CSU took the first two sets before giving up a hard fought battle in the third. Going into the fourth set, CSU battled to find a match point seven different times before finally taking it 33-31, ultimately winning the match against FIU 3-1.
CSU came out swinging hard in the first set, taking the lead right off the bat and never letting FIU match it once. The Rams put up a very impressive .469 attack percentage without committing any errors.
“Coming off of last night, we knew we had to be mentally prepared and we couldn’t get that tentative state of mind,” CSU coach Tom Hilbert said.
The Rams certainly were playing with the correct state of mind through the first two sets of match, putting up a score in the second that nearly matched the first, 25-17. Senior middle blocker Megan Plourde had an impressive performance at this point with 10 kills and four blocks after two sets.
Entering the third, the momentum of the match shifted from CSU over to favoring FIU.
“It seemed that the third game just got over our heads,” senior middle blocker Brieon Paige said.
The third set was a hard fought battle that saw tie scores 10 times and five different lead changes. It looked as though CSU would ultimately get the sweep but FIU refused to quit. The Panthers found themselves fighting with enough grit that awarded them the third set 26-24, shocking nearly all of the 1,256 people in attendance at Moby Arena.
“We found ourselves being able to serve and receive better in the second two sets,” FIU coach Trevor Theroulde said. “We were able to slow down, because you’re not going to be able to stop, but slow down their outsides.”
FIU took the momentum shift gained in the third straight into the fourth.
“Set three is on me, but we were lucky to win the last set,” Hilbert said.
The war that was called the fourth set, which included 20 tie scores and eight lead changes, had everybody watching every hit of every point. CSU saw their match point seven times before finally taking it 33-31 to win the match three sets to one.
“In the end, Colorado State had too many weapons,” Theroulde said.
Although CSU came out with the win, it wasn’t enough to keep Hilbert or his players content with their performance.
“We have to remember to play our own game and not let the speed of the other side affect us,” Hilbert said. “There are things, execution wise, we can do better.”
One set with 64 points of scoring is something the CSU players hadn’t seen before.
“It was good mentally for us because every point counts. It was good to finish,” senior middle blocker Megan Plourde said.
CSU picks up their 15th straight home victory and improves to 2-0 in the Rams Volleyball Classic. Their next match will take place tomorrow at noon when as they take on New Mexico State.