Pursuing a victory
Led by Edwards, Scherr and defense, Mavs outlast Grizzlies
A lot of times when an attack in volleyball caroms off the hands of the blockers, the ball heads toward the scorer’s table with no chance to keep it alive.
Unless, of course, Colorado Mesa libero Taylor Woods is anywhere in the vicinity.
She sprinted after the ball Friday night and stuck one fist out, keeping the ball from hitting the table. The ball took a left turn and sailed toward the end of the table near the CMU bench.
Katie Scherr punched the ball back toward the court just enough for MacKenzie Edwards.
From a giant step outside the court, Edwards sent the ball whizzing back over the net for a kill and a 21-11 lead against Adams State in the first set of an RMAC match at Brownson Arena.
“We’ve been really working on defense, it’s how we get the game started, get fired up,” Woods said after the Mavericks outlasted Adams 25-13, 25-18, 23-25, 21-25, 15-10. “We’ve been practicing holding on defense and pursuing. That was pursuing.”
“I turned around and Taylor was right there,” said Scherr, who played an outstanding match with a career-high 15 kills, 12 digs, two block assists and a pair of aces.
“I got stuck,” Woods said. “My feet were under the table.”
Throughout the first two sets, the Mavericks (10-3 4-1 RMAC) never allowed the Grizzlies (6-8, 2-3 RMAC) to put together a scoring run.
In the second set, Scherr, a 5-foot-11 outside hitter, recorded a kill and went to the service line with the Mavericks down 9-8. She gave them a 12-9 lead before Adams got the serve back. Scherr was serving again with a 21-18 lead, and an Adams State hitting error made it 22-18.
A block by Natalee Todd, who had five block assists to go with her 11 kills, followed by a knuckleball ace, put it at set point, and another Adams State hitting error had CMU in control.
After hitting .357 and .407, respectively, in the first two sets, the Mavs’ efficiency plummeted, with a .225 hitting percentage in the third set and .150 in the fourth.
“We’ve been working on focusing on our side, we don’t want to focus too much on them,” Woods said. “We’ve been working on being more consistent. We found a way to win.”
Despite the Grizzlies loading up the block against Edwards, she just kept swinging, and finished with a career-high 28 kills.
With Edwards getting so much attention, it opened things up for Scherr and Todd, who came up with big points of their own.
“There were a lot of areas for me to hit. I know having Taylor behind me, I can swing away and she’ll cover me,” Scherr said. “It was such a tight game, I think my adrenaline was going.”
That adrenaline was pumping even more in the fifth set after the women’s soccer game ended and the students who were at Walker Field came inside and immediately got into the match.
“The energy of the crowd, when they came in in the fifth game, that helped us a lot,” Woods said. “It’s all about energy and momentum, the game of volleyball. All the soccer players told us, ‘Win in three so they can come to our game.’ Psyche.”
Up 12-10 in the final set, Sam Ritter set Scherr, whose cross-court attack landed just inside the court. Ritter, who had 47 assists, 12 digs, two block assists and two kills, went right back to the hot hitter on the next point, and another cross-court swing gave Scherr her 15th kill and put the Mavericks at match point.
This time, Ritter dumped the ball into the middle of the Adams State defense for the winner.
“Coach always tells us to stay aggressive and keep swinging high,” Scherr said of her big night, “so that’s what I did.”
One player down after Halie Bergeron was assessed a red card with less than seven minutes to play, the Mavericks gave up a late goal in a 1-0 loss to Regis.
Less than two minutes after the card, the Rangers’ Tori Rinsem scored her first goal of the season at the 85:05 mark.
Colorado Mesa, which recently has made a habit of late-game heroics, couldn’t get off a shot in the final five minutes.
The defenses allowed only three shots on goal, two by Regis (6-1-2, 4-0-1 RMAC) and one by CMU (5-4-0, 2-2-0).