Mesa State volleyball team owns share of RMAC West

Mesa State’s volleyball team wrapped up a share of the RMAC West Division title Thursday night with a 3-1 victory over Fort Lewis in Durango.

The 25-23, 25-19, 22-25, 25-17 win moved the Mavericks (18-8, 12-5 RMAC) two matches ahead of Western New Mexico in the win column.

Mesa State has one match to play, tonight in Alamosa against Adams State. Western New Mexico (13-9, 10-6) plays at Western State tonight and at CSU-Pueblo on Saturday. Mesa can win the division outright by beating Adams State (8-16, 5-11).

The RMAC West Division champion receives the No. 2 seed in next week’s conference tournament in Kearney, Neb. The Lopers have secured the No. 1 overall seed, losing only one match in conference play, last week to Metro State.

The Roadrunners are on an 11-match winning streak, the longest current win streak in the conference.

Mesa’s outside hitters led the Mavs on Thursday, with Sarah Kemp recording 20 kills, coming on strong in the final game, and Meagan Bosch getting 14 kills, including one on match point, and 13 digs.

“That’s what we knew Kemp could do,” Mesa State coach Dave Fleming said. “That’s why we recruited her. She had a great match. She wasn’t getting kills on every swing, she had 44 swings and 20 kills, but she was managing the game really well. They got some back, but she just got a better swing the next time.”

Kemp made only four hitting errors, finishing with a .364 hitting efficiency.

After dropping the third game, the Mavericks regrouped, and with a 13-11 lead, Antoinette McCormick was tough at the service line.

She won seven straight points on her serve, including an ace. Kemp got four kills in that stretch, giving the Mavericks a 20-11 lead.

“She made some nice digs on that run,” Fleming said of his junior middle hitter. “She had six digs, that’s pretty good for having one rotation in the back row.”

McCormick and Lindsey Reed had seven kills each from the middle of the front row, and outside hitter Celest Alofipo had nine kills.

Fort Lewis got as close as 22-17 before Reed recorded a kill, the Mavs got an ace from Whitney Howard, who had a big cheering section from her hometown of Bayfield, and Bosch put the match away with a kill from the right side.

Mesa State served well, with seven aces, two each by McCormick and setter Tara King, who had 47 assists.

“Game four was some of the better volleyball I’ve seen out of us in awhile,” Fleming said. “It was fun to watch. It was simple volleyball. We weren’t panicking and were getting good rips.”


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