Colorado State volleyball set for homestand

Tyler Meguire

The CSU women's volleyball team starters come together before their game.
The CSU women’s volleyball team starters come together before the their game Oct. 23. The team played against the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, winning 3-0 (Avery Coates | The Collegian)

The Colorado State University Rams volleyball team is back at home for two matches after being away last week.

The Rams cruised through the United States Air Force Academy Oct. 28, sweeping 25-23, 25-16 and 25-20. On Oct. 30, the Rams finished their road trip with a 3-1 loss against the University of New Mexico, losing sets one, two and four 25-16, 25-22 and 25-14 and winning set three 25-22.

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Even with the loss, the Rams still top the Mountain West Conference standings with a 14-7 overall record and a 10-2 conference record with the Utah State University Aggies and San Jose State University Spartans creeping up on them. The Aggies are in second place with a 17-7 overall record and 9-3 conference record. Convenient for the Rams, USU’s six-match win streak was shut down by the University of Nevada, Las Vegas on Saturday, keeping them second in the MW.

Inconvenient for the Rams, however, is the sudden surge from SJSU. The Spartans are on a six-match win streak and are tied for second place in the MW (15-7 overall, 9-3 conference). The Rams will host the Spartans Nov. 6 for a battle of top seeds in the MW.

The Rams have six matches remaining (three at home and three away) until the MW Tournament at the end of November. CSU, in order, will play: University of Nevada, Reno (3-20, 0-12); SJSU (15-7, 9-3); at the University of Wyoming (13-11, 5-7); California State University, Fresno (10-10, 6-6); at USU (17-7, 9-3); and at Boise State University (17-8, 6-6).

The Rams visiting USU and BSU will be a tough road trip to end the 2021 regular season campaign and likely an important one. But, as athletes say all the time, let’s focus on the next match and not think too far ahead.

Heading into the week, the Rams are led by:

Kills: Kennedy Stanford (228)

Assists: Ciera Pritchard (755)

Service Aces: Pritchard (29), Alexa Roumeliotis (27)

Digs: Roumeliotis (346)

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Blocks: Sasha Colombo (62), Karina Leber (59)

Matchup for University of Nevada, Reno Wolf Pack

The Rams host the Wolf Pack on Thursday. Objectively, CSU should dominate Nevada. The Wolf Pack is still winless in conference play, and the Rams are trying to cement their place at the top of the MW. However, Nevada nearly picked up a win against the red-hot SJSU Oct. 26 (at home). The match went five sets and ended with a narrow Spartans victory.

The Wolf Pack is led by:

Kills: Kyla Waiters (200)

Assists: Andrea Alcaraz (601)

Service Aces: Kaila Spevak (27)

Digs: Spevak (281)

Blocks: Sydney Petersen (74)

Matchup for San Jose State University Spartans

The Rams have another shot at proving their rank in the MW against the Spartans. So far this season, CSU has beaten the best of the best in the MW: USU, SJSU, UNM and UNLV. Not to mention, the Rams swept USU, UNM and UNLV at home in statement games. 

The last time CSU battled SJSU was Oct. 9 in the Spartan Gym in San Jose, California. The Rams walked away victorious in four sets, winning sets one, three and four 25-19, 26-24 and 25-20 and losing set two 25-18.

At the center of the Spartans’ winning streak is Haylee Nelson. The outside hitter was named Mountain West Offensive Player of the Week for play against Nevada and Fresno State.

The Spartans are led by:

Kills: Nelson (277)

Assists: Mia Schafer (783)

Service Aces: Schafer (31), Nelson (30)

Digs: Sarah Smevog (362)

Blocks: Ryann Thomison (70)

Reach Tyler Meguire at sports@collegian.com or on Twitter @TMeguire.