Grizzlies spike ThunderWolves to claim third straight home win
4-set triumph sets up Friday's first place battle
ALAMOSA, Colo.— Adams State College senior middle Darcy Jennings-Calkins (Lakin, Kan.) put down 10 kills and nine blocks during an impressive .588 hitting effort while freshman outside hitters Dominique Davis (Denver, Colo.) and Callyn Weyenberg (Gilbert, Ariz.) combined for 20 additional kills as the Grizzly volleyball team blocked and served their way to their third straight home win while improving to 4-1 in Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference play with a 25-15, 25-14, 15-25, 25-15, 4-set triumph over visiting Colorado State University-Pueblo, Tuesday night in Plachy Hall.
The Grizzlies, now 7-5 overall, are currently just a half-match behind RMAC West Division leading Mesa State (6-7, 4-0 RMAC), who they host Friday night at 7 o’clock.
The Grizzlies, who saw a 6-match winning streak snapped on Saturday night at Western New Mexico, have still won seven of their last eight matches. The ThunderWolves, who committed 17 unforced and 31 total hitting errors, fell to 4-9 overall and to 2-3 in conference play.
The Grizzlies tallied a season-high 11 service aces in the win and also recorded 14 blocks helping hold the ThunderWolves to a .067 hitting percentage throughout the night.
The Grizzlies hit .165 as a team but were on fire in the first set when they hit .522.
The Grizzlies put down 14 of their 39 kills down in that frame and as 3-0 and 4-0 runs behind the serving of libero AJ Palmer (Colorado Springs, Colo.) helped the Grizzlies gradually build upon a 9-7 lead into the first set victory.
In the second set, the Grizzlies really got their serving and blocking game going as five blocks, four aces and five unforced ThunderWolf hitting errors helped the Grizzlies to an equally dominant second set win.
Sophomore defensive specialist Kelsey Huckle (Gunnison, Colo.) was a major part of the win as she served eight straight points while putting down three service aces as the Grizzlies erased an early 3-2 deficit while going up 10-3.
The ThunderWolves would come back to within 10-7 before another a pair of 5-0 runs later in the set helped the Grizzlies take the commanding 2-0 overall lead.
Looking to close out the best-of-5 match early, the Grizzlies came out sloppy in the third set hitting negative .077 throughout it as a big 6-0 CSU-Pueblo run behind the serving of Melissa Jones helped the visitors go up 12-6.
The Grizzlies would get back within four on a few occasions before another 6-0 run with Jones behind the service line stretched an 18-14 Pack lead up to 24-14 moments before a Megan Koop kill put the set away.
Frustrated by the third set, the Grizzles came out firing in the fourth set building a quick 7-1 and 13-3 leads while finishing off the ThunderWolves with five fourth set aces and as many blocks.
Davis led all players in the match with 11 kills while Weyenberg added nine.
Grizzly junior setter Mary McNeil (Phoenix, Ariz.) tallied 33 assists and six blocks while Tamar Fowler (Rio Rancho, N.M.) and Kelsey Miller (Las Animas, Colo.) each put down five more.
The ThunderWolves were also balanced on the attack as Alea Wildman put down eight kills leading a group of four ThunderWolves with six or more. Koop, included in that bunch, put down five blocks while Brittney Hanley also added five blocks. Hanley also had four kills, a .667 hitting percentage, and nine assists while rotating with Amanda Stark, who had 18 assists, at the setter position.
CSU-Pueblo libero Ashley Michel led all players with 10 digs but also was charged with four reception errors.
Fowler had seven digs to lead the Grizzlies while Palmer and Huckle combined for seven of the team’s service aces.
The ThunderWolves managed just three as a team and were out-blocked 14-8.
The Grizzlies have now won five straight matches against CSU-Pueblo since the start of the 2007 season.
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