Mavs back in the swing of things

Every so often in volleyball, it’s as if there’s a gaping hole right in the middle of the block.

And there’s a target on a back-row player. That’s when hitters go to work.

“It’s like when Antoinette hit the girl in the head (Friday). That was my favorite play of the game,” junior Kelly Regimbal said Saturday after Colorado Mesa University knocked off St. Anselm (N.H.) College 25-22, 25-15, 25-19 in the Holiday Inn Crossroads Classic. Friday against the University of Mary, one of Antoinette McCormick’s attacks hit a player in the head for a point.

It’s nothing personal, nothing intentional, it’s just part of the game.

Saturday, it was Regimbal’s turn to nearly knock a player off her feet with an attack when she cranked up on the first point of the third game. Her attack, one of seven for the six-foot opposite-side hitter, caused St. Anselm’s Kyla Gustavson to stagger back a couple of steps when she tried to dig the ball.

“A lot of it has to do with the set,” Regimbal said. “If the set’s there or you see a hole in the block, you just go for it. There are times you just need to keep the ball in play, but there are times you can just kill it and you know the block isn’t there.”

The Mavericks hit through the Hawks’ block time and time again Saturday, as they became more and more comfortable with each other.

The communication was far and away better than it was in their three-game loss to Dixie State on Thursday, a match that seemed to snap the Mavericks into focus.

“They’re figuring it out,” Colorado Mesa coach Dave Fleming said. “I think that’s why we were disappointed about Dixie. Who knows? Maybe Dixie would have won, but we could have played better. If everybody did their job instead of watching what their teammates are doing, we’re pretty good.”

With junior libero Megan Rush chattering constantly from the back row, the Mavericks were much more in rhythm, and it resulted in a good hitting day.

“She communicates very well,” Fleming said. “She’s a good leader out there. She knows what’s going to happen almost before it does.”

Four players had seven or more kills, with the outsides doing their job well enough to allow McCormick to lead them with 11 kills on 19 swings. She made only four hitting errors, resulting in a .368 hitting percentage.

“That’s a pin hitter for you,” Fleming said of his outsides. “If you have consistent pin hitters it takes pressure off everybody. It takes pressure off passers; we just need to pass the ball a little higher and (Jordyn) Moody can get the ball to the pins and something good’s going to happen.”

The Mavericks finished 2-2 in the tournament, losing in four games Saturday night to Academy of Arts.

McCormick and Rachel Beaty each had nine kills in the 27-25, 11-25, 25-21, 25-23 loss.


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