Grizzlies snap slide with thrilling 5-set win
Davis heroics lead ASC past displaced Cowgirls
SANTA FE, N.M.— Sophomore outside hitter Dominique Davis (Denver, Colo.) recorded 15 kills, 12 digs and the match-winning service ace, one of three she had on the night, as the Adams State College Grizzlies withstood a pair of fifth-set match points to claim a 5-set, 25-20, 20-25, 25-13, 23-25, 17-15 thriller over New Mexico Highlands University in Friday night Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference action here at Santa Fe High School.
The Grizzlies, who trailed 14-13 and 15-14 in the decisive fifth set and on the verge of dropping their fourth straight match, got kills from Davis on both Cowgirl match points and then scored two points of their own on Davis’ serve thanks to a block from freshman Megan Tapia (Pueblo, Colo.) and the match-winning service ace from Davis that went down the right line and off the Cowgirls’ Darian Mullen.
That point, which came at the end of an incredible fifth-set battle that included 13 ties and seven lead changes, allowed the Grizzlies to improve to 4-8 overall while picking up their first RMAC win in four tries. The Cowgirls, playing the “home” match away from the Wilson Complex in Las Vegas, N.M. because of the installation of new lights, fell to 4-10 overall and to 0-5 in RMAC play with their fifth straight setback.
Davis, who has now led the Grizzlies in kills in each of the last eight matches, tallied her second double-double of the season while Tapia also chipped in a dozen kills for the victors who have just one more away match during the month of September, that coming Saturday at RMAC West Division leading Western New Mexico (5-4, 3-1 RMAC). First serve in Silver City is slated for 7 p.m.
The Grizzlies, who have yet to play at home, then play nine of their final 13 regular season matches in Plachy Hall starting Oct. 1 against arch-rival Western State.
The Grizzlies got off to a quick start and took a 7-2 first set lead while never looking back. However, the Cowgirls answered back in the second as they out-hit the Grizzlies .241 to .080 in the frame as they evened the match heading into the intermission.
However, the Cowgirl momentum would not last long as the Grizzlies dominated the third set as the Cowgirls committed 12 hitting errors handing the Grizzlies a 2-1 lead.
The fourth set was much closer as neither team would gain more than a 3-point lead. With the frame tied at 21, 22 and again at 23 thanks to a Davis kill, the Cowgirls then seized the frame as a Grizzly service error and hitting error sent the match to the fifth set.
That set was nip-and-tuck as neither team would gain more than a 2-point edge. The Grizzlies had one of those at 10-8 before three straight Cowgirl points gave NMHU an 11-10 lead.
However, Grizzly redshirt freshman Deprece Washington (Johnstown, Colo.) answered with a kill to tie the set at 11.
The Cowgirls would go back up 12-11 on a Colleen Chauncey kill before senior setter Mary McNeil (Phoenix, Ariz.) and Davis gave the Grizzlies a 13-12 lead. Jasmine Harge and Ashley Nugent then put down kills for the Cowgirls to set up their first match point, which would be for not as Davis took over the match with her heroics.
McNeil finished the night with 39 assists and three service aces while junior libero AJ Palmer (Colorado Springs, Colo.) tallied 12 digs to share team-high honors with Davis.
The Cowgirls had three players with 10 or more kills as Harge and Nugent tallied 11 each. Sarah Dirmeyer, a former Grizzly who transferred to New Mexico Highlands in order to play with her sister, added 10 against her former mates. Nugent also had 13 digs to lead all players.
The Grizzlies have now won nine straight matches against the Cowgirls and will play them again at home on Oct. 23.