After another perfect week in which Colorado State volleyball swept a pair of conference foes, the Rams have moved up from No. 21 to No. 20 in the newest American Volleyball Coaches Association poll.
Though USC and Northern Iowa lost last week, the Rams only jumped the latter. The Trojans remained No.19 after losing to No. 2 Stanford.
Along with their movement in the AVCA poll, the Rams also moved in the RPI rankings, but in the opposite direction. Despite the undefeated week, the Rams fell from 30 to 35. Due to the lack of strength in the Mountain West Conference, the Rams are looking like the odd man out for hosting a NCAA Tournament game at the end of the season.
In addition to playing in a lackluster conference, the Rams have been hurt by inconsistencies of top teams such as Michigan and Florida State. Thought to be season-defining wins early in the year, both teams have now dropped out of the top 25.
Led by record-breaking senior Jasmine Hanna who registered 21 kills over the Rams’ two games, the hitting left something to be desired. After starting the season on fire during their non-conference schedule, the Rams have cooled down some in conference. Much of that can be attributed to the familiarity that each team has with each other and the added intel provided to each coach.
To the surprise of some, setter Katie Oleksak was the Rams’ second-leading blocker last week, recording seven in two matches. Coming into an off-season with a focus on blocking better, the hard work is paying off and the Rams are benefiting from yet another blocking force on their defense.
The Rams will square off against another duo of conference opponents, playing UNLV Thursday and New Mexico Saturday to conclude the week. Both games are on the road with streams available through CSU volleyball’s official twitter account.
Collegian sports reporter Luke Zahlmann can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @lukezahlmann.