Consistent Mavericks crack rankings

QUICKREAD

Men’s Soccer

CMU (4-2-1, 2-1-0 RMAC) at Colorado Christian (1-7, 0-4 RMAC), 3:30 p.m., Friday, Lakewood

CMU at No. 5 Regis (6-0-1, 4-0 RMAC), 3:30 p.m., Sunday, Denver

Notes: The Mavericks begin a five-game road trip this weekend on a two-game win streak. “I like the way we’ve been playing,” CMU coach Josh Pittman said. “I think we’ve been very effective. We’re nice and organized, we’ve moved the ball pretty well, and we’re limiting opposing teams to not many scoring opportunities. We’re getting good timely finishes. We managed the game pretty well.” ... Mesa defeated Colorado Christian 4-0 earlier this season. ... Regis is ranked fifth in the nation. “If we can get some points this weekend, it will put us ahead of where we were last year ... it would change a lot of things for us,” said Pittman, who added, “We didn’t get any points off them last year at all.” ... Junior midfielder Gavin Lafollette had surgery on his torn knee ligament and is applying for a medical redshirt.

Volleyball

CMU (9-3, 3-1 RMAC) at No. 19 Adams State (11-1, 4-0 RMAC), 7 p.m., Friday, Alamosa

CMU at Western State Colorado (1-11, 0-4 RMAC), 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Gunnison

Notes: Colorado Mesa’s six-match win streak was snapped last weekend when Western New Mexico rallied from two games down to defeat the Mavericks. “I don’t know that we need to make any physical adjustments,” CMU coach Dave Fleming said. “I think it’s just the way we approach the game, every point, or even when we’re up 2-0, making sure we come out the same way every time.” ... The Mavericks will need to make those adjustments against West Division leader and No. 19-ranked Adams State. The Grizzlies are led by outside hitter Megan Tapia with a RMAC-best .399 attack percentage and setter Gabriella Rifilato, who is second in the RMAC with 10.9 assists per game. “Adams is really physical,” Fleming said. “They can hurt you at every position. We’ve got to get them out of their system and make them run things they don’t want to run. We’ve got to be really aggressive and proactive.” ... Western has struggled this season but is dangerous, Fleming said. “If one of their hitters can catch fire, they can cause problems,” he said. “Plus, they always get up for us. They are a natural rival.”

 

Cross Country

CMU at CU Shootout, 9 a.m., Boulder

Notes: CMU sophomore Melissa Bauer returns after missing last week’s Mountaineer Open with bronchitis. CMU coach Gig Leadbetter doesn’t expect Bauer to be at 100 percent. ... Leadbetter is expecting some personal best times in the popular collegiate meet. ... Leadbetter said of the men’s team: “They are out to prove something. They want to see who they can beat. They’ve been working hard and pushing each other.”



The Colorado Mesa University women’s soccer team is doing something it didn’t last year.

As a result, the Mavericks are off to their best start in coach Erin Sharpe’s five years, and they’ve caught the attention of coaches across the country.

Colorado Mesa (6-0-2, 3-0-1 RMAC) cracked the National Soccer Coaches Association of America top 25 poll this week at No. 13. This is the third time Mesa received a national ranking under Sharpe and the highest it’s been ranked.

The Mavericks are one of two teams without a loss in the South Central Region. Mesa is ranked second in the NSCAA South Central Region poll behind St. Edward’s (Texas) University (7-0-0), which is third in the nation.

The reason for the successful start: playing more consistent.

“The thing we’ve historically struggled with is playing well against nonranked teams,” Sharpe said. “Last year, for example, we had fantastic results against ranked teams. Against nonranked teams, we didn’t necessarily get the results we should. We had an issue showing up consistently for every single game. So far this year, there’s been some wins that weren’t pretty, but nevertheless we’re finding ways of getting wins. That’s what I’m particularly pleased with.”

The Mavericks still have a lot in front of them before they can start thinking about the postseason again. Mesa qualified for the NCAA tournament last year for the first time in 11 years.

“We’ve also got to recognize we have some really strong opponents we haven’t seen yet,” Sharpe said. “I think the respect we’re getting to be nationally ranked is important, but at the same time, we have a lot of season left and some very dangerous teams to play.”

Mesa has five of its next six matches on the road beginning with Colorado Christian (2-6, 0-4 RMAC) at 1 p.m. Friday in Lakewood. The Mavericks play Regis (5-2-1, 3-0-1 RMAC) at 1 p.m. Sunday in Denver. The Rangers eliminated Mesa in the NCAA tournament last year.

“By no means whatsoever is this an automatic win. We’ve got a target on our back,” Sharpe said of Colorado Christian. “When you’re the team expected to win, it’s often times more difficult because of the added motivation. We’ve got to maintain that level of consistency.

“Regis is dangerous. They are very physical and aggressive. Our defense has to be sharp.”


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