Long a defensive mastermind on the volleyball court, Maddi Foutz has emerged as one of the top offensive threats in all of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference.
Foutz, a 2017 Bayfield High School graduate, earned the first Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Week award on Wednesday for her performance in a pair of wins for Colorado Mesa University against No. 5 Regis (25-14, 25-16, 25-20) and Colorado State University-Pueblo (24-26, 25-17, 29-27, 25-21).
“It is so much fun. When I left high school, I never thought I’d be able to hit again,” Foutz said.
A 5-foot-5 libero who now doubles as an outside hitter, Foutz is in her second year at Colorado Mesa after she transferred away from Colorado State University, where she started in 43 matches in her first two seasons.
Foutz got a chance to play at outside hitter as a junior with the Mavericks in 2019 and recorded 75 kills, good for nearly one per set. But she only hit for an .078 percentage.
In her first games of the 2021 spring season, which was pushed back from the fall because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Foutz led the Mavericks with 23 kills (3.29 per set) last weekend while hitting for a .340 percentage. She committed only five errors all weekend.
Colorado Mesa head coach Dave Fleming and beach volleyball coach and assistant indoor coach David Skaff first talked to Foutz about playing more outside hitter her first season with Colorado Mesa.
“At first, I was nervous about it,” Foutz said. “But this year, I’ve stepped into that role and been more like myself playing aggressive.”
Those offensive numbers added to her always stout defensive statistics, as she was second on the team with 24 digs, good for 3.43 per set. She had an outstanding 0.933 receive percentage, and she also had four blocks. Foutz credited her continued play in beach volleyball for improving her skills in every facet of the game.
After the strong opening weekend, Foutz believes the Mavericks can chase a conference championship this season.
“The coaches like to see us all over the floor finding different ways to win,” she said. “What we did last weekend is really a testament to all the work we’ve been putting in the entire year. If we play to the best of our ability every game, I know we can do it.”
Foutz said she will take advantage of the extra year of NCAA eligibility granted to athletes this season because of the pandemic. She will return for the 2021 fall season, graduate in Dec. 2021 and hopes to play for the Mavericks’ beach team in 2022.
“I am definitely coming back next year,” she said.