Balanced Grizzlies knock off Tigers in four
ALAMOSA, Colo.— Four Adams State College Grizzlies were in double figures for kills as the Grizzlies took out the Fort Hays State University Tigers in four games on Saturday night in Plachy Hall. Senior middle blocker Kallee Bingham (Mesa, Ariz.) and junior outside hitter Tiffany Stockebrand (Alamosa, Colo.) each put down 15 kills while sophomore right side hitter Brittany Muchmore (Peoria, Ariz.) and senior outside hitter Emily Bussey (Alamosa, Colo.) added 13 and 10, respectively, in the 30-24, 30-24, 22-30, 30-19 triumph over the Tigers, ranked sixth in this week’s NCAA Division II Southwest Regional Poll.
With the win, the Grizzlies improved to 7-11 overall and to 4-7 in Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference action. FHSU, which advanced to the finals of the Southwest Regional Tournament in 2004, fell to 11-10 overall and 5-5 in the loop.
Bingham also hit a match-high .406 and added four blocks to share the team lead with sophomore Leah Hill (Fort Collins, Colo.). Freshman setter Tagen Bierley (Colorado Springs, Colo.) ran the Grizzly offense and doled out 52 assists while digging up a career-high-matching 15 Tiger attacks to record her fifth double-double of the season.
Defensively, ASC was paced by senior libero Jocelyn Garcia (Albuquerque, N.M.), who recorded 22 digs, just one fewer than FHSU senior libero Kelly Skidmore, a 2004 Third Team All-American and RMAC Defensive Player of the Year.
The Tigers were led by junior outside hitter Kellyn Thaut, who had a match-high 17 kills, and sophomore outside hitter Whitney Miller, who pitched in 14 kills, 16 digs and a .357 attack percentage. Sophomore Maxene Skidmore had 50 assists, but committed eight ball handling errors, while junior right side hitter Katie Noriega put down a match-high seven blocks to lead the Tigers to a 12-8 advantage at the net.
Although the Tigers held an advantage in that category, they also killed themselves with errors. They were guilty of eight blocking errors and another 10 ball handling errors while committing 18 hitting errors.
The Grizzlies took full advantage and out-hit FHSU .206 to .189 including a convincing .245 to .038 advantage in the fourth and final game. The Grizzlies also compiled eight service aces, including three by Hill. FHSU had just two throughout the night.
The Grizzlies held a slim lead through much of the first game and used a 7-2 run, featuring kills by Stockebrand, Bussey and Muchmore, to build a 29-23 edge. FHSU’s Katie Carnes then recorded one of her nine kills before sending her ensuing serve wide giving ASC the first game after the Grizzlies hit at a solid .314 clip.
In the second game, Hill served back-to-back aces at the end of 6-0 run that gave the Grizzlies an 11-4 lead. The Tigers came roaring back to pull within three at 15-13 on a Miller kill and an Amanda Bailey ace.
The Tigers continued to roll and took an 18-17 lead on a Thaut kill before a pair of Bussey kills around a Carly Simpson (Kent, Wash.) service ace put ASC up 20-18. The Tigers would come right back and took a 22-21 lead before a 4-0 Grizzly spurt gave ASC the lead for good. The Grizzlies then wrapped up the set with a Bussey kill and Hill/Bussey block.
FHSU played courageously in the third game and used a 7-1 run to take a 17-11 lead. The Grizzlies did pull within three at 21-18 thanks to a Simpson ace before a 6-1 Tiger spurt put FHSU up 27-19 as they closed out the game with a Miller kill.
Not wanting to let the match go to a fifth set, the Grizzlies came out firing as they took a 5-1 lead on a pair of Stockebrand kills surrounding a pair of FHSU hitting errors. The Grizzlies maintained the lead throughout the set and eventually ended the match as Muchmore matched a season and career-high with her 13th kill.
ASC ,which will be at home for six of the final eight matches of the regular season, will host Colorado Mines on Friday at 7 p.m. They also host Chadron State on Saturday in a match that can be heard on KSPK-FM (103.5 in Alamosa) and via the internet at www.kspk.com.