No one said the second half of Mountain West play was going to be easy for No.6 Colorado State, and no one is saying that after Thursday’s match against Boise State.
A slow start for the Rams turned into a five-point run to take the first set, something they hoped to maintain in the second set. But Boise State bounced back in set two keeping the score neck and neck, tying it at six before trading points late into the set. The Rams held on 30-28 in Set 2 to push the Rams into the break leading 2-0, which quickly turned into a 25-18, 30-28, 25-15 sweep of the Broncos.
“This was another competitive test for my team,” CSU head coach Tom Hilbert said. “That second set to battle through that and win that thing, that was really good. This team has been winning close sets and I am proud of them, I am proud of who they are as people and as competitors and it is really neat to see.”
With six set point attempts in set two, four of which for the Rams, the Broncos proved to be a much better team than they were just over a month ago. Boise State is third in the conference in hitting percentage, second in assists and second in kills though it did not show compared to the numbers CSU put up.
CSU out played Boise State, leading them 51-35 on kills, 47-33 in assists, and 41-33 in digs.
“This game was about us really defending and serving well and we missed more serves than they did but we were serving tougher and being more agressive and creating some opportunities,” Hilbert said. “We out dug them and turned them into kills.”
Senior outside hitter Marlee Reynolds led the attack with 14 kills on 26 attempts, hitting .423. At the start of the third set the Rams moved their rotation to row five so that Reynolds could get more swings.
“Compared to the beginning of the season I do feel like I am just seeing the court better, and a little more comfortable with hitting different shots and I am feeling like really springy and I am getting and able to hit it over the blocker,” Reynolds said.
With Moby Arena on its feet, the Rams used the fans’ support to stop the Broncos. CSU was well-rounded with Adrianna Culbert, Jasmine Hanna and Kelsey Snider each had 10 kills. Deedra Foss had 40 assists along with the defense led by Culbert with 12 digs and Jaime Colaizzi with 10.
“Its awesome having a crowd like that, whenever you hear everyone cheering and you are like ‘Alright, we can do this,'”Reynolds said. “They are behind us 110 percent and its like ‘Let’s just pull it out and it just makes it fun kind of like putting on a show for them.’”
Thursday’s win improved the Rams to 21-1 on the season and 9-0 in the Mountain West, improving their record to perfect 10-0 against the Broncos all time.
CSU will quickly change gears and prepare for Utah State on Saturday for a Pink Out and Alumni Weekend. The Rams will welcome back over 40 past players as they spread awareness for breast cancer prevention.
Collegian Sports Reporter Haleigh Hamblin can be reached at email@example.com on Twitter @haleighhamblin.