Grizzlies add seven freshman for '09 volleyball campaign
ALAMOSA, Colo.— Coach Lindy Mortensen and the Adams State College volleyball team have added seven freshmen to the 2009 roster as the group, which includes players from four different states, have signed letters of intent to continue their education and volleyball careers at ASC.
Four of the players are from Colorado in 5-foot-9 outside and middle hitter Janelle Cass of Hereford and Pawnee High School, 5-foot-11 outside hitter Dominique Davis of Denver East High School, 5-foot-3 defensive specialist Valerie Garcia of Colorado Springs and Rampart High School and 5-foot-11 right side and middle hitter Deprece Washington of Johnstown and Roosevelt High School. Hannah Adams, a 5-foot-10 outside hitter from McAlester, Okla., Callyn Weyenberg, a 5-foot-11 middle and outside hitter from Gilbert, Ariz. and Chandler’s Basha High School, and Vanessa Cushnie, a 5-foot-8 defensive specialist all the way from the Hawai’i Preparatory Academy on the state’s Big Island, have also signed with the Grizzlies.
They will report to the team’s preseason camp on Aug. 9 along with nine returning players, including seven who started 10 or matches during the 2008 campaign that saw the Grizzlies finish 15-13 while posting three wins over nationally-ranked teams and advancing to the semifinals of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Tournament for the second straight year.
“We feel that our 2009 recruiting class will fit into our system well,” Mortensen said.
“We needed depth at each position and many of our incoming freshmen will compete for playing time at each of those positions. We also have a good solid group of returners who are working hard this summer and are excited to start putting our 2009 team together,” she continued.
The recruiting class is also strong academically as all seven had high school GPA’s of 2.8 or better with five posting marks of 3.5 or higher.
Cass leads the group and had a perfect 4.0 GPA while at Pawnee becoming the school’s valedictorian. She is also a winner of the prestigious Boettcher Scholarship which covers full tuition, fees and books plus a substantial amount of room and board at any college or university in the state.
Athletically, Cass averaged 5.2 kills, 4.3 digs, 2.3 blocks and 0.3 service aces per game last year for the Andrea Kinnison coached Coyotes. Leading them to a 19-9 record and a trip to the state tournament, the first for any girl’s team at Pawnee, Cass was named as the league MVP and earned a variety of all-state honors last season. She was also a 3-time all-conference selection in volleyball and picked up four all-conference honors, 2009 all-state and 2009 league MVP accolades in basketball.
One of five children in the family of Jim and Karen Cass, she plans on majoring in mathematics or pre-engineering.
Davis was a 3-time all-city selection player for Denver East Angels and finished third in the state with 243 kills last season. She also earned all-state honors and has been a leading member of the Angels’ squad that has finished first in the conference during each of the past three seasons.
She also played for coach Heath Grantham and the Nuu Sky Volleyball Club and is one of four children born to Deborah Kulas.
Davis plans to major in business management with a minor in psychology and posted a 3.65 GPA in high school while being named to the honor roll during all four years of her career.
Garcia helped lead the Rampart Rams, coached by Keith and Jess Barnett, to league, district and regional titles and eventual third place finish at the state tournament last year. She also served as the captain for the Rams’ basketball team and played club volleyball for the coach Brian Petzold and the Colorado Juniors, based in Monument. Her 18’s team took first place in the Big South National Qualifier in Atlanta, Ga. and earned a nation bid for the junior Olympics.
The older of two daughters born to Marvin and Sharon Garcia, she graduated from high school with a 3.9 GPA and plans to major in pre-dentistry.
Washington helped lead her Roosevelt Roughriders squad, coached by Geneva Morford, to a 22-4 record last season. They won district and regional titles and advanced to the semifinals of the 4A state tournament after doing the same at the 3A level in 2007.
Washington, who graduated from high school with a 3.5 GPA, was also an honorable mention academic all-state pick during both seasons and also competed in basketball and track at Roosevelt. She is undecided on a major.
Adams will come to the Grizzly program after earning a variety of all-tournament awards during her career with the McAlester High School Buffaloes. They won 5A state and regional titles during 2007, her junior season. She also played for the Tulsa-based Club One 18’s Black Team and was a standout tennis player in high school.
The daughter of Paulette and Daniel Adams, she graduated from McAlester High School with a 3.2 GPA and plans to major in sports psychology.
Weyenberg was a second team all-region selection last year with the Jim Kann coached Basha Bears and played the middle blocker, outside hitter and opposite positions. She also played basketball for Basha and club volleyball for Scottsdale’s Club Red and coach Joe Hesse.
The daughter of Dick and Jan Weyenberg, she was on the honor roll in high school and plans to major in physical education at ASC.
Cushnie, the first Hawaiian to be part of the program during Mortensen’s tenure, hails from Kamuela and helped her Hawai’i Prepatory Academy squad to an 11-3 record and third place finish in the Big Island Interscholastic Federation Division II standings. She also helped her team qualify for the Hawai’i state tournament and earned Honorable Mention All-BIIF honors at the right side hitter and outside hitter positions in 2007 and 2006, respectively.
Cushnie also played for coach Pua Kaaa and the Asics Imua, based in Hilo, and helped lead the team to first place finishes in both the 18’s and “A” Divisions at the 2008 and 2009 editions of the Haili Tournament held during spring break. The team also placed 10th out of 164 teams at the Vegas Volleyball Classic in February.
The eldest of two daughters born to Brian and Rochelle Cushnie, she graduated from high school with a 3.5 GPA and was on the honor roll throughout her high school career. She plans to major in mathematics.
The Grizzlies begin their season on Aug. 22 by hosting former ASC players in the program’s second annual Alumni Match at 6 p.m. in Plachy Hall. The regular season begins Aug. 28 at the Holiday Inn/Colorado Mines Oredigger Classic in Golden.