Orediggers block their way to 4-set win over Grizzlies
GOLDEN, Colo.— The Colorado School of Mines Orediggers out-blocked the Adams State College Grizzlies 16-4 and held the visitors to a season-low .063 hitting percentage as they improved to 8-2 overall and to 2-0 in Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference play with a 4-set (25-20, 25-14, 21-25, 25-20) Friday night win here in the Lockridge Arena.
Despite getting a match-high 18 kills from sophomore Dominique Davis (Denver, Colo.), the Grizzlies were unable to generate much offense except in the third set and fell to 3-7 overall and to 0-2 in RMAC play with their second 4-set loss in as many nights.
The Grizzlies, who fell to Colorado Christian on Thursday in Lakewood, conclude the weekend road swing Saturday night at 7 p.m. CDT when they face Nebraska-Kearney (9-2, 2-0 RMAC). The Lopers, who are ranked 12th in this week’s American Volleyball Coaches Association Division II Top 25 poll, defeated Colorado State-Pueblo in three sets earlier Friday and have won four straight matches, all in sweeping fashion.
The Orediggers, who received eight blocks from Holly Hutchison and another six from setter Amanda Massey, forced the Grizzlies into 35 total hitting errors throughout the night. They also recorded seven service aces including two back-to-back efforts from Massey as a major part of a 5-0 Oredigger run that broke open a 17-17 tie in the first set.
That spurt, which eventually proved to be the difference in the opening frame and provided the momentum for the Orediggers’ massive 16-4 extended run in the second set, a frame in which the hosts recorded six rejections including a rare triple block.
Meanwhile, the Orediggers could do little wrong offensively as they hit at a .529 clip in the second set and at a .223 rate all night.
That effort was spoiled slightly in the third set as the Grizzlies used an extended 12-3 run to take an 18-11 lead. The Grizzlies did lead by that same margin later in the set but committed three straight hitting errors which allowed the Orediggers to close to within 22-19.
However, kills by Tamara Fowler (Rio Rancho, N.M.) and Deprece Washington (Johnstown, Colo.) and an Oredigger service error pushed the Grizzlies to the third set win.
The visitors would not be as lucky in the fourth set as a balanced Oredigger attack that hit .323 in the final set overpowered Davis and the rest of the Grizzly squad. The frame was tied at 16 in the later stages but quickly went the Orediggers way as Elizabeth Serra-Hsu served her squad to a 5-0 run and a 21-16 lead that was too much for the Grizzlies to overcome.
Serra-Hsu and Anna Padgett-Shields had 10 kills each to lead the Oredigger offense Hannah Margheim supported the front-line block with a match-high 16 digs.
Washington finished the match with nine kills in support of Davis, who the Grizzlies went to 51 times. Valerie Garcia (Colorado Springs, Colo.) and AJ Palmer (Colorado Springs, Colo.) had nine digs each to lead the Grizzly defense.
Grizzly senior Mary McNeil (Phoenix, Ariz.) also aided the Grizzly squad winning the battle of the setters with a 39-31 assist advantage over Massey.