Fleming takes blame for Mesa volleyball team’s loss
Simple volleyball worked Thursday.
Colorado Mesa University coach Dave Fleming just wishes it was his team playing that simple game.
The spark was missing, and no matter what they tried, the Mavericks couldn’t find it in a 25-15, 25-16, 25-9 loss to Dixie State (Utah) College in the opening game of the Holiday Inn Crossroads Classic at Brownson Arena.
“That’s 100 percent on me,” Fleming said. “I just didn’t get them ready to play. We’re more talented than that. From the libero to the setter to the middles to the outsides, the right sides, we’re more talented and I didn’t get any one of them ready to play. It’s on me.”
Fleming, though, could only do so much from the bench. The Mavericks had trouble communicating on defense and the Red Storm took advantage. Dixie found holes over the front row and used good serving to keep the Mavericks scrambling.
Dixie (3-2) had nine service aces, several glancing off the arms of the back-row players, some falling between players. Mesa never got into any kind of rhythm.
“I haven’t figured out the buttons to push on these guys,” Fleming said. “A lot of credit to Dixie, they played good, simple volleyball and they beat us.”
The Red Storm controlled the match at the net, with Alex Shearer recording 11 kills, Morgan Hill, Brita Jensen and Lynzee Crosland nine each.
Dixie came up with three solo blocks and had players team up for three more. The Mavericks (1-4) didn’t record a block.
Mesa was in the match early, tied 12-12 in the first game, but a service error gave Dixie a 13-12 lead. The Red Storm won 12 of the next 15 points and the Mavericks didn’t have another scoring run the rest of the match.
Fleming said it wasn’t a case of being early in the season and not knowing one another or being young.
“They’re a talented bunch,” he said. “We’ve been going since August 15, we know each other. It’s on me. If they can’t get it at this point, I’ve done something wrong between August 15 and now.”
Antoinette McCormick led the Mavericks with six kills. After a long talk after the match, Fleming sent the Mavericks home to get ready for tonight’s match against the University of Mary, which is a regional opponent.
“You’ve got to learn from your wins, you’ve got to learn from your losses,” he said. “If we learn we don’t want this feeling again ... I’ve got to figure out between now and 7 o’clock (tonight) how to prepare them, because they’re more talented than that.”