CSU volleyball meets their match in first MW away game

Tyler Meguire

Junior Annie Sullivan (2) gets a kill in the second match against the University of Wyoming
Junior Annie Sullivan (2) gets a kill in the second match against the University of Wyoming Sept. 28. (Lucy Morantz | The Collegian)

Colorado State volleyball took their first Mountain West road trip and already have room to improve.

After sweeping three consecutive conference matches at home, the Rams took to the road to look for similar success in opposing arenas. CSU played the California State University, Fresno Bulldogs on Thursday, Sept. 30, and for the first time since Sept. 16, played four sets against their opponent.


Being on the road, the Rams experienced a different atmosphere for their games. On the court, the Rams were surrounded by fans in red, and with only 606 people in attendance, it sure was different than the 2,517 fans they had at home earlier in the week.

The box score showed a close set between the Rams and Bulldogs for set one. The play-by-play, however, told a different story. The set started close, but the Bulldogs got on a run early and did not look back. After scoring three points apiece, FSU gained a 7-3 lead. Following a similar trend late in the set, FSU went up 21-13, and the set was seemingly over. The Rams held strong, cutting the deficit to 23-19, but the hill was too far of a climb, and the Bulldogs scored two straight points to close it 25-19.

The Rams finished the set with six kills and six errors on 22 total attempts for a hitting percentage of 0. The Bulldogs had 15 kills, seven errors and 33 attempts for a hitting percentage of 24.

CSU continued to struggle in the next set. This time, both the box score and play-by-play told the same story of the Rams’ performance. The Bulldogs started strong, coming out of the break and gaining a 5-1 lead before the Rams showed some life. But the life did not last long, as FSU led 12-7 before going on the deciding scoring run.

After a service error from Ciera Pritchard, FSU scored five straight points to increase the lead to 18-7. The Bulldogs, however, did not close out the set quickly, and both teams traded points until FSU ran out of room to score, winning 25-14.

Junior Ciera Pritchard serves the ball over the net in the first set
Junior Ciera Pritchard (11) serves the ball over the net Sept. 28. Colorado State University won the first set in the Border War 25-18. (Lucy Morantz | The Collegian)

The Rams actually did worse in terms of hitting percentage in set two. After getting six kills and nine errors on 28 attempts, CSU had a hitting percentage of -10.7. FSU had 35% hitting — nine kills and two errors on 20 attempts.

Set three was a change of pace for CSU in the match. The Rams got to a hot start and scored five points before the Bulldogs could score one. The Rams were not finished and increased their lead to 11-5. However, a four-point run by the Bulldogs put them right back into the set as they cut the deficit to 11-9. The Rams answered by extending their lead to 13-9, but the Bulldogs used their home-court advantage to keep the set close.

FSU scored another four consecutive points to tie it at 13. The Rams remained persistent in avoiding the sweep, halting any momentum FSU had, and they did not lose the lead after going up 16-15. The Rams won set three with a final score of 25-19.  

CSU went back to the positives in set three with 14 kills, six errors, 28 attempts and a 28.6% hitting percentage. FSU suffered its worst hitting percentage of the match with a 16.7% — 11 kills, six errors and 30 attempts.


Looking for a comeback, the Rams started set four strong by going up 6-5. Both teams were giving it their all as the score remained close midway through the set. Even after the Bulldogs score went up 14-9, the Rams did not give up. A kill from Pritchard started a three-point run for CSU, cutting FSU’s lead to just two at 15-13. Neither team giving in, the Bulldogs found themselves with a narrow 21-20 lead heading into the set’s final stretch.

The Bulldogs scored two consecutive points to go up 24-21 and were one point away from putting the match away, but the Rams scored three straight to tie things up at 24. Unfortunately for the Rams, comebacks are difficult to come by, and the Bulldogs scored two points to win the set 26-24. The last point the Bulldogs received was from a Rams rotation error.

CSU finished set four with 16 kills and six errors on 35 attempts for a hitting percentage of 28.6. FSU finished with 14 kills and five errors on 33 attempts for a hitting percentage of 27.3.

CSU Leaders:

Kills: Jacqi Van Liefde and Maddy McCormick (10).

Aces: Sasha Colombo (3).

Blocks: Colombo, Karina Leber and Annie Sullivan (2).

Assists: Pritchard (35).

Digs: Alexa Roumeliotis (18).

Team Comparisons, CSU-FSU:

Points: 54–74

Kills: 42–49

Aces: 7–11

Blocks: 5–14

Assists: 39–47

Digs: 45–37

The Rams will continue their road trip on Oct. 7, when they head to Reno, Nevada, to take on the Wolf Pack. Then it is onto San Jose, California, to face the Spartans on Oct. 9.

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