It has come to that point in the 2013 season where winning games and breaking records comes second nature. When the last point hits the court, the first thought is that CSU has done it again.
The 12th sweep of the season (25-18, 25-18, 25-19) improved CSU’s winning streak (23-0, 14-0MW) in another conference defeat over Nevada. A victory was not the only celebration in Moby Arena for CSU.
Head coach Tom Hilbert became the 10th coach in NCAA volleyball history to earn 600 career wins. Out of his 776 matches, Hilbert accomplished another milestone in his 17 years as CSU head coach.
“It feels weird to me to be out there and people are cheering for me and I wave like I’ve done something, because these guys played the match,” Hilbert said. “I started coaching as a head coach at age 29. That was 25 years ago. I’ve been doing this my entire life as an adult. I’m fortunate as hell to have this job. It’s a job lots of people just dream about having.”
While Hilbert gives credit to his team for the great success, it comes without saying this CSU team takes his coaching and puts it into action on the court.
“Tom is such a great coach and knowing that he’s had so much experience coaching, just to be able to listen to his knowledge every day is really cool,” Adrianna Culbert said. “I like it. He’s a cool coach.”
Aside from the achievement for Hilbert, the Rams on-court performance continues its own successful achievement. With 19 consecutive wins in Moby Arena, the Rams have the third best streak on home court.
Against the Wolfpack, the Rams came out slow in set one. While Nevada does not stand strong in the MW with a (2-24, 0-14 MW) record, CSU did not take advantage the Wolfpack’s weaknesses.
The Rams took set one and two with a late run in the remaining 10 points. CSU consistently showed success late into the game when the offense attack kicked into motion for the final kills. Though CSU totaled 17 attacker errors, giving up vital points to Nevada.
Outside attacker Marlee Reynolds and Culbert both hit 11 kills on the night with a .391 hitting percentage for Culbert and .273 for Reynods.
CSU had six ties and two lead changes in the third set. It became a back and forth match; when the Rams went on a consecutive point run, the Wolfpack answered back and tied at 16. Without a sweat, CSU finished Nevada with six points to spare, ending the night with a .375 hitting percentage.
The outside had great success against Nevada, where freshman Acacia Andrews filled the middle blocker spot for Samanatha Peters on the night.
“Acacia was playing for Sam, which is good for us. I think what it does is has Deedra (Foss) over analyzing things when we pull a late switch like this,” Hilbert said. “Acacia did a good job considering she doesn’t get to start a lot of times. She got seven kills—which is good—she had a couple of hitting errors, and you have to expect that’s going to happen with a new, inexperienced player like her. I thought she did a really good job.”
Peters was given the night off to rest. She has played this season with a back brace and a wrap around her knee during Saturday’s game.
Volleyball Beat Reporter Haleigh Hamblin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org