DENVER — West Texas A&M advanced to the Round of 16 with a four set victory against Colorado Mines (25-19, 22-25, 27-25, 25-16) at the Regis Fieldhouse on Friday. The Lady Buffs moved to 32-4 on the season while the Orediggers end the year at 26-7.
“First of all, give credit to Mines for a great season and an exciting match, they’re a program heading in the right direction with great athletes and coaches,” head coach Jason Skoch said. “This win proved how much the team aspect of the game is a factor, we had players step in when Stormi [Lancaster] went down and she came back to play well, we wouldn’t have won that match without her on the court.”
The win lifts the Lady Buffs to a perfect 4-0 all-time against Colorado Mines as well as marking WT’s 12th consecutive victory this season. The Lady Buffs move to 43-19 all-time in the NCAA postseason and advance to their 12th third round match.
The first set started off with the Lady Buffs taking seven of the first 10 points before a small Oredigger rally was stopped by a block by Laura Iwuchukwu and Halie Harton to extend the WT lead to 9-6.
The teams traded blows before a 5-2 run by the Orediggers forced a timeout by WT head coach Jason Skoch with the Lady Buffs leading 22-19. A Lexi Davis kill after the break followed by a Kameryn Hayes kill which forced set point, Hayes connected on a solo block to end the set with the win 25-19.
The second set started out with the two teams battling back and forth before a small Mines run that forced a Lady Buff timeout with the Orediggers leading 10-8. An Iwuchukwu kill following the break started a 4-2 run by the Lady Buffs to tie the match at 12-12. The Lady Buffs continued the run to force a Mines timeout with WT leading 17-15.
Mines went on a run to tie the score at 18. Shortly after, a block by Morgan Woodruff and Laura Iwuchukwu regained the WT lead, but Mines answered to take a 21-19 lead. The Lady Buffs battled back with kills by Iwuchukwu and Dougherty to tie the match at 21 and force a Mines timeout. Mines came out after the break on a 4-1 run to take the second set 25-22.
The third set saw the teams battle back and forth with the score tied at 10 before Mines registered consecutive points before a Dougherty kill and a Harton kill to the back corner tied the match once again at 12.
Mines registered a kill by Jackie Stabell followed by an Iwuchukwu solo block and an Oredigger attack error to cut the lead to 20-18. Lancaster registered a kill followed by a Mines attack error to tie the game at 22. Back-to-back points by the Orediggers forced the last remaining WT timeout with the Orediggers leading 24-22.
Dougherty registered a kill after the break followed by a Mines attack error to tie the match at 24, Lacy Hayes connected on a kill on an over pass by Mines followed by a block by the Orediggers. Harton registered a kill to force set point once again, followed by a block by Hayes and Iwuchukwu to end the set 27-25.
In the fourth set, WT carried an early 13-10 lead highlighted by a block by Hayes and Dougherty to force a Mines timeout. The Lady Buffs came back from the break to defeat Mines 25-16.
The Lady Buffs were led offensively by Erin Dougherty with 13 kills followed by Laura Iwuchukwu with 12 kills and 5.5 total blocks. Kameryn Hayes and Halie Harton registered double-digit kills with 11 each while Harton tallied 20 digs for a double-double. Senior setter Lacy Hayes registered 47 assists and Lauren Beville led all players with 23 digs. The Lady Buffs hit .273 as a team with 15 attack errors and 16 total blocks.
The Orediggers were led offensively Jackie Stabell who led all players with 21 kills followed by Melanie Wannamaker with 14 and Laura Beckmann with 12. Danielle Johnson-Hazlewood recorded a match-high 55 assists and Hannah Margheim led the team with 22 digs. Mines hit .141 as a team with 33 attack errors and seven total blocks.