Grizzlies fall to West Texas A&M in three tight games
To wrap up tournament against Cameron
CANYON, Texas— The Adams State College Grizzlies withstood two match points but squandered three game points of their own in the third game and eventually succumbed to the West Texas A&M University Lady Buffs in straight, yet tight sets, on Saturday afternoon here in “The Box”, the common name for WTAMU’s Fieldhouse.
The 30-28, 30-27, 35-33 setback to the nation’s winningest team since 1989, dropped the Grizzlies to 1-2 in the GrapevineWoods. Lady Buff Classic. WTAMU, which now has a 295-10 home record in the 16-year span, had five players in double figures for kills and improved to 2-1.
ASC was paced by sophomores Brittany Muchmore (Peoria, Ariz.) and Lindsey Clason (Pueblo West, Colo.). Muchmore had a team-high 13 kills while Clason had her finest setting effort of her young career dishing out 40 assists. She also added eight kills and a .583 attack percentage. Senior Kallee Bingham (Mesa, Ariz.) also added nine kills while sophomore Brittany Whiteley (Sierra Vista, Ariz.) chipped in another eight.
The Grizzlies also out hit the Lady Buffs .230 to .215 but could not pull out the games in the late going. ASC never led in the first two sets but tied the first at 27 after trailing by as many as seven (24-17). Knotting the set on back-to-back Leah Hill/Muchmore blocks, the Grizzlies then watched freshman middle Kelly Culley put down one of her 10 kills before junior outside hitter Jessica Scherr ended the game with two more blasts in the final three points.
Scherr, who had a double-double with 11 kills and 12 digs, also ended the second game after ASC dismissed three of five game points with a Whiteley kill and back-to-back West Texas A&M hitting errors.
The Grizzlies took their first lead of the day on the first point of the third game as Bingham put down a kill minutes before giving up a big 10-4 run to fall behind 19-12. After a timeout, ASC pulled within 19-15 and eventually took the lead at 25-24 after an Emily Bussey (Alamosa, Colo.) service ace.
However, Bussey’s next serve sailed out as West Texas A&M tied the set once again at 25. The teams then traded the next four points before senior defensive specialist Carly Simpson (Kent, Wash.) bounced an ace off of Lady Buff libero Brittani Bell, who had a match-high 23 digs, to give ASC a 28-27 edge triggering a Lady Buff coach Tony Graystone to call a timeout.
Rachel Altman, who had a match-high 14 kills for West Texas A&M, then committed one of her four hitting errors to give ASC its first game point. However, Scherr and Altman erased the game points with kills before Whiteley answered with one of her own to give the Grizzlies a 30-29 edge.
Bussey’s attempt to end the game was blocked by junior middle Megan Spivey, who had a match-high six, and Altman, before a hitting error from Simpson in the back row forced ASC coach Lindy Mortensen to call a timeout down 31-30.
Clason responded with a dump-kill before a Spivey kill, one of 10, gave the Lady Buffs their second match-point at 32-31.
Again Clason came up big as she teamed with Hill to block Kolby Rhoades evening the set at 32. However, a Clason serve hit the net before Muchmore kept ASC alive with a kill from the outside.
Culley then gave the Lady Buffs their third game point at 34-33 before a Muchmore cross-court attack sailed wide ending ASC’s hopes of a comeback.
The Grizzlies will attempt to rebound in their final match of the tournament at 4 p.m. (CDT) against Cameron (Okla.) University, which went 0-2 in Friday’s action.