Moody’s kills help Mavs sweep Chadron

As a rule, hitters aren’t too keen on setting in a volleyball match.

Setters, however, love to hit.

They don’t get too many chances, so when they see an opening to dump the ball over the net instead of setting, they’ll take it.

Jordyn Moody saw that chance several times Friday night in Colorado Mesa University’s three-game sweep of Chadron State at Brownson Arena.

“It was just open, so I decided to go for it and give our hitters a break,” Moody said after recording five kills in eight attacks in the Mavericks’ 25-23, 29-27, 25-23 victory. “It makes the other blockers honor me, so I might as well help out. I love dumping ... it makes me feel like a hitter.”

Moody took the court with her right thigh and hip heavily wrapped, but she insisted she’s fine.

Last season, Moody had myriad injuries, including a hip injury, but she said wrapping her leg just makes her feel better. She was clearly moving fine, scrambling all over the court for sets, hitting the floor for some key digs and even stepping over a teammate or two to get to the ball.

She finished with 32 assists, eight digs and was in on one block for the Mavericks (12-3, 6-1 RMAC).

Moody had plenty of options when she was setting, as usual.

Freshman outside hitter Christian Otzen led Mesa with 13 kills on a special night for her.

Otzen’s mother, Danette, was diagnosed with breast cancer this summer, and on the Mavs’ “Dig Pink” night for breast cancer awareness, Danette Otzen had the ceremonial first serve.

“I think it’s really special,” Christian said. “I couldn’t ask for a better team. It (her mother’s diagnosis) happened right before I left for school, so it’s hard not being there to help her with all that stuff, but we’ve got such a good support network at home and here. We have a whole new family that really stepped in and made us feel at home.”

Otzen was involved right from the get-go, with four kills in each of the first two games and five in the finale.

“We’ve been working constantly in practice on mixing up our shots and range instead of just power shots,” she said.

Colorado Mesa’s defense also helped, with libero Megan Rush recording 17 digs and Haleigh Higgins playing a solid match with 12 digs, six kills and two aces.

After Moody scored on a dump to get it to game point in the first set, she and Rachael Beaty teamed up on a block to finish it.

The Eagles (3-13, 1-6) took a 13-6 lead in the second game before the Mavericks steadily got back into the game. An ace by Higgins started the comeback, and Abby Ney recorded a stinging kill down the middle, pumping her fist after cutting Chadron’s lead to 21-17.

Rebecca Sellers and Higgins scored back-to-back kills, and Otzen connected down the line to make it 22-20. Two straight errors by Chadron tied the game at 22-22.

It bounced back and forth until Kelly Regimbal and Higgins connected on back-to-back points for the win.

They’re still working on putting matches away, though. Coach Dave Fleming chatted with them about that, especially after taking a 9-3 lead in the third game only to see the Eagles rally and lead 21-17.

Kills by Regimbal and Otzen brought the Mavs back, and Melissa Hess threw up a smothering block in the middle on match point.

“We started talking about killer instinct, that mojo,” Fleming said. “We’re good enough to have it, we just have to believe in ourselves. But hey, 3-zero, another win, we’ll take it.”


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