(story courtesy of the Lewiston Tribune)
Davis, Bruya adeptly directing the action for undefeated Warriors
Friday, October 10, 2008
For those unacquainted with volleyball, it might be helpful to explain the sport with some borrowed terminology. For example, the position of setter can be loosely described as the quarterback.
But how often does a new QB trot onto the field every third snap? And do it happily? This is where the comparison breaks down.
Lisa Davis and Abby Bruya share the setter position for
You can't argue with the results: L-C is off to a 20-0 start - the best in program history - and was ranked 11th in the most recent NAIA poll.
Davis, a junior from
This is known as a 6-2 offense. It allows the Warriors to keep their setter in the back row at all times, which means three hitters are always up front.
"These guys are great setters and defenders coming out of the back row and, like Abby said, not as tall," LCSC coach Jen Greeny said of the 5-foot-7 setters. "So we have blockers up there in the front, doing that job."
When either setter leaves the court, she must pay attention to the flow of play. The different vantage point can be helpful.
"It's kind of nice to be able to sit out for a couple of rotations, because then you can see what their side is doing,"
As you might expect, the setters' statistics are similar. Bruya has 330 assists and 110 digs while
Their burden is lightened, of course, by the Warriors' crew of powerhouse hitters. The setters don't have any bad choices when distributing passes to Julie Maciboba (119 kills), Josi Lyman (115), Dana Christiansen (113) and third-team NAIA All-American Anile Clemente (241).
"They can work with whatever we give them,"
The setters were mentored by two of the most accomplished prep coaches in the Inland Northwest - Colfax's Sue Doering and
For Bruya, the transition to the collegiate game seems to have been rather smooth. She was the Warriors' first signee late last year, and has been part of the top rotation since the beginning of the season. (L-C also needed Bruya to step up, with sophomore setter Kim Fong working back into form after suffering a knee injury late last season.)
Bruya had played summer basketball tournaments at LCSC, and remembered encountering Greeny when she was the coach at Pullman High. But playing for the Warriors wasn't a longterm aspiration.
"I never considered it, ever," Bruya said. "In fact, I never thought I'd come to
But after being contacted by Greeny and her husband/assistant coach, Burdette, she decided to come to L-C. "I'm very happy with it," Bruya said.
Then last year, the Greenys took over, and L-C promptly rampaged to a 26-8 record and its first appearance in the national tournament since 1999.
"I know that when I was a freshman, it was just really hard to go to practice every day,"
The Warriors survived their most dramatic match of the season Wednesday night, rallying from a 2-0 deficit to beat
But the Warriors haven't paid much attention to that milestone, the setters said. Rather, the team was most proud of going 7-0 through its first tour of the Frontier Conference.
L-C seems to have an inside track on a berth in the national tournament. The Warriors will be the hosts of the conference tournament, and the winner of that event automatically qualifies for nationals at
L-C went 1-2 at nationals last year - a performance the Warriors would like to improve on.
"If we get the chance to go to nationals ... we'll know what to expect a little bit better,"
Spoken like a true quarterback. Or a half-time setter.