Mesa volleyball team starts season strong
The Colorado Mesa University volleyball team wanted to turn things around this season, and the Mavericks took the first step in the opening weekend.
One year ago, the Mavericks went 1-3 in the Colorado Mines Oredigger Classic. Saturday, they swept two South Central Region opponents and finished 3-1 in Golden.
Mesa showed off its balance, getting big offensive performances from a number of players and steady back-row play from libero Megan Rush to sweep Dallas Baptist and Incarnate Word.
Casey Ball had eight kills and a dozen digs in CMU’s 25-18, 25-19, 25-21 sweep of Incarnate Word and wrapped up her first weekend with Mesa with an 11-kill performance against Dallas Baptist. The Mavericks won that match 25-16, 25-18, 25-21.
Sophomore middle hitter Melissa Hess recorded 11 kills in the final match of the tourney, and freshman outside hitter Christian Otzen led the way with 16 kills.
Ball and Kelly Regimbal each recorded eight kills in the Incarnate Word match in the Mavericks’ first match of the day.
“It was a nice bounce-back from losing to Wayne (State),” CMU coach Dave Fleming said. “Otzen played really well against Dallas Baptist, and Casey Ball was really consistent all weekend. Megan Rush (75 digs in four matches) played great all weekend.”
Ball, a sophomore transfer from Missouri Southern, has quickly settled into the lineup.
“The first match she was very dominant, and I think she got a little tired at the end of the tournament,” Fleming said. “But Otzen picked it up in that last match.”
The Mavericks’ middle attack was solid no matter who played.
“It’s tough in the middle with the three of them, (Rachael) Beaty, (Abby) Ney and Hess,” Fleming said. “We started playing well with Ney and Hess today and just went with it.”
Alan Hernandez scored a goal on a penalty kick in the 73rd minute to pull Colorado Mesa into a 1-1 tie, and after two overtime periods, that stood for the final score as the Mavericks opened their season in St. George, Utah, against California State University-San Bernardino.
Colorado Mesa outshot the Coyotes 22-4, including 11-2 for shots on goal.
Mavericks goalkeeper Micah Conrads made one save.
The Coyotes goal came at the 35:56 mark of the first half on a header by Demetri Burgos.