The Colorado Mesa University women’s lacrosse team had an opportunity Wednesday to clinch the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference regular-season title and to host the conference tournament.
Jessica Berg, Kyleigh Peoples, Bailey Truex and their Regis teammates had other plans at Maverick Field.
Berg scored five goals, Peoples had three goals and three assists and Truex scored three goals of her own as the No. 10 Rangers rolled to a 19-4 victory over the No. 24 Mavericks, clinching home-field advantage for the RMAC tournament in Denver in a de-facto regular-season championship game.
Berg scored two early goals and Peoples and Truex also scored as Regis (11-1, 7-0 RMAC) jumped to a 5-0 lead before Regan Wentz scored for Colorado Mesa (6-4, 6-1 RMAC), assisted by Elizabeth Renken. The Rangers then scored six straight goals for an 11-1 lead, with Peyton Ivey assisting a goal by Melanie Evans for the Mavericks right before halftime to cut the deficit to 11-2.
Regis scored seven straight goals to open the second half, increasing its lead to 18-2. Ashton Whittle and Madison Navarro scored back-to-back goals late in the second half for Mesa.
Andrea Macalalad, Monica Looney and Tia Krats scored twice for the Rangers. Colorado Mesa will look to bounce back before the RMAC tournament with a win at Westminster on Saturday afternoon.
Colorado Mesa placed third in the final American Volleyball Coaches’ Association Top 25 rankings that were released Wednesday.
The Mavericks went 15-1 this season, good enough for a top-three finish in Division II. Angelo State, the national champions, took No. 1, followed by Oklahoma Baptist at No. 2. Metro State and national runner-up Tampa rounded out the top five.
Colorado School of Mines finished at No. 9 and Regis finished with the final ranked spot at 25th.
One day after being selected as the RMAC player of the week, Colorado Mesa’s Ellie Smith was chosen as the Louisville Slugger/NFCA Division II national player of the week.
Smith was 9 for 15 in the No. 16 Mavs’ four-game sweep of Colorado Christian. She collected 11 RBI and hit four home runs and two doubles. She also pitched 7 1/3 inning, earning a pair of wins.