CSU took early control of Thursday night’s volleyball match and never looked back, sweeping Mountain West rival Nevada 3-0 in the conference home opener.
The Rams dominated the first set 25-14, putting up a .500 attacking percentage and recording 18 kills, six of them being senior middle blocker Megan Plourde.
“I was pleased with the performance today and I think the first set was really good because we were not stopping (middle blockers) Tessa (Lea’ea) and Janelle (Batista), they got 13 total kills and 10 of them came from those two players,” CSU coach Tom Hilbert said.
Lea’ea earned the Mountain West Women’s Volleyball Player of the Week honors going into tonight’s match against CSU, and began her night proving why with seven kills in the first set, more than any player on either team.
However, the Rams ultimately proved to be too much for Nevada to handle.
“We got 18 kills, we had one hitting error and no service errors. That’s scoring a lot. I think that was a really good performance by our team when Nevada was playing pretty decently,” Hilbert said. “Going out into set two we did stop those two middles a little bit better, got a few blocks and defensive plays on them, all the while handling their other players too.”
The second set was pretty similar as CSU took it 25-13 but saw three different tie scores and lead changes. Nevada posted a negative scoring percentage with -.086, while CSU stayed with a strong .394.
“At one point Meg was on fire and playing really well, so I think that’s when you realize to just keep giving the ball to them because they will keep getting kills,” sophomore Deedra Foss said.
CSU found itself in the same position last week against New Mexico, up two sets to none going into the break. The Rams ended up losing the last three sets to give the win to New Mexico.
“In the huddle I said that this set can be in our favor and we needed to keep it that way,” senior outside hitter Dana Cranston said. “I think everyone kind of knew without saying, we just wanted to get back out there and play the next game.”
The Rams closed out the match with a final score of 25-15 in the third set to get the sweep, ending both the three game win streak for Nevada and two consecutive losses for CSU.
CSU improves to 8-5 on the 2012 season and will face San Diego State this Saturday at home for another Mountain West conference battle.
“It’s a different type of match than what we will see Saturday,” Hilbert said. “Saturday’s match will take more effort, it will be closer, we won’t get as many give away points. San Diego State has more weapons, they’re a very good team. This is a nice way to get back at home, get comfortable and stay comfortable.”