Colorado State volleyball lost their third straight match Friday night. It is the first time since 2012 the team has lost three straight.
This time around the loss came against the Wichita State Shockers, after dropping their last two games against UC Santa Barbara and Pittsburgh.
While the Rams were swept by the Shockers, all three sets were competitive, as the score was tied at 16 different times throughout the match.
The largest lead in the first set was only four points, held by the shockers at 14-10. The Rams fell into a rhythm of pushing an attack to take the lead, but slowly falling behind again due to serving errors and what seemed to be a lack of communication at the net. In a close finish, the Shockers took the last four points, the last of which was challenged by Tom Hilbert on a net violation with unsuccessful results. CSU’s Jasmine Hanna led the Rams offensive with 7 kills on 9 attempts in the first set.
“We started out this match pretty decently, jasmine had a monster game and we lost the first set in serving and passing,” head coach Tom Hilbert said.
Another back and forth battle began in the second set, but the fight from the Rams began to fade. Four consecutive kills by the Shockers allowed them to establish a 10-5 lead. The Rams struggled to receive serves, giving up four aces to the Shockers.
The third set was deja vu to the second set. A tight battle to start the set with the Shockers out maneuvering the Ram’s to take the game. The Rams were unable to put together a rally offensively or defensively, only scoring 17 points and tallying one block with 10 digs.
The Rams have the ability to battle and fight in their matches, as seen in the first set, yet lapses on the defensive end and small mistakes caught up to them in the end.
“I thought our blocking did some okay things at certain times,” Hilbert said. “But this was a very one sided match.”
The defensive intensity was obviously lacking, with the Rams earning only three blocks. The Ram’s also took 30 digs, a relatively low number compared to Wichita’s 41 digs.
“I think in the three years I have been here, our team has never got out-dug by that much,” senior libero Cassidy Denny said.
With the intensity of play fading after the first set, the Rams have struggled to play consistent recently.
“We aren’t playing consistently well throughout the course of all matches.” Hilbert said. “I want to learn from it and get better.”
The Rams will take on the No. 2 Texas Longhorns Friday at 7:00 p.m. at Moby Arena.
Collegian sports reporter Jack Starkebaum cane be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org