Dixie State could not overcome a cold hitting night as the No. 2-seeded Trailblazers’ bid for a 2018 RMAC women's volleyball tournament title came to an end Friday night in a 3-1 loss to No. 3 seed Colorado Mesa at Lockridge Arena.
The loss snapped the Blazers’ eight-match winning streak as DSU fell to 22-5 overall, while the Mavericks (22-6) move on to play the winner of the second semifinal match between top-seed and host Colorado School of Mines and No. 4 seed MSU Denver in Saturday’s RMAC championship match.
CMU pounced on the Trailblazers from the start as the Mavericks scored six of the first seven points of the match and cruised to a 25-17 first-set win. CMU limited Dixie State to a .029 attack percentage, and the Trailblazers did not fare much better in set two as DSU hit just .105 in the stanza. However, the Trailblazer defense picked up the slack as DSU forced 10 Maverick attack errors and held CMU to a -.026 percentage on its way to a 25-20 triumph to square the match at 1-1.
The two teams battled back and forth for most of the third set, but the Mavericks eventually pulled away thanks to a 10-4 spurt, which turned a 15-13 lead into another 25-17 set win, to take a 2-1 match lead. CMU never trailed in the decisive fourth set and held a commanding 19-14 lead, but the Trailblazers rallied with a 7-2 run to tie the frame at 21-21. However, that was as close as Dixie State got as the Mavericks scored the final four points to close out the match, 25-21, and advance on to Saturday’s tournament finale.
Dixie State committed a season-high 30 attack errors (to just 43 kills) and was held to a season-low .093 attack percentage. Sophomore Megan Treanor notched her team-high 11th double-double of the year with 11 kills and 11 assists to go with four block assists to lead the Trailblazers, while senior Malary Marshall tallied 10 kills and senior Hannah Doonan chipped in six kills.
Junior Lauren Gammell recorded a team-high six blocks assists, three of which came in DSU’s second-set win, and finished with five kills. In addition, sophomore Jordyn Nelson dished out 22 assists, and senior Sid Brandon collected a game-high 23 digs, including her 1,400th career dig (1,419) during the first set.Comment on this story
Colorado Mesa hit .207 for the match, which included a .306 clip in the opening set and a .371 percentage in the fourth set. Mackenzie Edwards tallied a match-high 14 kills, while Kasie Gilfert led the Maverick defense (18.0 total team blocks) with 14 total blocks, including three solo stops, to go with nine kills.
Dixie State, which is currently ranked fourth in the latest NCAA Division II South Central regional rankings, will find out this Sunday, Nov. 11, if the Trailblazers will make their fourth NCAA tournament appearance. The 2018 NCAA Division II Women's Volleyball Tournament Selection Show will be broadcast live on NCAA.com beginning at 8 p.m. MT. The 2018 NCAA South Central Regionals will be held next weekend at a site that has yet to be determined.