Mavs are again expected to compete
Colorado Mesa’s volleyball team was eager to get back in the gym this fall to turn around the season-ending six-match losing streak that ended the Mavericks’ 2016 season.
The RMAC coaches think the Mavericks will, voting them third in the preseason poll, with two coaches voting CMU’s veteran team No. 1. In the overall voting, Colorado School of Mines, ranked No. 19 in the preseason American Volleyball Coaches Association rankings, received five first-place votes and 182 points, with Metro State No. 2.
The Roadrunners received six first-place votes and 174 points, with CMU third with 166 points. Metro State’s thrilling five-set victory in the first round of the NCAA Division II South Central Region tournament knocked the Mavericks out of the playoffs.
Regis, which received the other first-place vote, is fourth with 147 points.
Three CMU players made the preseason all-RMAC team, including libero Taylor Woods, who was voted the preseason defensive player of the year. Woods, a junior from Glendale, Arizona, averaged 4.71 digs per set last season and recorded 77 assists during her sophomore season.
Outside hitter MacKenzie Edwards, a junior from Lakewood who had 398 kills (3.83 per set), and middle hitter Hattie Gianinetti, a senior from Carbondale who had 51 blocks and 182 kills last season, made the preseason all-conference team along with Woods.
Gianinetti and Edwards made the first team all-RMAC team last season, with Woods on the second team.
Virtually the entire team is back this season for CMU, with ony two freshmen signed in the offseason. The Mavs (18-10, 12-6 RMAC in 2016) lost three seniors to graduation and backup setter Hana Peterman did not return.
The Mavericks get their first look at Colorado Mines this weekend when they open the season at the Oredigger Classic in Golden, playing Western New Mexico and Rollins, Florida, on Friday and Texas Woman’s University and Cal State-San Bernardino on Saturday.
After another tournament at Lubbock Christian, they open conference play at home on Sept. 12 against Western State.