A four game losing streak has been broken by the Colorado State University volleyball team.
The CSU Rams played a dominant match against the New Orleans Privateers, taking the win in three sets. (25-15, 25-14, 25-14)
Freshman setter Katie Oleskak said these recent losses have been used by the team as “motivation to play well and be consistent,” but the Rams didn’t want to dwell on the losses too much, they just wanted to focus on what they could improve.
The night started on a 5-0 run for CSU, with Kirstie Hillyer taking the first two points with a large block followed by a heavy kill. The Rams kept the momentum through out the rest of the first set, hitting an impressive .583, over twice their season average of .267.
While CSU was strong at the net, New Orleans struggled to build an offense of their own, with a hitting percentage at .136. Just under half of the points the Privateers scored were given up as errors by the Rams, who had 6 service errors and 1 attacking error.
Entering the second set, the Rams continued to push an effective offense with Oleksak earning 13 assists and distributing the ball to 6 different rams to earn a kill. The Ram’s defense also had an impressive second set, racking up 16 digs and 4 team blocks to keep the Privateers hitting percentage to a low .125.
The Privateers claimed their first lead of the night as they kicked off the third and final set with a 5-3 lead. This lead was extinguished as Hillyer laid down a kill to bring the score to 9-8. The Rams would not relinquish the lead agin.
CSU would build off the Hillyer kill, going on a 10-2 run to win the last set 25-14.
Oleskak finished the night with 40 assists, setting up six different Rams to earn kills.
“This is a match where we have a lot of blocking match ups we can take advantage of,” head coach Tom Hilbert said. “I thought Katie (Oleksak) did a good job getting the ball to places we could take advantage of.”
Oleskak had plenty of option to pass the ball off to tonight with the team earning a hitting percentage of .500.
“I was confident in all the hitters tonight,” Oleskak said. “It made it really easy on my part, I could just dish it to whoever and I could expect a really good quality hit.”
Hilbert was impressed with the way the team played, especially their ability to keep errors as low as possible.
“With the exception of serves in set 1, we kept the amount of give-away points down,” Hilbert said. “You do that, you’re going to compete with everybody you play.”
The Rams continue their play in the Omni Invitational tournament Saturday in Boulder as they take on Chicago State University at 1 p.m. and the University of Colorado at 7:30p.m.
Collegian sports reporter Jack Starkebaum can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org