Busy Blossoms head into league with winning record in volleyball

By far, the busiest team at the University of Arkansas at Monticello has been third-year head coach Kelly Burdeau’s volleyball Cotton Blossoms. They started their regular season before any UAM team (Aug. 31) and have already played seven matches.
The last two got the Blossoms over the .500 mark heading into Great American Conference play, beginning at Ouachita Baptist University next Tuesday. First serve is set for 6:30 p.m.
UAM will enter conference play on a two-match winning streak, thanks to victories over Crowley’s Ridge College of Paragould and Mississippi Valley State University on Tuesday at Steelman Field House.
In the first match, the Blossoms swept Crowley’s Ridge by set scores of 25-9, 25-18 and 25-14. MVSU proved to be a bit tougher, but UAM prevailed in four sets—25-21, 22-25, 25-23 and 25-17. The Blossoms are now 4-3 in 2017.
Against Crowley’s Ridge, UAM dominated. The Blossoms had 10 service aces, five blocks, 32 assists and 33 kills.
Toryn Cox recorded 15 assists in the match, was her sixth straight match with 10 or more assists. Vanessa Pawlak led UAM with eight kills, and posted an attack percentage of .571 (8-for-14) and Macy Mitchell led the UAM defense with 13 digs. All 16 Blossoms saw court time against the Pioneers.
Maggie Pyles had 19 kills against MVSU, setting a new career high. She also set a career high in digs in a single match with 20. Shayna Daniels tied her career high in assists with 29 and Macy Mitchell recorded a match-high 25 digs.
Burdeau likely looked to that tri-match as needed after the Blossoms went 1-3 in the Christian Brothers (Tenn.) University Invitational last weekend in Memphis, Tenn. In its first match, UAM downed Assumption (Mass.) College 26-24, 25-22 and 25-19 but fell on hard times after that.
Tiffin (Ohio) University, host CBC and Newman (Kan.) University all got the better of UAM in Tennessee.
The Blossoms fell to Tiffin 25-21, 21-25, 14-25 and 13-25, to CBU 25-17, 25-16 and 25-15, and to Newman 25-17, 25-22 and 25-20. That came after UAM opened the season with a hard-fought 25-22, 25-13, 19-25, 27-29 and 16-14 victory over Lyon College in Batesville.

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