PITTSBURG, Kans. – The University of Arkansas at Monticello volleyball team closed out the final day of the 2022 Gorilla Classic at Pittsburg State University on Saturday. The Blossoms played four sets in the first match, falling to tournament host Pittsburg State University, and are taken down by New Mexico Highlands University in five sets in game two.
UAM closes out the first day of the tournament with a season record of 2-6 after the conclusion of Saturday.
The opening set began with Pittsburg State University scoring first, but saw a flip-flop match-up with UAM until the Blossoms went on a 6-0 run to take a 10-7 lead over the Gorillas. The home team flipped the script, putting together a string of back-to-back points to regain the lead. They would go on to display more offensive power, eventually taking the set with a score of 25-20.
In the second set PSU was the first team to score, but would quickly lose the lead as the Blossoms took back three points. The Gorillas refused to lose, taking back the lead and wouldn’t lose it for the remainder of the set. The Gorillas would take set two with a score of 25-17.
The Blossoms turned a new leaf in set three, quickly taking a 3-0 lead over the Gorillas. UAM would hold onto that lead for a majority of the match, until PSU regained the lead at 24-23. The Blossoms would score three straight points, taking the set with a final score of 26-24.
The fourth and final set of the match began very similar to the third with the Blossoms scoring first and quickly taking a 3-1 lead over the Gorillas. Monticello was able to hold onto that lead until Pittsburg State tied the game up at 9-9. PSU would dominate the remainder of the set, winning the match with a final set score of 25-13.
Defensively, the Blossoms were led by Ariana Compean with 19 digs. Holiday Ellis and Alyssa Smith each contributed 12 and 10 of their own.
In the second match of the day UAM took on New Mexico Highlands University, coming out with a loss in five sets.
UAM began their final match of the tournament with a promising start; scoring the first points of the match against New Mexico Highlands University. The Blossoms held on to their lead to a score of 8-7. The Cowgirls outscored Monticello 10-2 to take a commanding 17-10 lean over UAM, but were unable to hold that lead as the Blossoms came back to win the set 25-23.
Both teams went point-for-point with each other to begin set two. Each team only held onto the lead for a few points throughout the majority of the set. The Blossoms sprung ahead, taking a 23-17 lead over the Cowgirls late in the match, eventually winning the set 25-21.
The third set and fourth sets were very similar as NMHU held control of the score for majority of the sets, stringing together multiple runs of points over UAM. The Cowgirls would eventually win the third set, 25-18, and the fourth set, 25-21, to tie the match up at 2-2.
The fifth and final set was a close back and forth match between the two, eventually being tied at 13 as they went into the final stretch. Unfortunately, New Mexico Highlands scored the final two points straight to win the set 15-13 and the match 3-2.
Mia Smalls led the team in the assist category again dishing out 40.
On defense, Stasha Adams led the team in digs with 24, followed by Smalls with 15, Ellis with 14, and Alyssa Smith with 12.
UAM returns to Steelman Fieldhouse on Tuesday, September 6 to open up Great American Conference play against Ouachita Baptist University. The game is set to begin at 6:00 p.m.
Live stream and live stat links will be posted as clickable links on the UAM Volleyball schedule at uamsports.com.
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