The CSU volleyball team went nearly two full years without dropping a Mountain West conference match.
Now they’ve lost two in the past week.
The Rams lost for the second time in their last three matches, falling to rival Wyoming 27-25, 27-25, 16-25, 25-18 in four sets in Laramie on Tuesday night. CSU, who hadn’t lost a conference match since Nov. 1, 2014 fell to San Jose State in five sets last Thursday after briskly taking the first two sets. CSU then swept Fresno State on Saturday.
Against the Cowgirls, CSU struggled offensively, hitting .178 for the match and committing 28 attack errors while also giving the Cowgirls seven points on service errors. Jasmine Hanna led with 15 kills and Sanja Cizmic added 11, but they came with 10 errors and a .030 hitting percentage.
Alexandra Poletto was the third Ram in double-digits, registering 10 kills and a .150 hitting percentage. Kirstie Hillyer added nine kills.
CSU did shine on the block, totaling 16 team blocks in comparison to Wyoming’s 13. Setter Katie Oleksak, who also had 44 assists, led with eight blocks. Middles Hillyer and Poletto were a force at the net as well, tallying seven and six blocks respectively. Hanna rounded out a solid individual performance by adding four.
Along the back Cassidy Denny had 14 digs and McKenna Thornlow added seven.
The hitting percentage fluctuated throughout the night, as CSU hit a lowly .053 in the first set and .194 in the second. In both sets, the Rams took the Cowgirls to extras and nearly pulled off set wins, but fell in both by a score of 27-25.
CSU’s attack looked to have been back in rhythm in the third set as they hit .423 and only had four errors while on their way to a comfortable set win. But the fourth set saw the offensive efficiency take a nose dive to a .103 hitting percentage.
With the loss, CSU now finds itself locked in a three-way tie for the conference lead with Boise State and UNLV. All three teams have records of 8-2 in conference play. CSU beat UNLV the first time the two teams played on Oct. 8. The Rebels will be in Fort Collins on Nov. 3. CSU and Boise State have yet to play this season, and won’t until what might be an important late-season match in Boise on Nov. 16.
CSU will have Thursday off before welcoming Utah State to Moby Arena on Saturday. CSU swept the Aggies in their first matchup on Sept. 29. The match will begin at 1 p.m. MT.
Collegian Sports Reporter Michael Roley can be reached at email@example.com and on Twitter @michael_roley