Tuck, Jennings, Palmer lead Grizzlies to 4-set win
ASC reaches 10-win mark for second year in a row
ALAMOSA, Colo.— The stars were out Friday night as Adams State College juniors Andrea Tuck (Erie, Colo.) and Darcy Jennings (Lakin, Kan.), both first team all-region picks in 2007, combined for 38 kills and a .479 attack percentage while freshman libero AJ Palmer (Colorado Springs, Colo.) had a career-high 23 digs to lead the Grizzlies to their 10th victory of the season, in four sets (25-14, 22-25, 25-17, 25-12) over visiting Chadron State College, which had just 39 kills as an entire team, here in Plachy Hall.
Tuck hammered home 24 kills while posting 14 digs a .431 hitting percentage throughout the victory that evened the Grizzlies’ overall record at 10-10. Jennings put down 14 kills on just 22 attempts, good for a .591 hitting percentage as ASC moved to 7-6 in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference.
The Eagles, who fell to 3-19 overall and to 1-11 in the conference with their 19th loss in the last 20 matches, received a strong effort from outside hitter Lindsy Heisler but committed 22 hitting errors while being held to a .128 hitting percentage.
The Grizzlies hit .298 as a team as redshirt freshman setter Megan Hawkins (Elizabeth, Colo.) doled out 42 assists to go along with a team-high four blocks.
Tuck, who posted her seventh double-double of the season, committed just two hitting errors on 51 swings throughout the night and at one point put down kills on nine straight swings in the first and second sets, that she a combined 13 kills in.
After a slow start that allowed the Eagles to build 5-3 and 7-5 leads, the Grizzlies started rolling as a Jennings kills and back-to-back miscues by Elizabeth Most triggered a 6-0 Grizzly run.
The Grizzlies continued the pressure and used Tuck and Sarah Dirmeyer (Albuquerque, N.M.) smashes to start another 5-0 stretch that put the Grizzlies up 20-10.
ASC, which hit .467 in the first set, finished that one off easily but struggled to control the Eagles in the second as the visitors put down 13 kills while hitting an impressive .393 to even the match at the intermission.
The second set was tied at 15 before a Cassie Drinkwalter kill and four straight ASC miscues, two of which were the result of Eagle blocks, put CSC up 20-15.
The Grizzlies came back to within 23-21 on a Kelsey Miller (Las Animas, Colo.) service ace and Jennings kill but could not stop Heisler, who finished the set off with two kills surrounding one of the 11 service errors the Eagles committed on the night.
The Grizzlies took early control of the third set leaping out to a 5-0 lead before the Eagles soared back to tie it up.
However, Tuck put down a kill before teaming with freshman Megan Hiss (Hoehne, Colo.) on a block as the Grizzlies would go on to build a 14-8 lead with a Palmer ace that went off the top of the net, the end of a 6-2 Grizzly run.
Another 5-0 run, that featured three Jennings kills and a block would put the Grizzlies up 20-12 later in the set. The teams then traded points until Kimberly Ingram (Roswell, N.M.), who finished with a solid nine kills, put the set away.
The Grizzlies were on absolute fire in the fourth set as jumped out ton an incredible 20-4 lead thanks in part to three successive Ingram kills.
Slowing down just a bit while Hiesler helped make the final score respectable, the Grizzlies hit .333 as a team in the final set, a mark that would have been even higher if it were not for a pair of hitting errors in a 3-1 Eagle run following the timeout at 20-4.
Led by Palmer and another 12 digs from Amanda Strauss (Espanola, N.M.), the Grizzlies had a 62-51 defensive advantage throughout the match.
Jennifer Luatua, the RMAC’s statistical leader in digs, finished the night with 18 to pace the Eagles.
Now 5-2 at home this season, the Grizzlies will conclude a key 3-match homestand on Tuesday against Colorado State-Pueblo, currently 4-16 overall and 2-10 in the RMAC. The match, which is ASC’s “Blackout Night” promotion, begins at 7 p.m. and can be heard on KSPK-FM (104.1 in Alamosa) and via the internet at www.kspk.com.
The first 50 fans through the door will receive a free black Grizzly volleyball t-shirt. Additional shirts can be purchased for $6.
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