Late bloomer

Mavs' Wiebe has enjoyed her brief lacrosse career

Colorado Mesa’s Myka Wiebe has only been playing lacrosse for two years, but the senior has helped build the Mavericks’ program.



QUICKREAD

Men’s Lacrosse

CMU (8-4, 5-2 WILA) at Adams State (5-7, 3-4 WILA), 1 p.m., Saturday

Notes: The Mavericks are 3-0 against Adams State since both program started a year ago. Mesa defeated the Grizzlies 10-3 earlier this season at Walker Field. The Mavericks can claim the outright WILA title with a victory combined with a Dominican loss to Notre Dame deNamur on Saturday in San Francisco. Mesa would also win the WILA title on a tiebreaker if Mesa and Dominican both win or lose. It is the season finale for Mesa and Adams State.

Women’s Tennis

No. 4 CMU (18-8) vs. No. 1 Augustana (18-3), 2 p.m., Sunday

Notes: The Mavericks qualified for the NCAA tournament for the seventh time in school history and fourth consecutive season. The Mavericks are led by All-RMAC first team players Kelleen Sera and Kaitlan Sera. Shannen McNamara and Kaylee Davis made the All-RMAC second and third teams. Augustana won the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Tournament title for the second straight season and qualified for the NCAA tournament for the third time in school history. The Vikings are the top seed in the Central Region. The winner of the team dual advances to nationals May 16-19 in Louisville, Ky.



Myka Wiebe grew up playing several sports, but it wasn’t until she got to college when she finally got to play the sport she loves.

The Colorado Mesa University senior played basketball, softball and volleyball growing up in Wichita, Kan., but always had an interest in lacrosse.

“I love (lacrosse),” Wiebe said. “If I had two more years left I would totally take them. It sucks not being able to come back.”

She will play her final game of her brief two-year lacrosse career when the Mavericks (3-10, 2-5 WILA) play at noon Sunday against Lindenwood (Mo.) University (12-2, 5-0 WILA) at Walker Field.

Lindenwood defeated Mesa 21-4 early this season in St. Charles, Mo.

“I want another shot at Lindenwood,” Wiebe said. “Our defense has really come together the last couple of games. (Lauren) Wells has been a huge asset in goal. I want to stop them and have a shutout.”

The Mavericks’ co-captain and only senior on the team will be recognized before the game.

“It’s sad to not have her here anymore,” CMU coach Abby Simpson said. “She helped me build this. She’s stepped up big when I needed her. She’s a direct reflection of me. She’s been a great leader on this team.”

Wiebe has played a key role in keeping the team together through a trying season in the program’s second year.

Amanda Simon was out six weeks with an injury and Lexie Chavez was out for several games.

“It’s been such a learning experience,” Simpson said. “We’ve gone through many obstacles. We’ve had many injuries. One of my leading scorers was injured for 5½ weeks. There have been multiple games we’ve been down a lot of our key players. It’s definitely hurt us. The positive thing from this is we were able to overcome those obstacles and remain together as a team.”

“We’ve progressed and improved as a team. I couldn’t be more pleased with this group of girls.”

Wiebe attended Cowley County (Kan.) Community College, then chose to come to Colorado Mesa, then Mesa State College, a year ago on the recommendation from her cousin, former Mesa State men’s basketball player Kurt Bangle. She lived with her grandparents when she first moved to Grand Junction.

“My grandma taught P.E. and said I would absolutely love it,” Wiebe said. “Basketball is my passion. If I had (lacrosse) in Kansas, I would’ve dropped everything and played lacrosse.”

Simpson was happy to add another player even without experience for the first-year program.

Wiebe played some, but continued to work on her game through the summer and fall.

“Her boyfriend is Greg Anderson, who played baseball last year for Mesa,” Simpson said. “He came to my office last summer and wanted to borrow a lacrosse stick. I said ‘Absolutely, but what do you want it for?’ He said, ‘I want to help Myka get better. She’s driven to improve.’ He helped her improve and she came back a completely different athlete this year.”

Wiebe spent hours improving some of the basic skills of the game, specifically catching the ball.

“I’ve spent numerous hours on the wall,” she said. “Throwing the ball against the wall and catching it. I had the throwing down, but the catching is my problem.”

She’s still adjusting to some of the rules and what a defensive player can and can’t do. She is second on the team with 22 fouls.

“I’m too aggressive,” Wiebe said. “(A defender) is not allowed in the 8-meter arc unless you’re marking a person. In basketball, the defense can stand there the whole time. There are so many rules, I don’t think I know them all.”

She will graduate with a degree in kinesiology in December.


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