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Rams take 3-1 win against Fresno State

women spikes
Breana Runnels (15) swings against the United States Air Force Academy Feb. 6. (Luke Bourland | The Collegian)

With an extra day of unexpected rest, it is only right that offenses ran rampant in Colorado State’s volleyball win over California State University, Fresno.

What was supposed to be a standard two-game series got cut short after Fresno State’s COVID-19 testing results were delayed. The series was allowed to continue, but it was limited to a one-game series after Friday’s game was canceled. 

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Set one started with the Rams and the Bulldogs going back and forth, with Fresno State taking their first and only lead of the set early on at 4-3The Bulldogs tried to stay in the fight, but a three-point run in the middle of the set gave the Rams a solid 15-9 lead. 

Sophomore setter Ciera Zimmerman was able to return to a buffered amount of play after recovering from an ankle injury that occurred during the Rams’ series against San José State University. The Rams adjusted to Zimmerman’s limited playing ability and shifted to a 6-2 offense, which created several great options for CSU to use their selection of strong hitters.

CSU pushed their lead in set one, getting ahead by 10 points, and they started off the match with a set one win at 25-17. 

The Rams are a young team, and this definitely showed in set two. This time around, it was the Rams that let the game slide away from them, and Fresno State capitalized. The Bulldogs held a 22-15 lead late in the second set, and it proved too far of a deficit to overcome for the Rams. 

Set three saw the Rams start aggressively, as they jumped to a 4-0 lead. Breana Runnels took advantage of Fresno State’s weak spots and continued the offensive assault for the Rams with a piercing kill, increasing the lead to 5-1.

Colorado State then went on a five-point run with an ace from Zimmerman and a pair of kills from Runnels and Kennedy Stanford to push the lead to 16-7

With attack errors staying consistent with Fresno State, the Rams pushed their lead to 21-10. Freshman Naeemah Weathers entered the set later on, gaining her first kill of the night and bringing the Rams closer to a set win. Runnels ended the set with an ace, taking the win 25-12

Set four started with the Rams taking the lead, but Fresno State stayed close behind at 5-3. The two teams tied after an attack error by Alyssa Groves but was reversed after a Bulldogs service error. Fresno State took their first lead of the set with a kill, making it 7-6. After a tight battle between both teams, the Rams finally got back on track with a late seven-point run shooting them to the lead of 20-15

With help from some big defensive plays from Sasha Colombo and Stanford, the Rams close out the afternoon with a 25-17 win. Closing the game with a 3-1 victory, the Rams now have a record of 6-5 on the season.

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The group of hitters ended with a total of 51 kills; Runnels led the team with 15, Stanford with 10 and Colombo finished with nine.

The Rams ended the day with a great win, practicing a new offense and getting the freshmen some experience. It will be interesting to see how head coach Tom Hilbert’s squad builds on this win and matures as the Rams look toward their final four games of the regular season. 

CSU will play Boise State University at Moby Arena in a one-game series on March 25. 

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

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About the Contributor
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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