(Neb.)- Improbable Rally By Griffins Downs Eagles
SALT LAKE CITY -- Westminster College orchestrated a rare comeback, after going down 2-0 in the match, to defeat Chadron State College 3-2 (23-25, 30-32, 25-19, 25-17, 15-10) at Behnken Field House in Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference volleyball action Friday night.
Chadron State appeared to have the upper hand in the match, cruising into the third set with another hard-fought marathon set victory, but was frustrated in its attempt to close the deal.
"That's the most frustrating thing that can happen in this sport," said CSC Head Volleyball Coach Riann Mullis, "to be up two sets and then lose. It's not the first time it's happened but it never gets less frustrating. We played hard and competed in the first two sets, but we let our foot off the gas and they did not."
The Eagles played a pretty good match statistically, by their coach's admission. They simply weren't better than their opponent for three complete sets out of five.
Westminster recorded 14 total blocks for their second-best number of the season, after 15 in their previous outing against Colorado Mines. They also had their best hitting percentage of the season, hitting .278 with 73 kills and 21 errors. Chiefly, in their comeback sets, three through five, they recovered a serious number of difficult digs which allowed them to surge past Chadron State.
"They flipped the switch at intermission," said Mullis. "They weren't letting anything hit the ground. They're a good team. They're going to upset some people."
The Griffins were led by senior libero Megan Gallegos with 17 digs, but hoisted 64 over the course of the match. They got a wealth of points from freshman hitter Audrey Green, with 21 kills and four total blocks, and senior middle Amara Spere, who recorded 14 kills and seven total blocks. Senior setter Taylor Gustafson had a whopping 64 assists.
Chadron State also blocked well, posting 10 team blocks for its best outing of the season. The Eagles' .225 hitting percentage was their best of the season in RMAC league play. Their 73 digs outpaced Westminster by nine in the match, and matched a season best.
McKenna Hartigan accumulated five total blocks for CSC and put forth her best offensive output this year with 11 kills. The true freshman from Hotchkiss, Colorado, on the Colorado Western Slope, had zero hitting errors hitting .407.
CSC Senior libero Emily Bruce's 27 digs were the most by a player on either team.
Junior setter Madison Webb also had the best assist numbers in the match, with 65 for 13.0 per set.
Dominika Senkerikova was the leading hitter for the Eagles with 19 kills and a .231 hitting percentage.
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