Mavs roar back from tough loss
Balanced attack leads to sweep of Chadron St.
There was no letdown, or let up, Saturday for the Mesa State College volleyball team.
One night after pushing fifth-ranked Nebraska-Kearney to the limit, the Mavericks bounced back to sweep Chadron State at Brownson Arena. Mesa won 25-12, 25-22, 25-12.
“From the loss last night, I think we came back and played pretty good,” Mesa sophomore Antoinette McCormick said. “It’s hard to come back from a loss like that, but I think we rebounded well. The coaches let us know we are a good team.”
McCormick led the way with 11 kills, 5 block assists and a .714 attack percentage. Tessa Andrews had 12 kills and Tara King dished out 36 assists.
The Mavericks (13-9, 11-2 RMAC) hit .411 in the match, including .679 in the first game.
“It’s always a coaching concern you’re not going to bounce back after a tough loss like that,” Mesa State coach Dave Fleming said. “We approached it like, ‘Hey, let’s take every contact as getting another shot at Kearney down the road sometime.’ I think the team responded very well to that. The whole team got to play and the whole team contributed.”
Chadron State (4-16, 4-9 RMAC) hit .129 for the match, including negative .219 in the third game.
Mesa State came out strong in the first game, going on a 9-1 run led by middle blockers McCormick and Rachael Beaty. Outside hitters Andrews, Ali Tompkins, Kelly Regimbal and Meagan Bosch kept the Chadron defense honest with their attack. Mesa hit .679 in the first game.
“If you get your middles going early, it just opens up the rest of the offense,” Fleming said. “Tessa was on fire early. If you can get both of them going early, it’s a guessing game for the block on the other side of the net.”
The Eagles came back with a stronger attack in Game 2, taking the lead and holding on to it until Mesa went on a 8-1 run to take an 18-14 lead. Megan Rush served two aces during the run.
“They responded real nicely in Game 2,” Fleming said. “I think that was all them. We played about the same level as Game 1. At the end of the game, we started gaining confidence, even from losing to Kearney and being competitive with them, we can be success at the end of games. That shows me we learned something from a tough loss.”
Mesa State came out strong again in Game 3, taking a 9-2 run and reeled off six consecutive points en route to the victory.
Defensive specialist Meredith Dolny sat out Saturday’s match with neck pain.
Swimming & Diving
Mesa redshirt freshman diver Annie Rhoades qualified for nationals in the 1-meter and 3-meter dives Saturday with scores of 416.70 (1-meter) and 425.15 (3-meter) at the Rocky Mountain Invitational in Golden.
The Mavericks defeated Adams State, Colorado Mines, Nebraska-Kearney, the University of Colorado’s club team and Metro State’s club team, but lost to Colorado State in the meet.
Mesa State was 5-0 on Friday in the two-day event, defeating Adams State, Colorado Mines, Nebraska-Kearney Colorado’s club team and Metro State’s club team. Mesa’s Kelly Hogan and Katie Wedel each won two individual events. Rebecca Reed won the 50-yard freestyle and Rachel Bailey won the 100 backstroke.
The Mesa State men beat Metro State’s club team each day in the two-day event, but lost to Mines and CU’s club team.
Mesa’s Jordan Cahill placed second in the 1-meter dive (343.55) and Dan MacDonald took third in the 200 butterfly.