Grizzlies face challenging 2010 schedule
Sept. 10-11 Premier Challenge highlights non-conference slate
ALAMOSA, Colo.— The Adams State College volleyball team will play up to eight matches against teams that competed in last year’s NCAA Division II National Tournament including a Sept. 10 match against 2-time defending champion Concordia-St. Paul (Minn.) according to what is a very challenging 2010 schedule that has been set by coach Lindy Mortensen.
The Grizzlies, who finished second in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference’s West Division last year while making the RMAC Tournament for the third straight season, will play their first 13 matches away from home and will go on their three longest trips in the month of September but will then play nine of their final 13 regular season matches at home, including their home opener on Friday, Oct. 1 against arch-rival Western State.
However, local fans will also have the opportunity to watch the Grizzlies much earlier as Mortensen’s squad will host its’ third annual alumni match on Saturday, Aug. 28 at a time to be determined.
After that tune-up, the Grizzlies will begin the regular season at the Nebraska-Omaha Volleyball Showcase facing Northwest Missouri State, Minnesota-Duluth, Northern State (S.D.) and Newman (Kan.) on Sept. 3 and 4. The match against Minnesota-Duluth, which made the second round of last year’s national tournament, will be especially key as it is an opportunity to make an in-region statement against the Bulldogs, who hail from the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference. That conference and the RMAC make up the NCAA Division II’s Central Region, which will send eight teams to the NCAA Tournament.
Things will then get really challenging as the Grizzlies will participate in the Colorado Premier Challenge for the first time in school history on Sept. 10 and 11 in Denver. That 12-team tournament, co-hosted by Metro State and Regis, features an impressive 10 squads that qualified for last year’s national tournament including four of last year’s Elite 8 squads and both national champion Concordia-St. Paul and the runner-up West Texas A&M. The Grizzlies will open pool play against Concordia-St. Paul and will then face West Florida, which made it to the second round of last year’s national tournament, later in the day. Results of those matches and results from the other two 4-team pools will then determine who and when the Grizzlies will play in the bracket portion of the tournament on Sept. 11.
The Grizzlies will then return to the metro Denver area five days later to begin RMAC play at Colorado Christian on Sept. 16 in Lakewood before visiting Colorado Mines and defending RMAC Champion Nebraska-Kearney, both of whom made the NCAA Tournament a year ago, on the next two nights.
The Grizzlies then go to New Mexico Highlands and Western New Mexico on Sept. 24 and 25, respectively, before finally coming home to face Western State and Colorado State-Pueblo in the first home weekend of the season.
After a Oct. 8 and 9 swing to Fort Lewis and Mesa State, which won the RMAC West Division crown last year, the Grizzlies will then play five straight at home from Oct. 14-23, hosting Central Region runner-up Metro State on Oct. 16 in their third match in as many days. The Grizzlies then make short trips to Colorado State-Pueblo (Oct. 28) and Western State (Oct. 30) before hosting their last two RMAC matches against Mesa State and Fort Lewis on Nov. 5 and 6, respectively.
In response to the NCAA Division II “Life in the Balance” initiatives, passed at the organization’s convention in January, and the shifting of the NCAA calendar to fit the NCAA Division II Fall Sports Festival, the RMAC schedule will feature 18 matches per team, one fewer than in years past.
The conference's 14 squads will fight for eight spots in the Nov. 11-13 RMAC Tournament.
The Grizzlies return nine letterwinners from last year’s 14-14 (11-8 RMAC) squad , but lost just one starter in 4-time All-RMAC middle hitter Darcy Jennings-Calkins (Lakin, Kan.).
Related Item: Complete Preseason Information Packet (includes printable schedule)