Hendricks Earns 400th Victory in Comeback Over No. 3 West Texas


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DENVER, Colo. - The No. 23 Metro State volleyball team stunned No. 3 West Texas A&M 22-25, 25-18, 23-25, 25-22, 15-10 as head coach Debbie Hendricks earned her 400th career win on Saturday evening in the Silver Division championship at the Colorado Premier Challenge in Denver.  Hendricks becomes just the 20th active NCAA Division II head coach with over 400 wins.  She has only 167 losses in her career.

The win for the Roadrunners also improved them to 7-1 this season, their best start since opening 1993 with an 11-1 record.  WTAMU dropped to 7-2 with the loss.  Metro State finished 3-1 at the Colorado Premier, while West Texas A&M went 2-2.

The win for Hendricks was even sweeter coming against West Texas A&M where she coached for six years from 1993-98 and led the Lady Buffs to a Division II national championship in 1997.  Stretching back to her days at WTAMU, Hendricks' teams have reached the NCAA Tournament each of the past 14 seasons.

The last time Metro State defeated a top-five ranked team was in 2003 when the Roadrunners knocked off No. 3 Truman State and No. 4 Cal State San Bernardino in consecutive matches to capture the Premier championship.

On Saturday, Metro State was sparked by excellent performances from two of its seniors as setter Gabe Curtis distributed the ball well and libero Amy Watanabe tied a career-high with 33 digs on defense. curtis Gabe Curtis had a season-high 61 assists on Saturday.

Curtis' setting allowed five Roadrunners to reach double figures in kills.  Bri Morley reached a season-high with 19 kills, followed by Emily Greenhalgh with 14, Anna Mapes with 12 and Julie Causseaux and Lisa Jones with 10 each.  Metro State out-hit West Texas with a hitting percentage of .211 (70-29-194), while allowing just .103 (48-29-184).

Watanabe's digging ability was a big part of the offensive woes for WTAMU, as were Ngoc Phan's 15 digs and Metro State's nine blocks.  Curtis, Mapes and Causseaux each had four total blocks.

Laura Prinsen led West Texas A&M with 18 kills.

Metro State led for the first half of the first set, including 14-10.  But the Lady Buffs went on a 9-2 run, aided by four attack errors and a ball handling error to take a 19-16 lead.  The Roadrunners took the lead back at 22-21 following consecutive kills by Morley, but a sideout by WTAMU led to four straight points to close out the first set.

The Roadrunners bounced back in the second with solid defense, holding the Lady Buffs to just a .053 (8-6-38) hitting percentage.  After trailing 5-4, Metro State tied the score on a slide by Mapes and never trailed the rest of the set.

Neither team could find a consistent rhythm in the third.  Metro State led 17-14 following a service error and an attack error on WTAMU, but the Lady Buffs re-grouped and scored the next three points to tie the set at 17-17.  West Texas earned consecutive points on kills after the score was tied 21-21 to take control.  Each team traded the next four points to close out the set.

Metro State trailed 16-11 in the fourth set, but the Roadrunners ran off six straight points with Jones serving after she forced a sideout with a kill to take a 17-16.  Greenhalgh closed out the run with consecutive kills.  With the scored tied 19-19, Metro State took control with four consecutive points, aided by back-to-back attack errors on the Lady Buffs and kills from Morley and Causseaux.

The Roadrunners started the final frame hot, jumping out to a 6-3 lead as WTAMU continued to struggle with Metro State's defense with three early attack errors.  But the Lady Buffs tied the scored at 7-7 after a string of three points off of Roadrunners miscues, including a service error and two attack errors.

At 8-8, Metro State went on a 4-0 run highlighted by two kills by Mapes.  Leading 14-10, Morley put the match away with a kill and send the Roadrunners home victors.

Metro State opens Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference play on Friday at Colorado Mines at 7 p.m.


Article courtesy of Metro State Athletics

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