Grizzlies dominate early, late in 4-set win at CSU-Pueblo
Tuck's 22, Dirmeyer's career-high 11 pave road to victory
PUEBLO, Colo.— The Adams State College Grizzly volleyball team looked like world-beaters for a set and a half at the beginning and another set and a half in the end. That, combined with a mammoth-sized comeback in third set was enough for the Grizzlies to come out of Colorado State University-Pueblo’s Massari Arena with a 25-13, 24-26, 26-24, 25-13 Tuesday night Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference win.
Junior outside hitter Andrea Tuck (Erie, Colo.) helped to provided the spark as she had three back-to-back kills in the third set as the Grizzlies rallied from 22-15 down to take a 2-1 lead before closing out the Pack in style.
Tuck finished the night with 22 kills while sophomore Sarah Dirmeyer (Albuquerque, N.M.) and redshirt freshman Tamara Fowler (Rio Rancho, N.M.) combined for 20 more. All three hit over .400 as the Grizzlies hit an impressive .312 as a unit while improving to 5-7 overall and to 2-3 in RMAC play with their second triumph in the last five days.
CSU-Pueblo fell to 2-11 and to 0-5 in the conference as converted basketball player Lindsay Black led a balanced attack with 10 kills. Three other ThunderWolves tallied nine kills each.
The Grizzlies jumped all over their hosts in the first set taking a big 17-6 lead before extending that lead to 20-7 before a ThunderWolf timeout. ASC then matched the Pack nearly point-for-point the rest of the way as they ended the first setting hitting .370.
The ThunderWolves, who hit just .029 after being guilty of nine hitting errors in the opening set, also started the second set in a 13-8 deficit before two Taren Frazier kills and back-to-back Grizzly hitting miscues helped them tie the set at 18.
Dirmeyer then put down two of her career-high 11 kills, in successive points as the Grizzlies went up 20-18.
Moments later, Black recorded a block as part of a 4-1 run that preceded an even exchange of points that eventually led to a 23-23 deadlock.
Junior middle hitter Darcy Jennings (Lakin, Kan.) then followed up a Tuck kill with one of seven Grizzly aces to give the Grizzlies a chance at a 2-set cushion. However, Black and Brittney Hanley then each put down kills before the two teamed for a block as the ThunderWolves went into the intermission with all the momentum.
It showed as four Grizzly miscues and two ThunderWolf blocks helped CSU-Pueblo to an early 11-6 lead in the third set.
Things were fairly even but went slightly in favor of the ThunderWolves who jumped out to their 22-15 lead before three Tuck kills, a CSU-Pueblo hitting error and another Tuck kill suddenly brought the Grizzlies within two.
After Alea Wildman stopped the bleeding momentarily, Tuck put down two more smashes around a Pack hitting error as the Grizzlies tied the set at 23.
Sophomore setter Mary McNeil (Phoenix, Ariz.), who finished the night with a match-high 42 assists, then put down a kill to the Grizzlies a 24-23 lead before Hanley, one of the ThunderWolves with nine kills, forced a deuce.
However, Tuck put down the last of her 10 kills in the set before Dirmeyer blocked a Black attack to give the Grizzlies a 2-1 cushion.
Tuck’s momentum continued in the fourth set as she put down two more kills while Kelsey Huckle (Gunnison, Colo.) recorded an ace in a 4-0 Grizzly start. CSU-Pueblo never fully recovered and could not win more than two points in a row before a 7-1 run with ASC leading 18-12 put the match away, fittingly with a Tuck ace.
The win, aided by 19 digs from freshman libero AJ Palmer (Colorado Springs, Colo.) and 14 more from right side hitter Amanda Strauss (Espanola, N.M.), who also added three blocks, was just ASC’s third in Pueblo since 1992.
The Grizzlies also won a 4-setter here last year but that match was played at Pueblo Centennial High School while Massari Arena was undergoing major renovations.
ASC now returns home for three straight matches beginning Saturday against RMAC West Division leading Mesa State, currently 4-0 in the RMAC. The Mavericks will be in Pueblo for a meeting with the ThunderWolves on Friday.
Related Item: Online Photo Store Gallery