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CSU volleyball picks up two road wins to improve to 9-6

After the Colorado State University Rams won the third match against the University of Wyoming Cowgirls 25-22, Head Coach Tom Hilbert talks to the team huddle
Head coach Tom Hilbert talks to the team huddle Sept. 28 following the Colorado State University win against the University of Wyoming. (Lucy Morantz | The Collegian)

With Homecoming festivities in full swing this week, the atmosphere around Colorado State University was electric as students and community members alike waited with anticipation to welcome their knights of green and gold back to campus. However, while one CSU team came home this week, the Colorado State volleyball team packed their bags and hit the road to take on the University of Nevada, Reno Wolf Pack and the San Jose State University Spartans.

After suffering their first conference loss of the season at the hands of the California State University, Fresno Bulldogs on the road last week, head coach Tom Hilbert and his team seemed eager to get back to winning ways. 

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Whatever problems were present in the team’s strategy against Fresno State looked nonexistent this week as the Rams picked up two impressive wins by sweeping Nevada 3-0 and cruising past San Jose 3-1 to improve their overall record to 9-6 on the season and 5-1 in conference play.

CSU made their first stop in Reno, Nevada, on Thursday, Oct. 7, for a showdown with the Wolf Pack. The Rams looked to be in control in the first set as they pulled ahead to lead 9-6 early on. Nevada never caught up as CSU took care of business, registering 17 kills to take a 1-0 lead on the night.

The second set was much more competitive. The Wolf Pack started strong, pulling ahead 5-1 early, and kept the pressure on the Rams through the very end of the set. It was a back and forth affair throughout the second set, with both teams swapping the lead five times. Ultimately, the Rams kept their composure and went on a 5-1 run at the death to put another set in their column.

The third and final set of the night was the tightest of them all. Just like in set two, Nevada pulled ahead early and went on a run to get up 17-9 in the middle of the set. The Rams showed incredible tenacity as they clawed their way back and kept the set close by recording 12 kills in the final frame along with an impressive six blocks to complete the sweep. 

Karina Leber blocks the ball against the University of Wyoming
Karina Leber (42) blocks the ball as Ciera Pritchard (11) looks on Sept. 28. (Lucy Morantz | The Collegian)

CSU Leaders:

Kills: Sasha Colombo (9)

Aces: Ruby Kayser (4)

Blocks: Karina Leber, Maddy McCormick (5)

Assists: Ciera Pritchard (33)

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Digs: Alexa Roumeliotis (17)

The Rams finished the weekend road trip with a visit to San Jose, California, for a date with the Spartans of San Jose State. This matchup looked like the harder test for the Rams out of the two, as the Spartans started strong to find themselves in the lead during the first set 13-9. The Rams responded with a few runs of their own, including a 4-0 run to close out the first set 25-19.

San Jose hit back in set two by putting their foot on the gas with 19 kills to take the second set 25-18 and make it 1-1 on the night.

Another tightly contested fight came in set three with the teams swapping runs. Ultimately, the Rams broke the 24-24 deadlock thanks to a kill from McCormick and an Alyssa Bert ace, which helped them take set three 26-24

After an energizing and hard-fought third set, the Rams put their foot on the gas and took care of business by closing out the game with a 25-20 score in set four to secure the 3-1 victory.

CSU Leaders:

Kills: Jacqi Van Liefde (15)

Aces: Colombo, Pritchard, Roumeliotis (1)

Blocks: Colombo, Annie Sullivan (3)

Assists: Pritchard (37)

Digs: Roumeliotis (11)

Colorado State will be back in Fort Collins this week for their annual pink out game on Oct. 14 against the University of New Mexico and again on Oct. 16 against the United States Air Force Academy.

Bailey Shepherd can be reached at sports@collegian.com or on Twitter @B_Sheps.

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About the Contributor
Lucy Morantz
Lucy Morantz, Co-Photo Director
Lucy Morantz is a fourth-year journalism and political science student minoring in legal studies. She is one of the two photo directors for the fall 2022 semester. Growing up with parents who met working as journalists, media has been an ever-present component of Morantz’s life, and this is ultimately what inspired her to pursue a degree and career in journalism. She had always been pulled toward career paths that provided a creative outlet; photojournalism and The Collegian have allowed her to do precisely that while simultaneously fostering her passions and gaining meaningful career experience.  Throughout her college years, Morantz has worked with The Collegian every year. Growing up with the publication this way has given her a unique perspective on all the ways student media has helped students achieve their post-graduation goals, making her excited to see what her own career path with lead to. Additionally, the opportunity to collaborate with so many other student journalists to create a final product will be her most valued takeaway from her time at Colorado State University. Beyond her role at The Collegian, Morantz is also a College of Liberal Arts student ambassador and has interned with various political organizations. Outside the newsroom and classroom, Morantz can most likely be found paddle boarding at Horsetooth Reservoir, strolling through Old Town with friends or curating a new hyper-specific playlist to match her many moods.

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