Grizzlies open home slate with sweep of No. 2 Angelo State

Photo courtesy of Josh Kutcher

ALAMOSA —Just a few months after finishing the Spring 2021 season with a 2-12 record, the Adams State University Grizzlies made a statement on Tuesday night as they opened their home slate with a three-set sweep over the No. 2 ranked Angelo State University Rambelles. The Grizzlies won with set scores of25-19, 25-23 and 26-24. The win is the first win over a team ranked in the top five for the Grizzlies.

The Grizzlies, who went 1-3 at the 2021 BritKare Lady Buff Classic, won their second game of the season as they were able to string together big rallies early and were able to shut down any surge that the Rambelles attempted to make.

“You hope you can stay with a team like that, I definitely respect that team and their tradition,” said Head Coach Lindy Mortensen after the win. “I really felt like we had a good weekend, we played some good teams and, in my mind, I felt that we could play at that level.”

In the first set, the Grizzlies capitalized on 12 attack errors by the Rambelles and had 11 spectacular kills to get the first set win. Adams State was able to gain the upper hand early in the second set as they allowed Angelo State to get the first point on a kill, but Sierra Leone Sanchez served up seven straight points that included a kill by Alexandra MacAskill and Riley Rabedeaux.

Adams State kept the pressure on leading by seven through a majority of the set. Rabedeaux had three kills on eight attempts while Sai Collins came through with two.

The second set was a back-and-fourth affair that did not see either team take a two-point lead until the set point at 25-23. In the set, Collins had a team-high six kills while Rabedeaux added four.

The Rambelles came out on fire in the third set taking an early 6-0 lead, and it appeared the good times would end for Adams State. A timeout from coach Mortensen served to break up the momentum and Adams State, pulled back into the game and took a 16-14 lead.

Angelo State then took a 20-19 lead and a 21-20 lead before Adams State took the lead once again. With the score tied at 24, Adams State was able to get two kills to end the set. The play of the match was the final point in which a hard kill attempt by Angelo State hit the face of Aileen Bugas and flew over the net and caught the Rambelles flat-footed for a kill.

Adams State was led by Rabedeaux, who had 13 kills while Collins added 11 and MacAskill had six. The Grizzlies had three aces.

Freshman Madeleine Benally had 30 kills.

“These are great kids that work hard and aren’t selfish,” said Mortensen. “They really deserve this, we have gone through some tough times. I am just really proud of them. People get what they deserve and I feel like our girls deserve to enjoy this tonight.”

The Grizzlies will be back in action on Friday at 10:00 a.m. when they open up the 2021 Tiger Classic against Emporia State. They will then play Cameron University on Friday before taking on Southwest Minnesota State and Fort Hays State University on Saturday.

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