Led by junior All-America middle/right side hitter Kasie Gilfert, Colorado Mesa's volleyball team is picked to finish second in the RMAC this season behind Colorado School of Mines.
The Mavericks, who won the RMAC tournament title and reached the semifinals of the South Central Regional tournament last season, received two first-place voted and 209 points in voting of conference coached released Wednesday.
Gilfert and senior middle blocker Camille Smith were both listed as players to watch — the RMAC is no longer releasing preseason all-conference teams, instead compiling a watch list.
Mines received nine first-place votes and 214 points in the voting, with Dixie State picked third in its final year in Division II. Dixie State will transition to Division I status next fall.
Gilfert, who transferred to CMU from Northern Arizona last year, led all NCAA divisions and set CMU and conference records with a .451 hitting percentage, recording 413 kills and a school record (rally scoring era) 123 blocks.
She was selected the RMAC player of the year and the MVP of the conference tournament. She was also the regional player of the year.
The Mavericks started fall practice on Wednesday and open the season Sept. 6 in the Oredigger Classic in Golden. Mesa's first home match isn't until Sept. 27, when it hosts Westminster the second week of conference play.
Track and Field
Jack Briggs will represent Team USA in the Parapan American Games this month in Lima, Peru.
Briggs, who had part of his left arm amputated as a newborn, will compete in the 100 meters and could also be part of the 4x100 relay team. The prelims are Aug. 27.
It's the fourth time the senior from Fort Collins will compete for Team USA, finishing eighth in the 100 meters in 2015 in Toronto.