Grizzlies end season with 3-1 win over arch-rivals
ALAMOSA, Colo.ó An up-and-down season ended on a strong high note as Tiffany Stockebrand (Alamosa, Colo.) recorded a match-high 18 kills and as many digs, a career best, while hitting a solid .317 to lead the Adams State College Grizzlies to a come-from-behind 4-game win over the Western State College Mountaineers on Saturday night in Plachy Hall. The win avenged a 4-game setback to the Mountaineers in their Paul Wright Gymnasium on Sept. 17 and snapped a 4-match slide. The Grizzlies, who had won four straight and six of seven before that slump, finished the year, the first under coach Lindy Mortensen, with a 11-15 overall mark. They also finished 8-11 in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference for the second straight year and were just one spot out of the 8-team RMAC Tournament, also for the second straight year. WSC finished 6-22 overall and 4-15 in the loop, last in the RMAC West Division.
Stockebrand was one of three Grizzlies in double figures for kills. Seniors Emily Bussey (Alamosa, Colo.) and Kallee Bingham (Mesa, Ariz.) chipped in 16 and 11, respectively. Bussey also had nine digs and three blocks while Bingham recorded seven blocks, three of the solo variety. Senior libero Jocelyn Garcia (Albuquerque, N.M.) matched Stockebrand with 18 digs.
The Mountaineers were paced by junior middle blocker Heather Adams, who put down 17 kills and six blocks. Sophomore outside hitter Tynet Calhoun had 10 kills but was held to a .069 hitting effort. Freshman setter Amy Thompson had 40 assists and 13 digs, both team-highs, to record a double-double. Her Grizzly counterpart, Tagen Bierley (Colorado Springs, Colo.) had 44 assists and seven digs.
The Grizzlies had a 20-14 lead in the first game before the Mountaineers eventually tied it at 26. Calhoun and Lindsey Bowlin teamed to block ASCís Megan Jennings (Lakin, Kan.) to force a Grizzly timeout.
The Grizzlies then fell behind 28-26 on another miscue before a Amy Thompson service error, one of 13 Mountaineer miscues behind the line, closed the deficit. A Jen Riechert kill then gave the Mountaineers a pair of game points at 29-27 before yet another Mountaineer serving error erased one of those. Erin Hutt then put down her only kill of the set to end it. Hutt and Reichert were playing in their final career matches as the two lone Mountaineer seniors.
The second game was also close and was tied on eight occasions, including at 14, before a 6-1 run keyed by two Bussey kills and a pair of Bingham smashes gave the Grizzlies a 21-16 lead.
They held that lead and earned five game points on a Bierley kill that gave ASC a 29-24 edge. However, the Mountaineers came roaring back and used back-to-back Adams kills followed by a block and a Bierley ball handling error to tie the game at 29.
However, Calhoun committed a ball handling error of her own before Stockebrand tied the match with her eighth kill of the night.
The wheels then started to come off the Mountaineer bus as WSC committed 13 attacking errors while hitting a negative -.079 in Game 3. The Grizzlies took full advantage as Stockebrand, Bussey and Bingham combined for eight of ASCís 11 Game 3 kills en-route to an easy 14-point win.
The Grizzlies were never tested in that set and jumped out to a 6-1 lead thanks to three Mountaineer attacking errors followed by a Garcia ace, one of six that ASC recorded on the night.
ASC built that lead to 14-6 and then used a 7-2 run to close out the game with relative ease.
Looking to stay alive, the Mountaineers took an early 6-5 lead in Game 4 before a Bussey kill triggered a 6-0 Grizzly spurt that included two Carly Simpson (Kent, Wash.) service aces as ASC went up 11-6.
The Mountaineers never recovered as ASCís outside hitters (Bussey and Stockebrand) combined for 10 kills in the final game that was ended by Stockebrandís 18th kill.
All five of ASCís seniorsó Bingham, Bussey, Garcia, Jennings and Simpsonó were honored before the match during Senior Night festivities. Redshirt junior Melissa Burns (Salina, Kan.), who will graduate in May, was also honored.