Colorado Mesa volleyball team holds off Western State

Things got a little too close for the Colorado Mesa University volleyball team in Friday’s 3-0 RMAC win over Western State College at Brownson Arena.

Despite leading by at least nine points late in the first two games, the Mavericks (7-11, 2-6 RMAC) won 25-21, 25-22, 25-22.

“It’s always good to get a win in the RMAC and it’s always good to get a win against Western State, but we’ve got to play better,” coach Dave Fleming said. “We’ve got to close out games. You can’t let teams climb back in.”

The problem of closing out games rarely came early.

The Mavericks started the match with a kill by Rachael Beaty and parlayed the momentum into a 7-1 run. The run included two kills by Melissa Hess and two setting errors by Western’s Josie Hopkins. The closest the Mountaineers got early on was four points after a kill by Kallee Cool to cut Mesa’s lead to 13-9.

After Cool’s kill, CMU went on a 10-4 run behind kills from Beaty, Antoinette McCormick, Haleigh Higgins and Hess for a 23-13 lead.

After the 23rd point, though, CMU struggled and Western scored eight of the final 10 points before the Mavs won it on a kill by McCormick.

Western’s streak included three attack errors by the Mavs and four kills by Cool, who had eight kills in the match.

The trend continued into the second game, which was tied 7-7 early until Mesa went on a 12-3 run behind five errors by Western and four kills by McCormick to make it 19-10.

Western again clawed back behind solid defense that improved as the match went on, pulling within 24-22. CMU won the game on an error by Stephanie Schlis.

“Our team (issue) right now is we take a break,” Fleming said. “We can’t do that, we’ve got to be the same from 0 to 75 ... and we’re not. Hopefully we’re able to learn from that.”

In the final game, Western took an early 3-0 lead and had six of the first 10 points.

The Mavs took the lead on a 5-0 run that started with a kill by Higgins, was followed by kills from Hess and McCormick. The Mavericks got two straight aces by libero Megan Rush.

The teams kept it close throughout the game and were tied at 20-20 late in the match. Mesa won five of the final seven points.

Mesa setter Jordyn Moody set the tone, recording 34 assists.

She found hitters all over the court — Higgins on the left, McCormick in the middle and Hess on the right. McCormick led the Mavs with 14 kills, Hess had 12 and Higgins added eight.

“The passers did a great job tonight getting the ball high, so I could get there and set up my hitters,” Moody said. “It was fun to be able to play where I wanted and I knew it was going to go down.”


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