Grizzlies hoping to play spoiler in final matches of 2010
Grizzly parents, seniors to be honored in conjunction with weekend matches
ALAMOSA, Colo.— The Adams State College volleyball team will honor their parents and seniors while trying to play the role of spoiler as they wrap up the 2010 campaign with home matches against Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference West Division-leading Mesa State and playoff-bubble team Fort Lewis this Friday and Saturday, respectively in Plachy Hall.
Both matches begin at 7 p.m. and can be heard live on KSPK-FM (104.1 in Alamosa) and via the internet at www.kspk.com. Online subscription based video coverage on AmericaOne (formerly B2 Networks) and live statistics will also be available.
Friday night’s match against Mesa State, currently 17-8 overall and 11-5 in RMAC play, will include Parent’s Night festivities while Saturday night’s encounter against Fort Lewis (15-9, 9-7 RMAC) will be preceded by Senior Night activities honoring the Grizzlies’ Tamara Fowler (Rio Rancho, N.M.), Mary McNeil (Phoenix, Ariz.) and Kelsey Miller (Las Animas, Colo.), who will all play in their final career match against the Skyhawks.
The Grizzlies dropped tough matches to both teams on the road earlier in the season but have tasted a fair amount of success against them in Plachy Hall, where they have a winning 4-3 mark this year and a solid combined 25-14 (.641) record since 2007 when McNeil and Miller joined the team. Fowler, who started her collegiate career at West Texas A&M, joined the Grizzly squad in 2008.
Although the Grizzlies will not be going to the RMAC Tournament for the first time with the seniors as part of the program, they still have plenty to play for and can have quite an effect on playoff qualifying and positioning.
Mesa State, which dropped the opening set of an Oct. 9 match against the Grizzlies before rallying for a 4-set win in Grand Junction, currently leads the RMAC West Division by just a single match over Western New Mexico, which swept the Mavericks in Sliver City, N.M. last Saturday.
The Mavericks, who play at Fort Lewis Thursday can clinch a share of the division crown with a victory Thursday and could win it outright if they are also able to get past the Grizzlies. The Mavericks also won last year’s division title thanks in large part to two hard-fought reguarl season wins over the Grizzlies and then knocked them out of the RMAC tournament with an even tighter 5-set win in the quarterfinal round.
The Grizzlies have defeated the Mavericks at home in two of the last three years and have won two of the last four home matches against Fort Lewis.
Fort Lewis, which won a 5-set match over the Grizzlies in Durango on Oct. 8, enters their Thursday night encounter, tied with Colorado Christian for seventh place in the overall RMAC standings, just one match ahead of UC-Colorado Springs. With the top eight teams making next week’s tournament in Kearney, Neb., the Skyhawks are not yet even guaranteed to make the tournament but could also end up with a share of the division crown and has high as the No. 2 seed if they go 2-0 during the weekend and if Western New Mexico loses one of their two away matches at Western State or Colorado State-Pueblo, places that the Grizzlies found difficult last week.
McNeil missed last Thursday’s 5-set loss at Colorado State-Pueblo with a back injury but returned to record her 23rd career double-double as the team’s starting setter at Western State, where they fell in four sets last Saturday. Becoming the Grizzlies’ NCAA Division II era (1992-Present) career assists leader during the Grizzlies’ last home stand just a fortnight ago, McNeil has tallied 3,637 career assists in 93 matches. She also has 646 career digs, 202 blocks, 277 kills and 76 service aces and ranks fifth in the Grizzlies’ NCAA Division II era for blocks and ninth for aces.
Miller has played in 61 matches during her time as a Grizzly and has 210 kills, 162 of which came in 2009 when she started at middle hitter. Missing much of this season due to injury, Miller still has managed a team-best .316 attack percentage this season and has recorded 139 digs and 109 blocks during her career. She, like McNeil, was also a 3-time Academic All-RMAC selection.
Fowler has also had an injury plagued season and career but has put down 261 kills in 47 matches as an outside hitter over the last three seasons. She has also tallied 83 digs and 65 blocks in that time and has four Second Team All-RMAC honors to her credit as a member of the Grizzly track and field team, which has won a combined four RMAC titles in her two years as a member of the team.