Briefs: Mesa State Sept. 20, 2009
Hitters get the glory, back-row players the floor burns.
Ali Tompkins got both Saturday night, leading the Mesa State College volleyball team to a four-game victory over Fort Lewis, 25-15, 15-25, 25-28, 25-12 at Brownson Arena.
“We hit a little bit of a brick wall in Game 2 and they responded really well,”
Mesa State coach Dave Fleming said. “You don’t always win pretty.
“I think we got a little bit comfortable winning that first game with a big score and then we got down 6-1. We kept that five-point (difference) for awhile but we didn’t have an answer to get back into it. We’ve got to make things happen.”
Because Tompkins is such a threat on the left side of Mesa State’s front row, her defense often gets overlooked. She and the defensive specialists, Meredith Dolny, Whitney Howard and Megan Rush, got the Mavericks back in the match after nothing went right in Game 2.
“She doesn’t get a lot of credit for (defense) because she plays across the front,” Fleming said. “She’s a good defender, too.”
In a one-point game, 7-6, freshman Kelly Regimbal recorded a kill for the Mavericks to get the serve back and boost the lead to 8-6.
Dolny then rattled off four straight points to double Mesa’s lead to 12-6. Rush made a great one-handed diving dig, fisting the ball over the net, where the Skyhawks eventually made a setting error for the point.
Tompkins, who had a match-high 18 kills, was second on the team in digs with 15, behind Howard’s 17.
“Defense isn’t my speciality,” Tompkins said, laughing. “The blocks were there and all my digs were the ones that came to me. They were getting blocked or going off the block and it was making it easy for us.”
Antoinette McCormick sent an attack straight down over the middle for a 21-14 lead. She and setter Tara King meant to team up for a quick set on the next point, but King’s set floated over the net — and fell into the middle of the
Fort Lewis defense for a point.
McCormick had nine kills for the Mavericks (6-7, 4-0 RMAC), who have won five straight matches.
Howard served four straight points in the decisive game during a flurry when Tessa Andrews was unblockable. She recorded a kill to get the serve back at 15-8, then had two more, one a sizzling spike down the line that knocked Iris Frye off her feet as she attempted to dig the ball, and the next caromed off the block.
An ace by Howard made it 18-8, and after two kills by Tompkins, King had back-to-back aces to wrap up the match.
“Too comfortable, that’s a good word,” Tompkins said of the second-game funk. “I think we took them for (granted) because we killed them in the first game. Coach kind of brought us back to reality.”
Mesa State sophomore Kelleen Sera upset the fourth seed to reach the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Central Region singles semifinals in Kearney, Neb.
Sera, seeded seventh, defeated Winona State (Minn.) University’s Heather Pierce 6-4, 3-6, (10-7) in the quarterfinals and plays fifth-seed Anastasia Dabiza of Upper Iowa today for a spot in the finals.