Grizzlies stun No. 8 Minnesota-Duluth
ASC now 2-0 at UCCS Tournament
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.— Junior outside hitter Andrea Tuck (Erie, Colo.) recorded a season-high 23 kills while junior middle hitter Darcy Jennings (Lakin, Kan.) added 13 more while hitting an impressive .458 to lead the Adams State College volleyball team to a monstrous 5-set win over the previously undefeated and the eighth-ranked University of Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs, Friday afternoon here in the Lions’ Den as part of the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs hosted Marriott Volleyball Invitational.
The victory was ASC’s second over nationally ranked squad in the last eight days and allowed the Grizzlies to improve to 3-3 overall. The Bulldogs, tabbed eighth in both the preseason and first regular season CBS College Sports Network/AVCA Division II Coaches Top 25 Poll, fell to 4-1.
The Grizzlies who swept then No. 19 Minnesota State last Friday in Golden, Colo. nearly did the same to the Bulldogs as they posted 25-23 and 25-18 wins in the first two sets. However, the Bulldogs came fighting back to force a fifth and decisive set with 25-17 and 25-19 victories.
Tuck, a returning first team all-region and All-RMAC selection, then took over in the fifth putting down six kills in that set alone as she and sophomore setter Mary McNeil (Phoenix, Ariz.) connected on each of ASC’s final four points as the Grizzlies broke an 11-11 tie to post arguably the biggest win in coach Lindy Mortensen’s 4-year tenure at the helm of the Grizzly program.
The Grizzlies hit an impressive .364 putting down nine kills in the decisive set allowing them to win a 5-setter for the first time in three matches this season.
ASC, which had not defeated a nationally-ranked foe under Mortensen prior to last week, will get yet another opportunity on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. when the Grizzlies face No. 16 Southwest Minnesota State, now 5-1 on the year after wins over Mesa State and the host Mountain Lions in other Friday action, in their final match of the tournament.
The Grizzlies, who also won sets one and two in Thursday night’s victory over the Mountain Lions, came out firing again as they held a small lead throughout much of the first set that was eventually knotted at 19.
Jennings, Tuck and McNeil then each put down kills while sophomore Amanda Strauss (Espanola, N.M.) served an ace to give the Grizzlies a 23-19 lead that was eventually good enough for a 25-23 win.
The second set was also close and was swinging in favor of UMD, which had a 13-12 lead before three miscues and a Grizzly block mixed in with kills from Jennings and sophomore outside hitter Kimberly Ingram (Roswell, N.M.) allowed the Grizzlies to go on a 7-0 run behind the serving of freshman libero AJ Palmer (Colorado Springs, Colo.), who had an ace in the stretch.
The Grizzlies did not look back in that set closing it out on a Tuck kill.
However, UMD did not give up and erased an early 3-2 third-set deficit with an 8-1 run.
The Bulldogs maintained and gradually stretched that lead in the set. They also got a good start in the fourth set and took a 12-5 lead en-route to the forcing of the fifth.
The fifth was truly a battle and was tied on 10 separate occasions. It also included five lead changes as neither team led by more than a single point before Tuck put the Grizzlies on her back recording three straight kills after the match had been tied at 11.
Wyffels eliminated one of the Grizzlies’ three match points but was not enough to stop Tuck who completed the match.
The Bulldogs were certainly led by Wyffels, who finished with 17 kills and nine blocks as UMD recorded a 14-5 net advantage. Hannah Johnson also contributed significantly with a 12-dig, 11-kill double-double effort.
Setter Katie Gangelhoff finished with 51 assists while McNeil recorded a season-high 46 for ASC.
The Grizzlies also got solid defensive performances from freshman Kelsey Huckle (Gunnison, Colo.), who had a team and career-high 13 digs, as well as Palmer and Strauss, who combined for 23 more.