The Paw Print
The Grizzly volleyball team is at it again as they headed for Denver to start the East Division of the RMAC against two very solid teams. After a tough loss at home last weekend, the Grizzlies were determined to stay focused and battle every point this weekend because they knew they had to.
This weekend was the 5th week out of the 6 weeks of season that the Grizzlies were on the road again. Playing in their opponent’s gym almost seems more of a “natural habitat” for the Grizzlies, a routine and something that they have gotten used to. The Grizzlies had a tough week of practice and were all prepared to put up a fight against two great teams in the East, Colorado Christian University and Colorado School of Mines. Going into Friday night, Colorado Christian Cougars were on a four game winning streak and the Colorado School of Mines Orediggers is a 15th nationally ranked team. The Grizzlies definitely took it to both teams this weekend.
On Friday night, the Grizzlies stepped out onto the Cougars gym floor in the CCU Event Center. The Grizzlies played an extremely balanced game, hitting an impressive .330 for the night. With such a good hitting percentage of the night, the Grizzlies were able to get a 3 set sweep against the Cougars in a 25-21, 25-23, 25-16 victory.
The victory against CCU was the first for ASU since 2009. This win allowed the Grizzlies to improve to 13-2 overall and 6-1 in the RMAC. The Cougars are now 13-5 overall and 4-4 in the conference. Although the Grizzlies did not have any hitters in double figures, they had four players who hit a .350 or higher on Friday night. Junior Deprece Washington (Johnstown, Colorado) led the Grizzlies with nine kills, .353 hitting percentage, and two blocks. Senior Dominique Davis (Denver, Colorado) also hit a .353 and had eight kills on the night. Setter Gabriella Rifilato (Bayfield, Colorado) had 30 assists, five digs, and 5 kills. Senior libero Valerie Garcia (Colorado Springs, Colorado) recorded 11 digs to finish the night.
Saturday night’s game against Colorado School of Mines was much anticipated by both teams. Both the Grizzlies and the Orediggers are nationally ranked teams and were tied for first place in the overall conference. Last year, the Grizzlies had a comeback and beat the Orediggers in five sets in Plachy Hall, so Saturday night was sure to be a battle of two great teams. It was a hard fought battle between both teams, but unfortunately, the Orediggers came out victorious. The 15th nationally ranked Orediggers used their home court advantage and ended up defeating the 24th ranked Grizzlies in a 25-16, 20-25, 25-19, 20-25, 15-11 five set win.
The Orediggers now have a 14-4 overall record and an 8-1 RMAC record while the Grizzlies have a 13-3 overall and a 6-2 RMAC record. Even though the Grizzlies didn’t come away with a win against the Orediggers they gave it their all and fought until the end. Senior Dominique Davis led the Grizzlies with 16 kills and a .324 hitting clip and also had 9 digs. Freshman Lindsey Stindt (Norwood, Colo.) had a career-high 13 kills.
Junior Deprece Washington also hit double figures, with 10 kills. She also had a season high of 7 blocks. Setter Gabriella Rifilato finished the night with 48 assists and 11 digs. Senior libero Valerie Garcia had a match high of 20 digs. Senior outside hitter Jackie Stabell of the Orediggers led the team with 16 kills. Setter Danielle Johnson-Hazelwood finished with 52 assists and 16 digs.
With two tough losses under their sleeves, the Grizzlies will now have the chance to redeem themselves in three home games this weekend right here in Plachy hall starting on Thursday night against 20th ranked Regis University (12-6, 6-2 RMAC). Friday night the Grizzlies will play the unranked UC-Colorado Springs (11-5, 6-2 RMAC) and Saturday they will finish a tough weekend against the 17th ranked Metro State (10-6, 5-3 RMAC).
All three of the home matches will begin at 7 p.m. starting on Thursday, Oct.11.