Fort Lewis picks up first win despite solid Stockebrand effort
DURANGO, Colo.— Despite 20 kills from junior outside hitter Tiffany Stockebrand (Alamosa, Colo.), the Fort Lewis College Skyhawk volleyball team claimed its first win of the season recording a 30-27, 32-30, 30-25 sweep over the visiting Adams State College Grizzlies on Saturday night in the Whalen Gymnasium. The Skyhawks, led by 13 kills from sophomore middle blocker Nicole Schwab, improved to 1-9 overall and 1-1 in Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference play while the Grizzlies dropped to 3-6 overall and 0-2 in conference matches.
Schwab hit .333 on 30 attempts during the night and also recorded six blocks as the Skyhawks swatted 15 Grizzly attacks. Freshman middle Cora Vorwald had a match-high eight blocks while sophomore outside hitter LeeAnne Greenwade and freshman middle Jessica Bailey helped lead the Skyhawk offense with 12 and 10 kills, respectively. Sophomore libero Adrianne Dettler had a match-high 26 digs.
Stockebrand has now recorded 20 or more kills in two of her three career matches. She hit .226 on an otherwise lagging Grizzly attack, which committed 37 attacking errors, including the 15 Skyhawk blocks, while hitting .086.
Defensively, ASC was led by senior libero Jocelyn Garcia (Albuquerque, N.M.), who recorded 22 digs. Senior defensive specialist Carly Simpson added 19 digs and moved into fifth place on ASC’s career chart with 1,136. The Kent, Wash. native passed Cindy O’Connor, who had 1,120 digs during her 1987-90 career.
First-year coach Lindy Mortensen also received solid efforts from senior outside hitter Emily Bussey (Alamosa, Colo.), who recorded her fifth double-double of the season with 11 kills and 12 digs, and senior middle blocker Kallee Bingham (Mesa, Ariz.), who put down a season-high 10 blocks and three blocks.
However, the Grizzlies failed to put away the first and second games before Schwab ended the 93-minute match with her 13th kill.
The Grizzlies used a 7-0 run, highlighted by three Bingham kills, to take a 24-19 lead in the first set. After a timeout, the Skyhawks then went on an 8-1 run of their own to take a 27-25 lead on a Teri Winfrey/Schwab block.
After splitting the next four points, Schwab gave FLC the set after one of Winfrey’s 39 assists. Game two was tied 13 times, including at 29 after Stockebrand erased a game point with one of her six second-game kills.
Schwab and ASC’s Brittany Whiteley (Sierra Vista, Ariz.) then exchanged kills before two Grizzly hitting errors gave FLC a commanding 2-game lead.
The Grizzlies never recovered and fell behind by a 17-8 margin in the third game before coming back to within 17-13 with three Stockebrand smashes in a 4-point stretch. However, the Skyhawks never gave up the lead and gradually wrapped up the game and the match.
ASC freshman setter Tagen Bierley (Colorado Springs, Colo.) dished out a career-high 26 assists after coming in for starting setter Lindsey Clason (Pueblo West, Colo.), who had 22 assists before coming out with FLC leading 12-10 in the second set.
The Grizzlies, who have yet to play in front of a home crowd, will continue to be on the road next weekend and will face Mesa State and Western State on Friday and Saturday, respectively. Both opponents are also 0-2 in RMAC play after dropping road matches at Colorado State-Pueblo and UC-Colorado Springs over the weekend.