Briefs: Mesa State Sports Roundup November 09, 2008
• Alexis Skarda moving on to NCAA nationals
The Mesa State College cross country team fell one spot short, but freshman Alexis Skarda made it.
The Mavericks finished sixth, but Skarda placed eighth overall to take the second individual NCAA national championship qualifier in the NCAA Central Regional Championships on Saturday in Kearney, Neb. The national championships take place Nov. 22 in Slippery Rock, Pa.
“Metro came out strong and nipped us in the bud,” Mesa State coach Gig Leadbetter said. “Alexis ran almost the exact same time as the Loper Open (four weeks ago).”
Skarda finished eighth in 22 minutes, 7.1 seconds. Shannon Payne of the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs won the regional title to qualify for nationals with a time of 21:12.5.
Adams State won the team title with 30 points, led by Heather Wood’s second-place finish. Augustana (S.D.) took second with 81, Western State placed third with 83, Minnesota-Duluth was fourth with 129 and Metro State finished fifth with 180. The top five teams qualify for nationals. Mesa State took sixth with 198.
Skarda and Esmeralda Martinez-Ramos earned All-Region honors by placing in the top 15. Martinez-Ramos took 12th in 22:33.5. Paula Bruzewski placed 54th in 23:35.9, Kelsey Follett was 61st in 23:49.1 and Brooke Bosman finished 63rd in
23:51.3 to round out the Mavericks points. Cecilia Garcia was 89th (24:43.8) and Samantha Hentosh placed 102nd (24:59.0).
• One match swung Mesa State College from the No. 2 seed in the RMAC volleyball tournament this week to ...
“Six, seven or eight,” coach Dave Fleming said after the Mavericks lost 24-26, 25-15, 27-25, 25-15 to Western New Mexico. “Six is about the best we can hope for.”
One night after making only nine hitting errors in a three-game victory over New Mexico Highlands, the Mavericks committed 40 against the Mustangs.
“We had a swing (to win) Game 3 and we weren’t able to terminate,” Fleming said. “If we had gotten that, I think it would have been a completely different match.
“But 40 errors. There aren’t many teams you’re going to beat with 40 hitting errors.”
Fleming said the errors were a case of the Mavericks pressing to make the perfect attack.
“Absolutely,” he said. “If we had one hitting error, it affected the next swing.”
Nebraska-Kearney hosts the RMAC tournament starting Friday afternoon. The championship match is Sunday.
Alisan Tompkins had 17 kills and Jessica Bird nine for the Mavericks (14-12, 12-7 RMAC), but Bird also had an uncharacteristic nine hitting errors.
Tara King had 47 assists, Tompkins 16 digs and Ashley Loftsgard 12 digs.
Western New Mexico (20-7, 14-5 RMAC), which will be the No. 2 seed in the tournament, had a balanced attack, with nine kills from Natali Murdock and Alzie Auelua and eight from Dreanne Shaw and Mary Medford.
No. 7 seed Mesa State will play Western New Mexico at 1:30 p.m. Friday in the first round of the RMAC tournament.
The winner of the RMAC tournament receives an automatic bid to the NCAA Division II tournament, and Fleming has always liked his team’s chances if the Mavs are playing well.
“With our backs to the wall we’ve been at our best since I’ve been at Mesa State,” he said. “We’ve got to find a way to do that.”
Mesa State scored wins over a Division I, II and III program in the Bill & Peggy Foster Duals at Orchard Mesa Pool.
The Mavericks (3-1) defeated Division I University of Colorado 207-55, Division II Grand Canyon (Ariz.) University 217-36 and Division III Colorado College 215-46, but lost 161-101 to Air Force Academy.
Mesa freshman Katie Wedel won three events: the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:19.02, the 200 in 2:47.64 and the 200 individual medley in 2:31.01. Mesa freshman Jackie McMillen won the 200 backstroke in 2:30.99 and took second in the 800 freestyle in 10:11.31.