Davis-less Grizzlies Fall in Four

Chris Day
ASC Sports Information

Playing without the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference’s leader in total kills, the Adams State College Grizzlies lost “overtime” decisions in both the second and fourth sets as they fell in four sets to streaking Mesa State College, Saturday afternoon here in the Mavericks’ Brownson Arena.
Without the services of sophomore outside hitter Dominique Davis, who was out sick, the Grizzlies started three freshman on the front line and slipped to 5-12 overall and to 2-7 in RMAC play with the 4-set, 18-25, 26-24, 25-17, 28-26 loss to the Antoinette McCormick led Mavericks, who improved to 11-6 overall and to 5-3 in the loop with their sixth straight overall win.
Redshirt freshman middle hitter Deprece Washington and true freshman outside hitters Laura Loosbrock and Megan Tapia did their best to fill in for Davis, as each finished in double figures for kills.  Washington had a match-high 14 while Loosbrock, making her first career start, tallied a career-high 11 to go along with three service aces.  Tapia had 10 kills and nine digs but also was guilty of 12 of the Grizzlies’ 31 total hitting errors.
The Grizzlies also got some strong defensive play as senior middle hitter Kelsey Miller tallied a career-high eight blocks while junior libero AJ Palmer tallied a match-high 25 digs to lead the back row.
Meanwhile, right side hitter Letisha Spencer had six kills, four blocks and eight digs as Grizzly freshman combined for 41 of the team’s 47 kills.
The Mavericks also had their stars as McCormick put down 13 kills while Meagan Bosch finished with 11 to go along with an impressive nine blocks.  Sarah Kemp also finished a kill shy of a double-double with nine kills and 11 digs.
The Grizzlies came out rolling hitting a solid .267 in the first set that saw them use a 10-0 run behind the serving of Loosbrock to erase a 13-11 deficit while pulling ahead 21-13.  Loosbrock, who had appeared in just five of the Grizzlies’ first 16 matches, had all three of her first collegiate service aces in that stretch that was more than enough for the Grizzlies, who claimed the frame on a Miller and Letisha Spencer block, one of 12 the Grizzlies had.
The Grizzlies then jumped out to a 13-7 lead in the second set using an 8-0 run with Tapia at the service line.  The Mavericks committed five straight and six overall hitting errors in that stretch as the Grizzlies got three blocks from Miller.
Still leading 17-12 on a Washington kill later in the set, the Grizzlies then watched the Mavericks come rolling back to tie the set at 20 thanks in large part to two Bosch kills and a couple of her tandem blocks with teammate Courtney Searls.
The Grizzlies would recover and went back ahead 23-21 before a service error and McCormick kill tied the set again at 23.
Loosbrock then tallied a kill to give the Grizzlies a 24-23 lead before a Tapia hitting error and kills by Kemp and Maverick setter Tara King, who had 36 assists, seven digs and seven kills, evened the match heading into the intermission.
The third set was quite competitive in the early going and was tied nine different times including at 15 before the Mavericks outscored the Grizzlies 10-2 down the stretch.
The Grizzlies would not give up and took a 15-9 lead in the fourth set only to see the Mavericks come back to take a 20-18 lead with an 11-3 extended run.   That lead would be short-lived as the Grizzlies battled back again to take a 24-22 advantage on a Palmer ace before a King kill and Grizzly hitting error erased a pair of set points.
Spencer then tallied a kill to give the Grizzlies another set point at 25-24 before a McCormick kill thwarted that opportunity.
Mesa State’s Lindsey Reed and Washington then traded blows to make the score 26-26 before another King kill followed by a Reed & Bosch block finished the Grizzlies off.
The Grizzlies, who have now dropped six of their seven RMAC road matches, are now home for their next five and seven of their last nine.  That stretch starts Thursday at 7 p.m. against Chadron State (2-15, 1-8 RMAC) in a match that can be heard live on KSPK-FM (104.1 in Alamosa) and via the internet at www.kspk.com.

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