Volleyball claims victory in Border War despite weak defense


Collegian | Serena Bettis

Colorado State University redshirt senior Ciera Pritchard (11) sets the ball as Naeemah Weathers (9) prepares to make a kill at the CSU game against the United States Air Force Academy at Moby Arena Nov. 12, 2022. The Rams won 3-1 after losing the first set during head coach Tom Hilbert’s last regular season home game.

Emma Askren, Staff Reporter

The Rams defeated the University of Wyoming in the women’s volleyball Border War this evening. Colorado State University beat the Cowgirls 3-0 in a return to their excellent form after a previous three-game losing streak last week. 

“We only won against Wyoming because of our offense. We’re going to play tougher opponents going forward, and we need to make sure our setting is accurate.” -Head coach Tom Hilbert

The first set started strong for the Rams, with Naeemah Weathers spiking the ball between two Cowgirl defenders for a point. However, immediately following, the Cowgirls retaliated with an excellent kill.


The first set proved to be an excellent start to a great game for Kate Yoshimoto, a libero. It was clear from the very beginning that Yoshimoto wanted this win, as she threw herself on the ground repeatedly in order to prevent Wyoming from scoring even one point.

To prove how great of a game Yoshimoto had, just look at the 18 digs she had for the entire game. Only Wyoming’s Hailey Zuroske got close to that with 11 digs.

Despite this dominant performance from Yoshimoto, it was clear CSU’s defense was lacking throughout the entire game. The player with the second most amount of digs for CSU was Kennedy Stanford with seven.

Wyoming, on the other hand, had an excellent defensive game with Zuroske’s 11 digs, Kasia Partyka getting nine and Skylar Erickson and Corin Carruth each getting seven. Preventing CSU from getting kills was something Wyoming did really well throughout the entire game.

“We played well offensively from start to finish, but we weren’t stopping people,” head coach Tom Hilbert said, recognizing CSU’s defensive weakness. “We only won against Wyoming because of our offense. We’re going to play tougher opponents going forward, and we need to make sure our setting is accurate.”

Following a brief timeout, CSU won the first set 25-20. The second set exemplified how Wyoming was utilizing CSU’s defensive weakness. While CSU still led the entire set, Wyoming only trailed by around two points consistently. After a mental reset from Wyoming, CSU was able to regain a lead and only lose set two by four points.

The third set provided the most exciting yet sloppy play of the entire game. The score was the closest it had been, with Wyoming leading the second half of the set until CSU made two consecutive kills to tie the set at 21 points.

Wyoming retaliated with a kill, but CSU hit back, winning set three with two more kills.



Colorado State looks forward to its game against the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in Las Vegas Nov. 19. UNLV is the Rams’ last game before the Mountain West Conference tournament at Moby Arena, where CSU will aim to win all and head to the NCAA tournament.

Reach Emma Askren at sports@collegian.com or on Twitter @emma_askren.