Colorado Mesa volleyball team falls to Colorado Christian
Dave Fleming tried everything he could think of Saturday afternoon to help create a spark for the Colorado Mesa University volleyball team against Colorado Christian University.
The Mavericks were struggling on defense, and after dropping the first two sets in a 3-1 loss to the Cougars, Fleming started two defensive specialists, Sunni Rae Baird and Tiffany Petersen, and libero Megan Rush in the back row.
“Part of that is passing. We’ve got to get that ball to our setter if we’re going to be successful,” Fleming said after the Mavs lost their second straight match, 25-19, 25-23, 22-25, 25-22.
Too many times setter Jordyn Moody was chasing the pass down trying to set instead of being able to settle in her spot and run the Mavs’ attack.
“That’s not what we want her to do,” Fleming said. “We want her to anticipate a perfect pass and our hitters anticipate a perfect set. It wasn’t there.”
The Mavericks overcame a point penalty in that game when, with the game tied 10-10, Fleming was given a yellow, then a red card after an attack by Kelly Regimbal went wide after what appeared to be a touch at the net.
The down official, Laurie Hamm, had called a touch against the Mavs earlier in the match that Fleming disputed.
Hamm signaled to Joel Korver, the up official, to issue a yellow card when Fleming insisted if she was going to call a touch one time, she needed to be consistent.
As Fleming returned to his spot near the bench, he slapped his notebook in frustration, which drew a red card from Korver, awarding a point to the Cougars for a 12-10 lead. It was the first red card in Fleming’s eight years as a head coach.
The Mavericks were down 20-18 when they rode their front line. Regimbal connected for one of her 13 kills, and, down 22-19, Fleming sent Melissa Hess in to play in the middle. She immediately made an impact with a solo block against Ali Weber to cut it to 22-20.
A hitting error by the Cougars, and by a kill from CMU’s Rebecca Sellers tied it at 22-22. Weber’s attack went long, and Sellers stuffed her next attempt to give the Mavericks game point. Regimbal and Rachael Beary teamed up on a block to give the Mavs a chance.
They fought back from 16-13 and 20-14 in the final game, but Taylor Sturms, who led the Cougars (16-5, 7-4 RMAC) with 23 kills, served an ace on the back line when the Mavs elected not to play it, thinking it would go long, pushing the Cougars’ lead to 24-20. Summer Grager’s 13th kill of the night found a spot on the back line.
With three road matches in three days next week, the Mavericks (13-5, 7-3) need to regroup for the stretch run.
“I think part of that is we’ve raised our expectations,” Fleming said of the rough weekend. “When you’re 13-4, your expectations change a little bit from where we were last year.
“Unfortunately, that creates pressure. It shouldn’t; if anything, it should create confidence. We’ve just gotta work on that. We were 13-4 for a reason; we’re 13-5 for a reason. It’s still a good record.”
Swimming & Diving
Colorado Mesa dominated the sprint events to defeat Colorado School of Mines in a dual Saturday afternoon at El Pomar Natatorium. The men’s team won 129-114, and the women’s team won 120-73.
“Our sprints looked better than I thought they would,” CMU coach Ron Allen said. “We’re starting our hard training, so we’ll swim duals broken down.”
Freshman Amy Brodie won the women’s 50- and 100-yard freestyle. She swam the 50 in 25.24 seconds and the 100 in 54.5 seconds.
Junior Josh Scheuermann won the 50 freestyle (22.35), and Peter Szekely took second in the 100 (48.49).
Diver Brock Martin qualified for the NCAA Division II national championships in 1-meter with a first-place score of 292.3. The junior won the 3-meter competition with a score of 275.75. Divers are allowed to compete in both dives at nationals if they qualify in one dive.
Senior Kelly Hogan won the 200 freestyle (2 minutes, 1.43 seconds) and the 500 freestyle (5:30.44).
Other winners for Mesa were Sydney Miller in the 1,650 freestyle, Briana Purkapile in the 200 individual medley, Jillian Hayes in the 200 butterfly and Tyler Kaslik in the men’s 200 butterfly (1:59.61).