Grizzlies take out 19th-ranked Minnesota State
Mortensen posts first ever win over nationally-ranked foe
GOLDEN, Colo.— Less than six hours after dropping their season-opener in straight sets, the Adams State College Grizzly volleyball team returned the favor as they swept the Minnesota State University, Mankato Mavericks, ranked 19th in the Preseason CBS College Sports Network/AVCA Division II Coaches Top 25 Poll, in straight sets to complete Friday, the first day of the season and the Days Inn Golden Oredigger Volleyball Classic, being hosted by the Colorado Schools of Mines here at Lockridge Arena, with an even 1-1 mark.
The 25-20, 25-21, 26-24 victory over the Mavericks, keyed by a 15-kill, 4-block effort from junior outside hitter Andrea Tuck (Erie, Colo.) was ASC’s first victory over a nationally-ranked opponent in fourth-year coach Lindy Mortensen’s tenure. Sophomore outside Kimberly Ingram (Roswell, N.M.) added 10 kills while freshman libero AJ Palmer finished with a match-high 19 digs.
Sophomore setter Mary McNeil (Phoenix, Ariz.) finished the evening with 30 assists while junior middle hitter Darcy Jennings (Lakin, Kan.) added eight kills and three blocks while hitting .316.
The Grizzlies hit .220 as a team and played solid defense holding the Mavericks, who went 19-9 while advancing to the NCAA Tournament in 2007, to a .140 clip. MSU, which had dropped a 5-set heartbreaker to Mesa State earlier in the day, did not have any players in double figures although Amanda Beekman and Ally Kwikkel put down nine balls each.
Down 10-9 in the first set, the Grizzlies rallied as Jennings and Tuck combined for three kills and two blocks spread around a Christan Johnston (Yuma, Ariz.) service ace in 6-0 run that gave the Grizzlies a 15-10 edge.
The Mavericks came back to within one (18-17) before back-to-back hitting errors allowed the Grizzlies to go a 3-1 run and eventual end the set, which included all four of Tuck’s blocks.
The Grizzlies were down 16-14 in the second set before a 6-0 spurt, highlighted by back-to-back Ingram kills put ASC up by four, too much of a deficit for the Mavericks to overcome.
Not wanting to be swept, MSU jumped out to 6-1 and 9-3 leads early in the third set before a massive 12-1 run with McNeil and Tuck at the service line put the Grizzlies up 15-10.
The Grizzlies later led 20-13 and were within just five points of claiming the match before the Mavericks bravely came back to tie the set at 24.
However, a Tuck kill and hitting error by Kwikkel then gave the Grizzlies the set and the match.
ASC will play another Minnesota opponent in Winona State at 1 p.m. Saturday before wrapping up the tournament at 5:30 that evening against Wisconsin-Parkside. Both of those teams were 0-1 heading into separate matches on Friday night.