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Rams volleyball sweeps Wolf Pack in bounce-back win

player spikes
Breana Runnels (15) spikes the ball against the United States Air Force Academy. (Luke Bourland | The Collegian)

The Colorado State University volleyball team returned to their winning ways after sweeping the University of Nevada, Reno in a two-game series. The Rams started the 2021 season with a bit of a bump in a split series against the United States Air Force Academy.

While the first match on Friday might have had CSU fans at the edge of their seats, Saturday turned into more of what fans have come to expect from this team.”

With 14 consecutive wins against the Wolf Pack, CSU had history on their side as they traveled to Reno, Nevada. However, the Rams lost their first set of game one 21-25.

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Despite dropping the first set of a game for the third time this season, the Rams fought back in the next two sets for two crucial wins. CSU won sets two and three of game one by just two points.

The fourth and final set of the night was an easy win for CSU, ending with a score of 25-14 and giving head coach Tom Hilbert his 300th Mountain West victory. The Rams’ resurgence was largely led by the trio of Breana Runnels, Jacqi Van Liefde and Karina Leber, all of whom finished with double-digit kills in the match.


Emboldened by Friday night’s win, the Rams came out ready to compete on Saturday night. Runnels set the tempo in the opening set with several strong kills — she ended the night with 13 total. Colorado State claimed their first set-one victory of the year, winning 25-23. Set two was a quick 25-14 win for the Rams, but the Wolf Pack did not roll over in the third set.

The Rams hoped to finish the night with a clean 3-0 win against UNR, but a two-point Ram loss in set three took the game to four sets. Colorado State cemented their win by taking the fourth set 25-20. While the first match on Friday might have had CSU fans at the edge of their seats, Saturday turned into more of what fans have come to expect from this team. 

With these two wins, the Rams brought their consecutive win total against UNR to 16 and kept the Wolf Pack winless on the season.

 The green and gold will host the University of Nevada, Las Vegas this Thursday and Saturday at Moby Arena. The Rebels are coming off a series sweep versus San Diego State University. With both the Rams and the Rebels on a two-game win streak, this series will be a strong indication of if the Rams are starting to find their groove this season. 

Taylor Paumen can be reached at sports@collegian.com or on Twitter @TayTayPau.

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About the Contributor
Taylor Paumen
Taylor Paumen, Content Managing Editor
Taylor Paumen is the 2022-23 content managing editor for The Collegian and has been with the newspaper since February 2021. She started out as a volleyball recap reporter and was promoted three months later to sports director. Now going into her fourth year, she is working on finishing a major in journalism and media communication and a minor in sports management.  As The Collegian's content managing editor, Paumen takes care of approving content for the week, guiding the directors and editors of each desk and occasionally supplying her time to the cannabis and sports desks when they let her. When she first joined The Collegian, her time covering volleyball games was tough, as COVID-19 had just taken over. Games were fanless, but she knew it was where she wanted to be. Now as content managing editor, she loves learning things outside of the sports world and strengthening her skills. Now, fans are back, and working in the newsroom to create a weekly paper is her new passion. Paumen is most grateful for the memories created with the entire Collegian team and their work together to create the best content.  When coming to Colorado State University, Paumen started as a health and exercise science major but quickly tried to find something new. She found writing and sports were her passions, and The Collegian welcomed her with open arms, reassuring her that this is where she was meant to be.

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