The No. 7 Colorado State volleyball team was put to the test against inter-state rival Wyoming Tuesday. Down 12-3 in the second set, the odds of a comeback looked slim for the Rams.
“I am telling my team let’s just start passing the ball well so we can get some momentum back and the next thing you know we tied it at 15,” head coach Tom Hilbert said. “That is not going to happen very often.”
The Rams won 10 out of the last 12 points to come within one point. With several blocks, digs and pivotal kills for CSU, it was a back and forth battle with seven ties and one lead change in the second set ending in a 2-0 lead for the Rams.
“I honestly thought we were going to lose, to be serious,” senior middle blocker Kelsey Snider said. “When I went off I was like Jas, [Jasmine Hanna] go out there and get some energy, once you get one person on that energy train then someone else gets on it and it gets point runs and we win.”
CSU swept Wyoming at the UNI WYO Sports Complex improving to 17-1 on the season and 5-0 in the Mountain West conference. Tuesday’s victory also meant the Rams have won the last 16 out of 17 matches and have a 58-19 record overall in the rivalry’s history.
“I think they [Wyoming] are very good ,” Hilbert said. “I think they are one of the teams that is going to be in the top cluster of this conference when it is all said and done … We just don’t give a lot of stuff away. We did during that point run but then we start getting momentally tough and you know it’s amazing to me how great they are.”
Wyoming went into the match ranked seventh in the nation in hitting percentage along with having the top two players in the Mountain West Conference in hitting. No. 1 Laura Beach and No. 2 Erin Kirby were shut down by the Rams. Beach who averages a .449 average, finished the night with eight kills on 17 attempts while Kirby suffered tremendously. Kirby never got the momentum as she ended the night with one kill on nine attempts including four errors.
The Cowgirls offense is second in the MW right behind the Rams but it did not show that Tuesday. CSU outhit Wyoming .343 with 51 kills compared to .167 and 34 for the Pokes.
“We blocked well early, I thought we played great defensively today and we served pretty well most of the day,” Hilbert said. “We had one little string where we missed a bunch and we had one string where passed poorly but other than that we passed pretty well. We were mentally tough for about 80 to 90 percent of this match and it is hard to do that in this building.”
The Rams offense is getting in the groove of having a powerful attack all-around the court. Snider ended the night with 15 kills, a season high, as well as Jasmine Hanna with 14, Adrianna Culbert with eight, Acacia Andrews with seven, Marlee Reynolds with five and Deedra Foss with two.
Collegian Sports Reporter Haleigh Hamblin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @haleighhamblin.