Bussey led Grizzlies give Mortensen first win
ASC splits matches on season's first day
CANYON, Texas— Led by 16 Emily Bussey kills and a .312 team hitting percentage, the Adams State College volleyball team gave coach Lindy Mortensen, her first collegiate victory, a 3-game sweep of Southwestern Oklahoma State University on Friday afternoon at the West Texas A&M University GrapevineWoods.com Lady Buff Classic, being played in the WTAMU Fieldhouse. Holding the Bulldogs, playing just their second all-time match, to a .009 hitting percentage, the Grizzlies posted an easy 30-20, 30-20, 30-19 win that helped avenge a 4-game (30-22, 24-30, 30-28, 30-26) setback to NAIA power Lubbock Christian University in the morning’s tournament and season-opener.
Bussey, who also led ASC with 13 kills against the Lady Chaps, hit .379 in the afternoon match after recording a double-double with 12 digs in the morning affair.
“Our consistency was better,” Bussey said about the win in comparison to the morning defeat. “We were kind of nervous and waiting to see where the season was going with a new coach. Once we got past that, we were all right,” the senior outside hitter from Alamosa, Colo. continued.
The nervousness certainly showed early on as the Grizzlies committed 11 attacking errors while hitting negative .056 in the first game. Bussey, who had four of ASC’s nine kills in that first set, and sophomore middle blocker Brittany Whiteley (Sierra Vista, Ariz.), then led ASC in the second game as the Grizzlies came roaring back to take the second game after hitting .286.
ASC jumped to a 13-8 lead in the third game behind the serving of sophomore Leah Hill (Fort Collins, Colo.) before the Lady Chaps took a 17-16 lead with a 5-0 run of their own.
LCU, which received a match-high 20 kills from Kenee Carter, led by as many as 6 (28-22) before the Grizzlies pulled within one (29-28) on one of Whiteley’s 11 kills and a LCU hitting error. However, the Lady Chaps took the set and a 2-1 match lead on a Whiteley miscue.
Looking to send the match to a fifth set, the Grizzlies fell behind by an 11-3 count before coming back to take a 16-15 lead thanks in large part to three service aces from senior defensive specialist Carly Simpson (Kent, Wash.).
The rest of the set was nip-and-tuck before ASC took a 26-24 lead on Megan Jennings (Lakin, Kan.) and Whiteley kills. The wheels then came off as ASC committed four errors as the Lady Chaps, who finished 17th in the final 2004 NAIA rankings, took the final six points of the match.
Sophomore setter Lindsey Clason (Pueblo West, Colo.), playing in her first ASC match after redshirting in 2004, had 36 assists while Noelle Christensen and Christina Sumrow had 23 and 21, respectively, in LCU’s alternating setter system.
“She’s doing well,” Bussey said about Clason. “It’s got to be hard coming in with Monica (Garcia, a 2-time All-Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference selection) leaving.”
Four hours later, ASC left little doubt against first-year Southwestern Oklahoma State, which was also swept by the host Lady Buffs in the tournament’s second match. The Grizzlies never trailed and were tied on just two occasions —2-2 and 3-3 in the third set. All seven front-row players that saw action hit more than .200 while Clason hit .571 while dishing out 34 assists.
Although the Grizzlies had few mega-runs, they steadily built leads in each of the three sets and simply cruised throughout.
Defensively, ASC received a match-high 12 digs from senior libero Jocelyn Garcia (Albuquerque, N.M.), who also had a match-high 21 against Lubbock Christian. The Grizz also recorded eight service aces, three from Whiteley.
The Bulldogs were paced by Janna Green and Paula Harry, who recorded seven kills apiece.
“Today’s over and we have to move on. We’ll have a bit more of a challenge tomorrow but if we just play like we can, we’ll get it done,” Bussey said in preview of Saturday’s 2-match slate. The Grizzlies will start the day against West Texas A&M at Noon (CDT) before finishing their portion of the tournament with a 4 o’clock match against Cameron (Okla.), a 4-game loser to the RMAC’s Fort Hays State, ranked 10th in the American Volleyball Coaches Association Preseason Poll. Fort Hays State was to play the host Buffs in Friday’s nightcap while Cameron was swept by Lubbock Christian earlier in the evening.
Friday's GrapevineWoods.com Lady Buff Classic Results
Match 1 - Lubbock Christian def. Adams State, 3-1 (30-22, 24-30, 30-28, 30-26)
Match 2 - West Texas A&M def. Southwestern Oklahoma State, 3-0 (30-13, 30-11, 30-16)
Match 3 - #10 Fort Hays State def. Cameron, 3-1 (26-30, 30-12, 30-28, 32-30)
Match 4 - Adams State def. Southwestern Oklahoma State, 3-0 (30-20, 30-20, 30-19)
Match 5 - Lubbock Christian def. Cameron, 3-0 (30-18, 30-25, 30-21)
Match 6 - #10 Fort Hays State def. West Texas A&M, 3-2 (24-30, 25-30, 30-22, 32-30, 15-9)
Lubbock Christian vs. Southwestern Oklahoma State, 10 a.m.
West Texas A&M vs. Adams State, Noon
Fort Hays State vs. Southwestern Oklahoma State, 2 p.m.
Cameron vs. Adams State, 4 p.m.
Lubbock Christian vs. Fort Hays State, 6 p.m.
West Texas A&M vs. Cameron, 8 p.m.
(All Times Central)