Colorado State volleyball leaves the weekend as top dogs

Tyler Meguire

Ruby Kayser (49), keeps her eye on the ball
Ruby Kayser (49), defensive specialist, keeps her eye on the ball as her teammate Alexa Roumrliotis (8), defensive specialist, hits the ball into the air while beating the University of New Mexico 3-0 Oct. 14. (Avery Coates | The Collegian)

Colorado State University volleyball took total control of the first place spot in the Mountain West with two dominant performances.

The CSU Rams (7-1 in conference and 11-6 overall) hosted the University of New Mexico Lobos (5-3 in conference and 14-5 overall) and the United States Air Force Academy Falcons (1-7 in conference and 4-14 overall) this week.

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Heading into Thursday, CSU, UNM and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas were all tied for first place in the MW. UNLV lost to Utah State University Thursday, so the winner of UNM versus CSU would take sole possession of first place.

The Lobos versus the Rams was set up to be a clash of the titans. However, only one number one team showed up to play at Moby Arena.

New Mexico vs. Colorado State

Players and fans were all donned in pink for the pink-out game Thursday evening, ready to continue their conference domination. CSU started the match fast, going up 3-0 with the help of Ruby Kayser’s two aces. The Rams held a steady lead until taking off, shooting up to a 15-7 lead. Then, after the Lobos scored one, the Rams scored five straight points and increased their lead to 20-8.

It did not take long after that for the Rams to finish things off. The teams traded points for the rest of the set, so it was quick for the Rams to close it out 25-13.

The second set was more of the same: a complete dominant performance by the Rams. CSU started the set by going up 4-0, carrying the momentum from the first set. After the Lobos scored their third point, decreasing the deficit to three, the Rams scored five straight points to increase the lead 11-3.

There was not much the Lobos could do against the Rams all set. The Rams strung together more points to increase the lead to 15-5. After that, both teams started trading points until it was 17-9. CSU scored three straight to basically put the set away. UNM scored four more points in the set, but the Rams closed it out 25-13.

The Lobos had one more shot to try to make anything happen in the battle for number one spot in the MW. The third set looked more like the entire match was predicted to be: competitive. The Rams went up 10-6 before the Lobos scored five straight points to take their first lead of the night. 

Both teams were fighting for the lead but could not keep it. The Rams and Lobos were trading points, and when one team would score multiple in a row, the other team would answer. Tied at 14, UNM scored two consecutive. Then, CSU scored three consecutive to take the lead 17-16. After that, the Lobos regained the lead 18-17.

Back and forth it went until CSU took control with a 20-18 lead. The Lobos scored one, then the Rams scored four in a row before allowing the Lobos to score again, but the Rams were not interested in going back and forth and closed it out 25-20.

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CSU Leaders:

Kills: Kennedy Stanford (11)

Aces: Stanford and Kayser (2)

Blocks: Sasha Colombo (6)

Assists: Ciera Pritchard (30)

Digs: Alexa Roumeliotis (8)

Team Comparisons (UNM – CSU):

Points: 25 – 58

Kills: 20 – 41

Aces: 1 – 7

Blocks: 4 – 10

Assists: 18 – 38

Digs: 29 – 39

Air Force vs. Colorado State

After the Rams took over as No. 1 in the MW, their first test was Air Force. The biggest test of this matchup, however, was for the Rams not to play down to competition.

However, whenever Air Force got a little close to evening things up, the Rams would go on little scoring streaks to halt their momentum.”

The first set started similar to most with both teams grabbing some points back-to-back. After it was all tied up at four, the Rams scored six straight to go up 10-4. The six-point streak seemed to pretty much put the set away because of all the momentum, but there was still a lot of match to be played.

Both teams traded points, and the Falcons lowered the gap to 16-13. The Rams scored four straight to increase their lead 20-13. Then, after Air Force ruined the preceding streak, the Rams scored five straight to close it out 25-14.

The Falcons hung around most of the second set. However, whenever Air Force got a little close to evening things up, the Rams would go on little scoring streaks to halt their momentum. Early in the set, the Falcons cut it down to 10-8, but the Rams scored three straight to extend their lead to five.

The teams traded points, and the Falcons remained within four points or fewer for most of the match. Then, after their lead was cut to just two (19-17), the Rams scored three straight to 22-17. The Falcons scored another point, but the Rams were hungry for the win and scored two more points before eventually winning 25-19.

The Falcons got things going early in set three and scored four straight to go up 4-0. The Rams found themselves down 6-4, but the deficit did not last long. The Rams scored eight straight points to emphatically take over the game 11-6. For a short time after the run, the Rams scored two points for every Falcons point.

CSU was up 19-12 before scoring three straight to seemingly put the match away. Both teams traded points in the home stretch of the set, but the Rams finally ended things at 25-15.

The Rams clearly did not play down to the Falcons and closed out their fourth consecutive home win. CSU also remains unbeaten at home in conference play.

CSU Leaders:

Kills: Stanford (11)

Aces: Pritchard (3)

Blocks: Colombo, Stanford, Karina Leber (2)

Assists: Pritchard (29)

Digs: Roumeliotis (15)

Team Comparisons (USAFA – CSU)

Points: 36 – 49

Kills: 29 – 39

Aces: 4 – 6

Blocks: 3 – 4

Assists: 25 – 35

Digs: 34 – 32

The Rams return to the court Oct. 21 as they head to San Diego, California, to take on San Diego State University.

Tyler Meguire can be reached at sports@collegian.com or on Twitter @TMeguire.