Mavs find groove, top Fort Lewis in volleyball
It’s not a huge roster, but it’s a versatile one for the Colorado Mesa University volleyball team, one that can attack from anywhere on the court.
That was evident Sunday evening when the Mavericks used a number of combinations in a 25-20, 20-25, 25-19, 25-23 RMAC victory over Fort Lewis at Brownson Arena.
“I think they’re used to the substitution pattern,” Colorado Mesa coach Dave Fleming said. “With the lack of depth, we have to have a number of people who don’t normally play (certain rotations) be ready to go in and get it done.”
Sunday, some of the ones who got it done were Rachael Beaty, who rotated into the middle blocker spot for Kelley Johnson, and Haleigh Higgins, who subbed in at outside hitter for Rebecca Sellers, who struggled with her consistency.
Beaty had two kills in each of the final two games and Higgins had four, three in the decisive set.
“If we can cut down on the unforced errors, and we just talked about that a little bit, we have weapons everywhere,” Fleming said.
“Becca had an off night and Haleigh stepped in and played pretty well. It was a good team win,” Fleming said.
The Mavericks (5-9, 1-4 RMAC) trailed 21-18 after Central High School graduate Ashley Wells recorded one of her six kills for the Skyhawks (3-10, 0-5).
Melissa Hess responded with a kill off a long dig that floated over the net.
Antoinette McCormick, who missed Saturday’s match for precautionary reasons after tweaking her right knee Friday, served an ace to cut the lead to 21-20. Fort Lewis got a point and the serve back on a kill by Taryn Pearce, but Mesa’s Jordyn Moody dumped the ball over for a point.
It was tied at 23-23 after Beaty and Kelly Regimbal teamed up for a block.
The Mavs immediately went to Regimbal to get to match point and end their four-match RMAC losing streak.
“That last swing by Kelly to get us to 24, Beaty deserves a lot of credit for that one because she held the block,” Fleming said.
“You can’t get over to Regi that quickly. That’s why we run that quick tempo to the middle, to try to get that block to hold, and it worked that time.”
With Hess serving, the Mavs set up the play for Regimbal on the right side. Beaty called for the set in the middle, and held two blockers with her deke. Instead, Moody pushed the set wide to Regimbal, who crushed the ball down the line to get to match point.
“She took advantage of that for sure,” McCormick said of the double block in the middle. “Rips down the line, I love it.”
The Mavs took the match on an attack down the line that went just wide by Wells, who came off the bench for Fort Lewis in the second game and played well all the way around. The 5-foot-11 freshman finished with 10 digs, one solo block, four block assists and one ace to go with her six kills.
The return of McCormick gave the Mavericks their full complement of options — she finished with 11 kills, Regimbal 15 and Hess nine.
“We have so many different options and lineups, depending on what game it is, what flows, how much of a sense of urgency we have,” McCormick said. “Tonight we clicked. We all had that button. We wanted to go get the ball and rip it.”