Tuck breaks record, but Grizzlies fall to FLC
ASC to be eighth seed in RMAC Tournament
ALAMOSA, Colo.— Junior outside hitter Andrea Tuck (Erie, Colo.) recorded her second 20-kill effort in as many nights and broke the Adams State College NCAA Division II era (1992-Present) record for career kills but was not enough to stop Chelsea Flaming and Jessica Bailey, who combined for 41 kills, in a 4-set Fort Lewis College win over the Grizzlies in the regular season finale for both teams, Saturday night in Plachy Hall.
The Skyhawks, who also received 11 kills from Cora Vorwald and a match-high 54 assists from junior setter Melissa Childs, hit .301 in the match closing out the regular season with 18-9 overall and 13-6 RMAC records. The Grizzlies fell for just the third time in 10 home matches this season dropping to 14-12 overall and to 11-8 in RMAC play heading into next week’s Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Tournament in Kearney, Neb.
ASC will be the eighth seed in that tournament and will face the host University of Nebraska-Kearney Lopers in the opening round on Friday at a time to be announced. Fort Lewis will be the fourth seed after finishing second in the RMAC West Division after their 22-25, 26-24, 25-20, 25-19 come-from-behind victory.
Tuck, who registered 25 kills in a tournament berth-clinching 5-set win over Western State on Friday night, finished the evening with 20 kills moving past Amy Cousin for the top spot on the chart with 933. Cousin, a 2-time First Team All-RMAC selection in 2002 and 2003, tallied 928 in her 2-year stint as a Grizzly.
The Grizzlies also received 12 kills from another outside hitter in Kimberly Ingram (Roswell, N.M.) and nine kills and a team-high four blocks from junior middle hitter Darcy Jennings (Lakin, Kan.) but struggled to get the ball down in the third and fourth sets after the Skyhawks evened the match with the tight second set victory.
Out-hitting the visitors by nearly 100 points (.242-.143) in the opening stanza, the Grizzlies opened a 15-10 lead in the second before 6-1 Skyhawk run, triggered by back-to-back blocks, knotted things up at 16.
The Grizzlies again opened a lead of two points (18-16) but watched FLC go on another 3-0 spurt with a Flaming kill, a Taylor Hillberry solo block and a Katherine Sumrall service ace to take a 20-19 lead.
Tuck and Flaming, who had a match-high 21 on the night, then exchanged kills before a Skyhawk was called for being out of bounds on the serve as the set was suddenly tied at 22.
It would also be tied at 23 before Ingram sailed an attack out of bounds. However, she bounced back and put down a kill to even things up again at 24.
However, the Skyhawks would not be threatened as Vorwald and Iris Frye, who moved to the libero spot, after the intermission finished the set off with kills sending the teams into the break tied at a set a piece.
FLC, which hit an impressive .406 in the second set, continued to play well in the third as a Vorwald kill followed by four straight Ingram attacking errors, one of them forced by a Skyhawk block, reversed a slight 12-10 deficit into a 16-13 lead.
Bailey, who finished the night with 20 kills while hitting .349, then put another down smash coming out of a timeout.
Down 17-13 at that point, the Grizzlies rallied to within one at 19-18 before Flaming and Bailey combined for the next four points to give the Skyhawks control of the set and the match.
Holding the Grizzlies to a .171 hitting percentage in both the third and fourth sets and a .200 clip overall, the Skyhawks wasted little time in closing out the match as they jumped out to a 10-5 fourth set lead before maintaining the cushion throughout the rest of the night.
Vorwald hit .625 on the night and also chipped in a match-high six blocks to lead the Skyhawks to a 10-5 net advantage. Each team had 48 total digs although Grizzly sophomore Amanda Strauss (Espanola, N.M.) was the only player on either team in double-figures. She finished the night with 12.
The Grizzlies, who have clinched a second straight winning season for the first time since posting four straight winning campaigns from 1990-93 are heading to the RMAC Tournament for the second straight year.
A complete bracket and match schedule for the tournament that runs from Nov. 14-16 will be released soon by RMAC officials.
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