Fans show support with pink togas in Mesa State’s home victory

The four male fans in pink togas in the front row of the Herd student section were a bit of a shock, but all in all, Friday night’s Swing for Life fundraiser was a success at Brownson Arena.

Tessa Andrews was certainly in the spirit of the evening, scoring on 18 of her 34 swings to lead the Mesa State College volleyball team to a sweep of CSU-Pueblo, 25-17, 25-23, 25-23.

“The whole atmosphere, everyone is dressed up,” Andrews said.

And the togas?

“I don’t know what that was all about, but hey, go for it,” she said with a grin.

The Mavericks wore bright pink jerseys the first two games, then changed to their black tops for Game 3, with libero Whitney Howard donning her pink jersey.

The jerseys, autographed volleyballs and other items were auctioned off, with proceeds going to St. Mary’s Cancer Survivorship Program and the Swing for Life Foundation.

Once the Mavericks tossed pink volleyballs into the crowd during introductions, they immediately went to work establishing their middle attack.

“They were biting on our middles and we told our setters, we’ve got to get our middle up quick and go away from her because Pueblo was biting on that,” Mesa State coach Dave Fleming said.

With the ThunderWolves concentrating their block against Antoinette McCormick early, it opened up the Mavs’ pin hitters, Andrews on the right side and Ali Tompkins and Gabrielle Lovato on the left.

Andrews was particularly effective against the single block. Once the Mavs went away from the middle attack, CSU-Pueblo loaded up against the left side, leaving Andrews, one of the top hitters in the conference, facing a single block.

Her attacks went caroming off the back-row players, and when the block was geared more toward the right side, Tompkins and Lovato were left with single blocks.

Tompkins had 10 kills and Lovato seven for the Mavericks (14-9, 12-2 RMAC), who play Adams State at 7 tonight.

“I have to attribute most of the credit to our other front-row players,” Andrews said. “Every time I have one blocker up or no one up because they’re holding our middles, because they’ve been doing so well. It’s so much easier when I’ve only got one block up.”


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