Video by Keith Albertson, CTV Sports
Friday night CSU played their first match of the NCAA volleyball tournament at Moby Arena since 2009. Facing their in-state rival, the Denver Pioneers, 15th-seeded CSU came out on top 3-0 (25-21, 25-17, 25-22).
DU was able to disrupt CSU’s high-powered hitters in the first set, and their quick offense led to the Pioneers out-hitting the Rams .312-.278.
But after that the Rams were able to maintain control.
CSU outhit the Pioneers .275 to .230 in the match as a whole, and managed 44 kills to the Pioneers’ 38.
Friday night’s crowd of 5,399 was the seventh-largest crowd drawn to a match in Moby. The win also put coach Tom Hilbert at 43-0 against Colorado teams playing on CSU’s home court.
“Denver is a good team and I think they’re a program on the rise, “ Hilbert said, “I knew this was going to be a competitive match and I’m glad it was. Our players had to be alert and sharp and focused to win this match, and that helps us as we move into tomorrow night.”
The Rams hit .275 on the night with nine unforced hitting errors. Marlee Reynolds and Kelsey Snider led the team in kills with 12 apiece. Reynolds hit .259, while Snider could not be stopped and hit .750 on 16 attempts.
“I think we had a matchup advantage in the middle,” Snider said, “I was getting up fast and Deedra set me nice and high so I think hitting high and fast was really working for us.”
Deedra Foss ran the offense with 36 assists, and also managed four kills on six attempts. Denver’s six service errors also contributed to the Rams’ ability to control the match.
Right before the match, Colorado beat the UNC Bears to move on to the second round. The Rams and Buffs will square off tomorrow at 4:30 p.m. for the first time since 2010.
“It’s going to be awesome, and having it in Moby is even sweeter,” senior Marlee Reynolds said. “The crowd tonight was electric and I can’t imagine what it’s going to be like tomorrow.
Collegian Assistant Sports Editor Zac Koch can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @zactkoch.
Photos by Elliot Foust