Grizzlies remain steady in RMAC poll, Tuck receives pre-season honor
by Chris Day
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.— After finishing fourth in the West Division and seventh overall in last year’s Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference volleyball standings, the Adams State College Grizzlies have been picked to do so again according to the league’s Preseason Coaches’ Poll, released Monday.
The Grizzlies, who received 82 points in the polling of the league’s 14 head coaches, also placed junior outside hitter Andrea Tuck (Erie, Colo.) on the 7-player Preseason All-RMAC team, announced in conjunction with the poll.
Tuck, a 6-footer, was a First Team All-RMAC and American Volleyball Coaches Association All-Southwest Region pick in 2007 and led the conference in points (562.5) while ranking second in the league with 503 kills.
Led by Tuck and Second Team All-RMAC middle blocker Darcy Jennings (Lakin, Colo.), a fellow First Team AVCA All-Region selection, the Grizzlies posted winning 15-14 overall and 10-9 records in 2007. Coach Lindy Mortensen, entering her fourth year with the Grizzlies, returns five starters from that team.
Tuck and Western New Mexico sophomore Natali Murdock were the only two outside hitters named to the squad. The rest of the team was made up by middle blockers, a group led by Nebraska-Kearney junior Nikki Scott, the RMAC Preseason Offensive Player of the Year and lone unanimous selection to the Preseason All-RMAC team.
The Lopers, who received 12 of the 14 first place votes in the team polling, also received the honors in other categories as junior Kelli Wemhoff and sophomore Cola Svec were tabbed as the Preseason Defensive Player and Setter of the Year, respectively.
The Lopers, who have won at least a share of the last four RMAC regular season titles and last year’s RMAC Tournament Championship, their had just 14 points in the polling and easily out-distanced Metro State for the top spot in the East Division and overall rankings.
Metro State finished second in the poll with 36 points while Fort Lewis and Western New Mexico are tied for third overall and first in the West Division with 65 points. Fort Lewis shared the RMAC regular season title with Nebraska-Kearney last year before the Grizzlies took a RMAC Tournament quarterfinal decision last November.
Mesa State was picked third in the west and fifth overall with 67 points and was followed closely by UC-Colorado Springs, which was tabbed third in the East Division and sixth overall after the Mountain Lions earned their first NCAA Division II National Tournament berth in 2007.
Chadron State was picked eighth overall with 84 points but also received the other two first place votes. Regis was tabbed fifth in the East Division and ninth overall with 86 points while the other five schools each had 124 or more points.
The Grizzlies have been in their pre-season training camp for over a week and will put their talents on display this Saturday in Plachy Hall when they face an Alumni Team at 6 p.m.
ASC then begins the regular season on Aug. 29 and 30 at the Days Inn Golden Oredigger Volleyball Classic, hosted by the Colorado School of Mines.
Related Item: Complete RMAC Release