Division-leading Mountain Lions spoil home-opener in four
ALAMOSA, Colo.— The Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference West Division leading University of Colorado-Colorado Springs Mountain Lions spoiled Adams State College’s home-opener by rallying from a game down to take a 26-30, 30-19, 31-29, 30-18 victory on Friday night in Plachy Hall. The win allowed the Mountain Lions to set a school record for consecutive conference wins (5) as they improved to 8-5 overall and 5-0 in conference action. ASC fell to 3-9 overall and to 0-5 in the loop.
UCCS had three players with 13 or more kills including junior middle blocker Kelley Angel, who had 16 kills and a solid .400 hitting percentage. Junior right side hitter Jill Wrenn added 13 kills, a match-high blocks and an impressive .414 attack percentage while sophomore outside hitter Andrea Weedman put down 15 kills on 50 attacks while digging up 16 Grizzly attacks.
The Grizzlies received a 16-kill, 11-dig double-double effort from junior outside hitter Tiffany Stockebrand (Alamosa, Colo.) while senior middle Kallee Bingham (Mesa, Ariz.) recorded 14 kills, a team-high five blocks, while hitting a match-best .444.
ASC freshman setter Tagen Bierley (Colorado Springs, Colo.) recorded her third straight double-double with 47 assists and 15 digs— a new career-high— while seniors Carly Simpson (Kent, Wash.) and Jocelyn Garcia (Albuquerque, N.M.) chipped in 20 and 17 digs, respectively. Senior outside hitter Emily Bussey (Alamosa, Colo.) also had a double-double, her third in four matches, with 10 kills and 11 digs.
Game one was nip-and-tuck and featured 10 ties and eight lead changes. Down 19-17 after an Angel and Jocelyn Evans block, the Grizzlies went on a 4-0 run to take a 21-19 lead. They extended that lead to 24-21 on one of Bierley’s three kills and forced a Mountain Lion timeout. The teams then traded points until a Stockebrand and Megan Jennings (Lakin, Kan.) block of Caroline Ottino followed by a Mountain Lion hitting error gave ASC six game points. The Mountain Lions would fend off three of those before Stockebrand gave ASC the early lead with her seventh kill of the game.
Leading by just two (18-16) in game two, the Mountain Lions went on a 7-1 run behind Stephanie Laband’s serving and eventually closed the game out with four kills in a 5-rally stretch before a Grizzly miscue evened the match.
Game three was even more of a battle than the first set and featured 18 ties and seven lead changes. The set was tied at 27 before a Bussey serve went into the net. Wrenn then followed with her eighth kill to give UCCS a pair of game points.
Stockebrand and Jennings then followed with kills to knot the score before a crowd-upsetting double-hit was called on Bierley giving UCCS a 30-29 edge. This time, the Mountain Lions took advantage as Angel and Wrenn teamed to block Stockebrand and to put the game away.
The Grizzlies then went flat for the early part of the fourth game, falling behind 9-2 before making a mini-run to pull within 15-10. However, UCCS went on another 6-0 spurt behind Marie Ottino serves and gradually put the game and the match away.
The Mountain Lions hit a solid .238 on the evening and had a slight 11-8 blocking advantage. The Grizzlies hit. 164 overall after a .268 first game effort. They outhit UCCS by a .318 to .255 count in the third game, which proved to be decisive.
The Grizzlies will attempt to snap their 5-match slide on Saturday a 7 p.m. against Colorado State-Pueblo while the Mountain Lions will travel to Las Vegas, N.M. for a Saturday match at New Mexico Highlands.