Mavs land three volleyball players in early signing period

With the number of lineup shuffles the Colorado Mesa University volleyball team went through this season, the No. 1 recruiting priority is depth.

The Mavericks, who finished 11-17 this season with a roster of 12, took the first step by landing three players in the early signing period, addressing needs at outside hitter and in the back row.

Christian Otzen, a 5-foot-10 outside hitter from Flagstaff, Ariz., will compete for playing time right away.

“She’s not huge, but she’s a really good jumper,” CMU coach Dave Fleming said. “She jumps 9-7, is a real athletic kid.”

Otzen is the three-time Flagstaff all-city player of year, an all-region and all-state player her sophomore and junior years (the teams haven’t been announced for this season) and led Flagstaff to a 16-1 record this fall.

She concentrated on volleyball in high school and plays for Spiral Volleyball Club.

Kricket Adelman, who played outside hitter at Grand Junction High School, signed a couple of weeks ago. She’s projected to be a back-row player.

A three-sport athlete, Adelman should make quick strides adjusting to the college game when her focus is only on volleyball, Fleming said.

Cooper Cercy, a libero out of Natrona High School in Casper, Wyo., caught the Mavericks’ attention at their annual summer camp.

“I think she’ll transition quickly to the college gym, the way she communicates and sees the game,” Fleming said.

The Mavericks begin offseason workouts this week, getting in the weight room and having four-player workouts on the court.

Krista Ubersox, who came back to Mesa to get a graduate degree and use her final year of eligibility, plans to play next fall.

Ubersox, a setter, ruptured her Achilles tendon in the first weekend of the season, early enough to receive a medical hardship season.

“She’s out of the boot,” Fleming said. “She can’t run until about spring break, but getting out of the boot was a big step.”

And the coaches aren’t finished recruiting.

“Obviously we still need a middle; we haven’t replaced (Antoinette) McCormick yet,” Fleming said. “Those are some big shoes to fill, and we need to add some depth as well. Even with adding Christian, we only have three outsides on the roster.

“Melissa Hess’ best position isn’t outside, we want to move her back to right or middle, but we definitely need some depth.”

Getting Ubersox back helps with depth at setter, but not enough. She and freshman Jordyn Moody were the only true setters on the roster.

Moody missed the final weekend with a concussion and played most of the season with a badly bruised hip and knee tendinitis.

“We’re also looking at our depth at setter,” Fleming said. “The new concussion protocols are great for the sport, but it’s hard to get back on the floor. Moody is just getting cleared now.”


CHRISTIAN OTZEN, outside hitter from Flagstaff, Ariz.

KRICKET ADELMAN, outside hitter from Grand Junction

COOPER CERCY, libero from Casper, Wyo.


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