JV Grizzlies sweep Denver University in program-debut
Hawkins tallies 11 kills to lead ASC
ALAMOSA, Colo.— Former varsity back-up setter Megan Hawkins (Elizabeth, Colo.) registered a match-high 11 kills from her outside hitter position as she lead the Adams State College junior varsity team to a 25-19, 25-22, 25-22 sweep of the visiting Denver University Club Team, Saturday afternoon here in Plachy Hall. The match was the first-ever for the newly founded squad, one of four junior varsity programs established at Adams State for the 2010-11 academic year.
The Grizzlies also received 21 of their other 33 kills from a quartet of San Luis Valley natives as they dominated offensive play by putting down 44 kills, 23 more than the Pioneers had. The Grizzlies also tallied a 6-2 edge in total blocks but committed a whopping 15 service errors helping the Pioneers, guided by Alamosa native and Club President Quinn Harmon stay close at times.
Harmon had seven kills to pace the Pioneers while libero Liz Ignowski was a beast defensively as she tallied 21 digs.
Her Grizzly counterpart Kiaya Rutz (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) had 15 to lead the Grizzlies.
Hawkins, who played in 15 matches as a back-up setter for 4-year Grizzly standout Mary McNeil (Phoenix, Ariz.) over the last two seasons, returned to the overall Grizzly program after being re-recruited by junior varsity coach Amber Ullery, who successfully won her collegiate debut after picking up 160 wins in nine years as a head coach at Sierra Grande, Sangre de Cristo and Monte Vista High Schools.
Ullery, a 10-year veteran of the SLV high school volleyball scene, counting a year as an assistant at Alamosa High School, appears to have found the right position for Hawkins, who also tallied eight digs and two blocks while hitting a solid .265 in the winning effort.
Freshman Liz Schaefer (Monte Vista, Colo.), who played for Ullery in both high school and with the Sand Dunes Volleyball Club, also fared well with eight kills. Her older sister Emily, a transfer from Lamar Community College, quarterbacked the Grizzlies doling out 33 assists from her setter position. Emily Schaefer (Monte Vista, Colo.) also had eight digs and five kills while hitting .571 on seven offensive swings.
Redshirt freshman middle Whitney Canty (Sanford, Colo.) and true freshman outside hitter Shayna Bachman (Joes, Colo.) added in seven kills apiece while Janelle Cass (Hereford, Colo.), called from the Grizzly varsity squad, tallied five kills and nine digs in two sets of action.
The Grizzlies got off to a sluggish start and trailed 7-3 in the first set but went on a 5-0 run behind the serving of Liz Schaefer as Cass put back-to-back kills down followed by another from Canty giving the Grizzlies their first lead at 8-7.
The Pioneers were able hang tough momentarily and went up 10-9 before another 4-0 Grizzly run, highlighted by a Cass ace and Hawkins kill, put the Grizzlies up for good in the first set.
The Pioneers also jumped out to a 5-1 second-set lead and maintained a small cushion for much of that period.
The visitors went up 19-14 on three straight Grizzly hitting errors before a Ullery timeout sparked a 8-1 Grizzly comeback that put Adams State up 22-20 after four combined kills from Bachman, Canty and Emily Schaefer.
Susanne Burgee, a native of Manchester, England, answered with one of her two kills for the Pioneers to close the gap to 22-21 before a Bachman kill doubled the Grizzlies cushion to two (23-21). Bachman then committed one of the Grizzlies’ six second-set service errors before kills by Hawkins and Emily Schaefer closed out the set.
The Grizzlies, who had 16 kills in the first set and another 19 in the second, wasted little time in the third, jumping out to a 6-1 lead thanks in part to a Cass service ace at the start of the period. The Grizzlies never trailed although the Pioneers threatened going on a 7-1 run, closing what was a 19-11 deficit to just two points at 20-18.
The Pioneers trailed by that same margin late in the set but simply ran out of time as Emily Schaefer and Canty recorded a block on Harmon to close out the match.
The Grizzlies finished the afternoon hitting .184 as a team while holding the Pioneers to a .037 attack percentage. However, the Pioneers recorded six service aces and just three serving miscues.
Ullery is still working on the rest of her team’s fall schedule but thinks she will be able to face the Pioneers again.
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