Mesa volleyball team sweeps Black Hills State at Brownson

Mesa volleyball team sweeps Black Hills State at Brownson

Colorado Mesa’s Kelly Regimbal makes a play on the volleyball Saturday afternoon during the Mavericks’ three-game sweep of Black Hills State at Brownson Arena.



Colorado Mesa’s Haleigh Higgins, 5, blasts a kill over the block of Black Hills State’s Kylee Lamb, 5, and Danielle Torpey, 17, during the Mavericks’ 3-0 victory Saturday night at Brownson Arena.



You know it when the middle hitters on the Colorado Mesa University volleyball team want the ball.

Melissa Hess or Rachael Beaty will start screaming “yeahyeahyeah!” as the ball is dug. Sometimes, it’s a way to try to deke the defense into thinking they’re getting the set, which is pushed outside instead.

Saturday afternoon, though, they got the set, and they came through.

Hess had seven kills and Beaty five as the Mavericks breezed to their fourth straight win, 25-19, 25-20, 25-19 over Black Hills State at Brownson Arena.

“It really helps, we can talk to (setter Jordyn Moody), ‘Yeah, yeah, yeah, I’m up,’ ” Hess said. “The earlier you’re up, it helps a lot more. The other middle is usually loading (to jump to block), or they’re not there so you go straight over them.”

The Mavericks (13-3, 7-1 RMAC) like to establish the middle attack, which helps take some of the blocking attention away from their pin hitters who flank them on the front row. Saturday it worked just like they draw it up.

In the first game, with the Mavs up 6-5, a dig floated a little tight to the net, but Moody went up and tipped it back just enough for Hess to connect for a point.

Later, Beaty got a quick set for a point and to get the serve back with a 17-11 lead, and after Megan Rush served two of her match-high four aces, Hess sent a kill into the back corner for a 21-12 lead as the Mavs pulled away.

“We always talk about coming out strong, and sometimes we don’t do it as much as we should,” Hess said. “Today we definitely did that and started off how we should.”

With freshman outside hitter Christian Otzen again reaching double digits in kills with 15 and right-side hitter Kelly Regimbal and outside hitter Haleigh Higgins adding five apiece, the Mavericks never let the Yellow Jackets (5-12, 0-8) get in the match, which ended in 75 minutes.

“We were just saying (in the post-match meeting), even if they had a couple of runs, we came back and played how we play and did what we do,” said Hess, a 
6-foot-2 sophomore from Scottsdale, Ariz.

Mesa never trailed in the first two games and only briefly gave up the lead in the third game. The Mavericks were down 5-4 and 6-5 before a Black Hills error and two more aces by Rush made it 8-6.

Then, the team blocking of Higgins and Hess took over, with Regimbal coming up with a stuff block in a 5-2 scoring run for a 13-8 lead.

“We’ve been practicing a lot on blocking, getting our hips there, squaring and just simple stuff,” Hess said. “Sometimes we do too much. Our coach (Dave Fleming) always tells us, just simple, simple, simple is always best.”

The Mavericks ran their one-setter offense against the Yellow Jackets and were in a good rhythm the entire match, with Moody picking the right hitters to set.

Hess had only one hitting error in 14 swings (a .429 hitting efficiency) and Otzen four in 31 attacks (.355).

“Our team is very balanced about that,” Hess said. “If middles are committing on us or closing our block on us, the setters are good enough to push it to the outside or the backside.

“If there’s a double block on the pins, she knows to set to the middle. Everyone’s really balanced with that.”


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