Loss at Pueblo drops Mavericks out of D-II top 10

Back to work.

That was the feeling among the players and coaches for the Colorado Mesa football team after their 30-24 loss Saturday at CSU-Pueblo.

“We have to take a step back and appreciate what we’ve got and get to work and get better this week,” senior running back David Tann said.

The Mavericks (4-1, 4-1 RMAC) tumbled out of the American Football Coaches Association top 10 on Monday, falling from No. 8 all the way to No. 21, with the ThunderWolves (4-1, 4-0 RMAC) moving up three spots to No. 14.

Ranked teams went 21-3 last week, with the Mavericks and then-No. 5 California (Pennsylvania) the only top-10 teams to lose last week. California fell to No. 16 after an overtime loss to Slippery Rock, which moved from No. 18 to No. 12.

After the game, the Mavericks vowed to get back on track this weekend against Black Hills State, a team that beat the Mavericks last season after their thrilling last-second win over Pueblo.

National rankings have no bearing on the NCAA Division II playoffs — those are determined by rankings in the four regions, which are compiled the final three weeks of the regular season, with seven teams qualifying in each region. The top seed receives a first-round bye.

“We’re not out of it, ever,” linebacker Tom Saager said. “We’ll come back. We still have a chance at the playoffs and anything can happen from there. We’re still on the right track. This one definitely hurts, but we’ve still got a bright future.”

Saturday’s victory gives the ThunderWolves the inside track to the conference championship, which was shared last season by Colorado Mesa, CSU-Pueblo and Colorado Mines after all three finished with two RMAC losses in the 10-game conference season.

The Mavericks are at the halfway point in the RMAC, with only two more home games and three road games remaining, and finish the season with a nonconference game at Azusa Pacific (California).

“We’ve got to grow from it,” CMU coach Russ Martin said after the loss. “We still have to go home and get better. One game does not define who we are as a team or as a person. We’ve got to get ready to go again, and we will. It’s important to these guys; that’s why it hurts.”

Volleyball: MacKenzie Edwards posted back-to-back matches with career highs in kills last week, earning the junior outside hitter RMAC offensive player of the week honors.

Edwards had 28 kills in a five-set win over Adams State on Friday, the most in her career, until the next night.

In a five-set loss to Fort Lewis, Edwards recorded 33 kills, only one off the school record (Nikki Green Kneuer, 2004), and also recorded 19 digs.

Triathlon: Ethan McNally placed 16th in the men’s race and Hannah Brockie was 24th in the women’s race last weekend in the NCAA West Regional triathlon in Berkeley, California.

McNally finished in 1 hour, 6 minutes, 42 seconds, and Brockie in 1:15.11. The course had a 750-meter swim, three trips around a 20-kilometer bike track and a 5K run.

Wyatt Colloty finished 17th for the CMU men, and Abi Young was 30th in the women’s race.


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