First game jitters affected the No. 25 CSU volleyball team in the first set, but once the Rams righted the ship they rolled to a 3-0 win over Virginia to open the 2012 season.
No CSU player totaled more eight kills, but five players had more than six kills.
“We have great hitters at the net at all times so I can give it to whoever I want or whoever wants it,” redshirt sophomore setter Deedra Foss said. “With those kind of numbers it means we didn’t rely on one player to win the game for us.”
Redshirt sophomore outside hitter Marlee Reynolds benefited the most from CSU’s balanced attack, hitting .600 for the match with seven kills in her first career start.
“I was a little nervous but I didn’t want my nervousness to affect my play in a negative way,” she said. “I tried really hard to convert it positively and help my team out.”
CSU struggled to find its rhythm early in the match, trailing 15-10 midway through the first set. Eventually the Rams tied the set at 16 and went on to score nine of the next 11 points to close the set out.
“The one advantage we probably had was that we knew what some of their players were going to do. They had no idea what we were going to do,” Virginia coach Dennis Hohenshelt said. “In the end that team just physically overpowered us.”
The Rams continued their run into the second set, jumping out to a 6-0 lead and cruising to a 25-13 victory.
Virginia committed 11 more hitting errors than CSU and ended up with 12 less kills
“A lot of that is caused by good blocking,” CSU coach Tom Hilbert said. “We defended a lot better than they defended us and they gave us some giveaway points. What I want to see is us hitting these kind of numbers but getting more kills per game.”
CSU fired home 15 kills in the third set and hit .241 to close the match out 25-20.
The Rams will take the court twice on Saturday for the Rams Volleyball Rocky Mountain Invitational. They play Denver and former blocking coach Jesse Mahoney at 1:00 p.m. and close out the tournament at 7:30 p.m. against Rhode Island.
“I’m looking forward to playing,” Foss said. “Game like situations make you better than practice.”