter Brittany Muchmore and junior outside hitter Emily Bussey led the Grizzly attack in the win over ACU, which was the third highest place team amongst those receiving votes in the American Volleyball Coaches Associaton' Preseason Top 25 poll. Brundage had a match-high 17 kills and 10 digs to record her 13th career double-double all while hitting a solid .406. Muchmore added 12 kills and a .348 attack percentage while Bussey had nine kills and five digs. She was also one of three Grizzly players with two blocks as well. Garcia also played her best match of the tournament recording eight digs and three kills on as many attempts.
Lone Star Conference South Division Preseason Player of the Year Michelle Bernhardt had 14 kills and nine digs to lead ACU, which fell to 1-2 with the loss. Bernhardt did help her squad to a 3-game sweep of ASC's Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference rival Metro State College, ranked 15th in the AVCA Preseason Poll, later in the night and earned a spot on the All-Tournament team as well.
Hitting .298 as a team on the night, the Grizzlies banged out 17 kills and a .364 attack percentage in game one erasing an early 7-3 deficit with a 12-3 run behind six Brundage kills and five Garcia assists. The Grizzlies also had an early second game deficit but used a 6-0 rally to take a 26-22 lead before hanging on for the second set. The Grizzlies were down 27-26 in the the third game before Muchmore put down a kill to tie the match before serving out the win as junior middle blocker Megan Jennings finished the Wildcats off with one of her five kills.
Jennings, a Hutchinson Community College transfer, had a team and career-high 10 kills in the WNMU match, played on Saturday afternoon, but was simly not enough for the Grizzlies to overcome 27 attacking errors and seven service miscues. Hitting a negative .022 in the first game, the Grizzlies rebounded to hit a solid .224 in set number two, which was tied at 25 and 27 before the Mustangs, now 3-1, claimed three of the four final points, two thanks to ASC mistakes.
The third game was tied at 17 before a 4-0 ran gave the Mustangs some breathing room. Fighting back to within one, ASC watched WNMU extend the lead once again with a 6-1 run, paced by two Kristy Herrington/Abby Vandrely blocks and some tough serving from Melanie Tang. Suzanne Bruchhauser, then finished off a 5-point win with one of her 11 kills.
Brundage had a match-high 19 digs while Carly Simpson added 12 for the Grizzlies. Elizabeth Narkon, an All-Tournament pick had 13 kills to lead WNMU.
Metro's Stefanie Allison also joined three WTAMU Lady Buffs on the All-Tournament Team. The hosts' Cynthia Carter was named as the MVP after recording 37 kills, 14 blocks and a .427 hitting percentage. WTAMU, ranked 26th in the Presason Poll, was the only team to finish 4-0. ASC, ACU and Metro all finished 2-2 while WNMU and New Mexico Highlands University finished 3-1 and 1-3, respectively. Incarnate Word was the only team to go winless in it's four matches.
The Grizzlies are now preparing for next weekend's Western State College Comfort Inn Classic in Gunnison. Once again, ASC will play two matches on Friday and another on Saturday, although their second match on Friday against the College of Eastern Utah will serve as an exhibition because CEU is a junior college and thus considered on a team's records or in their statistics, according to NCAA rules.
Saturday's First General Services Lady Buff Classic Results
Match 8 - Adams State def. #28 Abilene Christian, 3-0
Match 9 - Western New Mexico def. New Mexico Highlands, 3-0
Match 10 - Metro State def. Incarnate Word, 3-1
Match 11 - Western New Mexico def. Adams State, 3-0
Match 12 - #26 West Texas A&M def. New Mexico Highlands, 3-2
Match 13 - #28 Abilene Christian def. #15 Metro State, 3-0
Match 14 - #26 West Texas A&M def. Incarnate Word, 3-1
Friday's First General Services Lady Buff Classic Results
Match 1 - Western New Mexico def. #28 Abilene Christian, 3-2
Match 2 - New Mexico Highlands def. Incarnate Word, 3-1
Match 3 - #26 West Texas A&M def. Adams State, 3-0
Match 4 - #15 Metro State def. Western New Mexico, 3-2
Match 5 - #28 Abilene Christian def. New Mexico Highlands, 3-0
Match 6 - Adams State def. Incarnate Word, 3-0
Match 7 - #26 West Texas A&M def. #15 Metro State, 3-0
Final Team Standings
#26 West Texas A&M 4-0
Western New Mexico 3-1
Adams State 2-2
#15 Metro State 2-2
#28 Abilene Christian 2-2
New Mexico Highlands 1-3
Incarnate Word 0-4
Cynthia Carter, West Texas A&M- MVP
Stefanie Allison, Metro State
Michelle Bernhardt, Abilene Christian
Monica Garcia, Adams State
Erin Houlihan, West Texas A&M
Elizabeth Narkon, Western New Mexico
Jessica Scherr, West Texas A&M