Davis Leads Grizzlies to 3-set Sweet of Visiting Pack

Chris Day
ASC Sports Information

Adams State College sophomore outside hitter Dominique Davis  put down nine kills in the first set alone and finished the night with 19 as the Grizzlies erased four second set points while posting a 3-set (25-22, 29-27, 25-19) Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference sweep over the visiting Colorado State University-Pueblo ThunderWolves in front of a boisterous Blackout Night crowd of more than 500, Saturday night here in Plachy Hall.
The Grizzlies tallied 47 kills as a team and out-hit the Pack .206 to .150 while improving to 5-10 overall and to 2-5 in conference play.
Meanwhile, the ThunderWolves, led by 11 Bernadette Pitre kills, fell to 5-9 overall and to 1-6 in the loop.
The Grizzlies, who have now defeated CSU-Pueblo seven straight times dating back to 2007, trailed early in each of the three sets but were able to mount a successful comeback.
Davis, who leads the RMAC with 245 total kills, was the catalyst in the first set as she took over the match putting down three kills in a 5-rally stretch that saw the Grizzlies come from 13-12 down to take a 16-14 lead.
ASC, which put down 15 kills in the opening set, gradually build a 21-16 lead before the ThunderWolves threatened with a 5-1 run of their own.
However, Grizzly redshirt freshman middle hitter Deprece Washington tallied a kill to stop the bleeding before Davis put down two more, surrounding a Tamia Herholz point for CSU-Pueblo, to close out the set.
The ThunderWolves took an even bigger 7-2 lead to start the second set and led 14-8 later in the frame before a 8-2 run behind the serving of freshman middle Katlin Luscombe and sophomore defensive specialist Vanessa Cushnie allowed the Grizzlies to tie at 16 on a Davis kill.
The ThunderWolves would not give up and built back a 21-18 lead before a Kelsey Miller and Letisha Spencer block, sandwiched between Mary McNeil and Davis kills, tied the set at 21.
That was just the beginning of the dramatics as the teams were tied at 22 and 23 as well before a kill by CSU-Pueblo’s Alea Wildman gave the visitors the first of their set points at 24-23.
However, freshman outside hitter Megan Tapia answered to tie the set at 24.  And after committing a hitting error, the Pueblo South product put down another smash to erase the second set point while knotting the score at 25.
Ashley Wilkinson then answered right back for CSU-Pueblo before another Davis kill erased the third set point while tying the frame once again at 26.
Pitre and Davis then traded kills before two hitting errors by Pitre handed the Grizzlies the second set and total momentum heading into the intermission.
CSU-Pueblo would not go away and took a 5-1 lead in the third set before a service error by Herholz triggered an 8-0 Grizzly run that included four Pack hitting errors, one thanks to a Spencer and Miller block, and a McNeil service ace.
That run was the beginning of the end for the visitors as they fell behind 15-10 before CSU-Pueblo head coach Chris Jonson was given a red card for arguing a call that made the score 16-10.
The ThunderWolves did come out of the ensuing timeout to score three straight points to cut the deficit in half before Davis took back over with back-to-back kills extending the Grizzly lead to five en-route to what was a 6-point final set win.
Davis was the only Grizzly in double figures for kills although Washington tallied eight while Tapia and Spencer finished with seven a piece.  McNeil registered 37 assists, four kills and six digs while Cushnie led the Grizzlies with 11 digs.
Pitre was the only ThunderWolf player in double figures offensively while junior libero Ashley Michel tallied a match-high 14 digs.
The Grizzlies, who played their first two home matches of the season this weekend, will now head back on the road for a brief 2-match swing through western Colorado facing RMAC West Division leading Fort Lewis (11-5, 5-3 RMAC) next Friday evening and Mesa State (9-6, 4-3) on Saturday afternoon.  They will then come home to Plachy Hall for five straight and seven of their final nine regular season matches starting Oct. 14 against Chadron State.

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