Grizzlies take three close sets, match over Dixie State
Miller hits blazing .917
DURANGO, Colo.— Junior Kelsey Miller (Las Animas, Colo.) recorded a career-high 11 kills while hitting a phenomenal .917 as Darcy Jennings-Calkins (Lakin, Kan.) put down 10 kills and five blocks while junior setter Mary McNeil (Phoenix, Ariz.) recorded her second straight double-double (33 assists, 10 digs) as the Adams State College Grizzlies pulled out three close sets to defeat previously unbeaten Dixie State (Utah) in both team’s first match at the Skyhawk Volleyball Classic in Fort Lewis College’s Whalen Gymnasium on Friday morning.
Miller failed to put down a kill on just one of her 12 swings throughout the match recording the best hitting percentage of any Grizzly with 10 or more attempts in available single-match records that date back to 1997.
In the process, the Grizzlies hit .226 as a team while out-blocking the Red Storm 8-2 in the 25-23, 25-22, 25-23 victory, the Grizzlies first in five tries this season.
The Red Storm, led by 12 kills from Katie Luna and another 10 from Brita Noble, who also committed 10 hitting errors, fell to 5-1.
Miller, who had never had more than five kills in a match prior to Friday, connected on all four of her first set attempts as the Grizzlies and Red Storm battled through the opening frame. That set was tied seven different times and featured five different lead changes.
Down 21-16, the Grizzlies went on a 5-0 run triggered by two of Dominque Davis’ (Denver, Colo.) seven kills before back-to-back Red Storm unforced hitting errors and a Callyn Weyenberg (Gilbert, Ariz.) and Miller block tied the set at 21.
Davis and Weyenberg, a late insertion into the lineup for an injured Deprece Washington (Johnstown, Colo.), then recorded another block putting the Grizzlies up 22-21 before a Grizzly service error and Noble kill put the Red Storm back on top 23-22.
However, Luna returned the favor by committing a service error before a Miller kill and one of the Red Storm’s 16 unforced hitting errors on the night gave the Grizzlies the 25-23 win.
The second set was just as tight, especially in the early going, and was tied eight times before a block and a Valerie Garcia (Colorado Springs, Colo.) service ace helped the Grizzlies go on a 3-0 run to build a 20-16 lead.
The Grizzlies maintained a 4 to 5-point lead for the next few moments before Luna and Noble combined for three kills in a 4-0 Red Storm run that brought them within a single point at 23-22.
However, a Luna misfire followed by a Davis kill gave the Grizzlies a 2-set advantage.
In the third and final set, the Grizzlies went on a 7-0 run behind the serving of AJ Palmer (Colorado Springs, Colo.), who led the Grizzlies with 13 digs, to take a 12-5 lead.
The Red Storm did recover battling back to eventually tie the set at 20.
However, Jennings-Calkins answered Noble and Morgan Hill kills as the Grizzlies took a 22-21 lead before a Davis kill put the Grizzlies on top 23-21.
After an exchange of service errors gave the Grizzlies two match points, the Red Storm’s Madisyn Fitzgerald put down a kill to erase one.
Fittingly, Miller then ended the match with a kill off a McNeil assist.