Mavs continue to add solid volleyball recruits

Ever so steadily, Dave Fleming is building the Mesa State College volleyball roster.

By the time the Mavericks arrive on campus Aug. 14, they’ll be members of the first Colorado Mesa University team — the name change takes effect Aug. 10.

Tiffany Petersen, a 5-foot-7 libero, is the latest signee, out of Carlsbad, Calif.

“She’s just played so much volleyball, she knows her way around the volleyball court,” Fleming said Monday. “If we had a weakness last season, it was probably our passing. She’s going to strengthen that right away because she’s had so many reps. One big thing is, we don’t have Tara King to chase down bad passes.”

Fleming might play a libero and a defensive specialist in the back row this season to help strengthen the passing game. The Mavs return Megan Rush and Sunni Rae Baird, both of whom will be juniors.

Petersen, who played for the Encinitas Wave volleyball club for seven years, will compete with those two for playing time on the back row. She graduated with a 4.0 grade-point average and was the MVP on her high school team last year, her third year as a starter.

Her club team placed in the top three for four straight years in the Junior Olympics Open Division, including winning the gold medal in 2008.

She’s the latest recruit in a class that features 5-10 high school All-America setter Jordyn Moody, from Chandler, Ariz., and 6-2 middle blocker/right-side hitter Melissa Hess, from Scottsdale, Ariz.

Fleming also got a bonus in the return of Krista Ubersox, who started for the Mavericks as a setter in 2007. Ubersox graduated in 2008 and had one year of eligibility remaining. She’s entering graduate school and will be one of only two seniors on the roster, along with middle blocker Antoinette McCormick.

“She’ll bring not only experience as a setter, but as an athlete, someone who’s been out there and done it,” Fleming said. “She’ll bring a lot of leadership, the intangibles. All college athletes, when they’re done, have regrets, I could have put more effort in. She can sell that to the younger players.”

A chance to complete her athletic eligibility prompted Ubersox to return to school, Fleming said. She works in the human resources department for School District 51, and she’ll keep that position while she goes to school and plays volleyball.

The Mavericks, who return nine players off last season’s RMAC West Division championship team that went 20-9, open Sept. 3-4 at the Oredigger Classic in Golden, then host the Western Colorado Fall Classic Sept. 8-10 at Brownson Arena.


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