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Rams volleyball end Arkansas road trip 2-1

Collegian | Kaden Porter
Colorado State University Middle Blocker Karina Leber (42) and Outside Hitter Annie Sullivan (2) block the ball during the volleyball game against Stanford University Aug. 26. Stanford won 3-1.

The Colorado State volleyball team made their first official road trip of the season and traveled to Arkansas, where they competed in three matches, all of which were incredibly competitive.

Their first stop was in Fayetteville, Arkansas, where they took on No. 21 Arkansas. Arkansas was their third ranked opponent in just four games this season.


The Rams fell to the Razorbacks in the first set 25-21 before bouncing back in the second set and winning 25-21. Even at one set each, Arkansas regained their lead and battled for set three, winning 25-18.

CSU wasn’t going down without a fight and tied it back in the fourth set, winning 25-20. In the fifth set, however, the Rams were unable to stop Arkansas’ explosive offense and fell 15-12 in the final frame.

Despite the loss, there were still many great moments that came from the first game of the road trip. Kennedy Stanford finished the night with 18 kills and 10 digs, resulting in her first double-double of the season.

Emery Herman, a recent transfer to CSU, polished off 52 assists, only four shy of her career high, and Kate Yoshimoto turned in 20 digs, her first of the season.

The second game of the Rams’ road trip remained in Fayetteville against Michigan. The Rams came out with tenacity and battled consistently with Michigan throughout the match.

Ruby Kayser started the match with back-to-back aces, although the Wolverines came back on top in the first set, winning 27-25. The Rams defense woke up in the second set and helped tie up the match, winning set two 25-23, highlighted by a 5-1 run.

The Rams defense stayed locked in during the third set, leading them to a 25-22 win and the advantage going into a crucial set four.

In the fourth, Stanford recorded her second double-double of the season, later finishing the match with 12 kills and 15 digs. However, Stanford’s performance wasn’t enough for the Rams to close out the match as Michigan forced a fifth set, winning set four 25-18.

The Rams were not about to lose a fifth set for the third match in a row. CSU came out with a head full of steam and defeated Michigan in the final set, capped off by two solo blocks by Malaya Jones and Stanford.


CSU defeated Michigan in five sets, winning the fifth 15-13.

For the third and final match of the trip, the Rams traveled to Conway to visit Central Arkansas.

Feeling the fatigue from the long week, the Rams dropped the first set to the Sugar Bears 25-20. CSU then found a spark in their offense in the second set and dominated to win 25-19.

The Central Arkansas offense then diminished the Rams’ momentum, and the opponent bounced back in the third set, winning 25-17. The Rams wouldn’t back down without a fight in the fourth and forced a fifth set for the fourth time this week. They won the fourth set 25-19.

The fifth set began with two crucial blocks from senior Alyssa Groves, setting the tone for the Rams in the final frame. After that, it was back and forth between the Sugar Bears and the Rams. That was until Herman found Annie Sullivan to combine for a game-defining kill. Fired up after the clutch play, the Rams didn’t look back and delivered a 4-0 run, finishing off the Sugar Bears.

CSU won the match 3-2.

Nonetheless, the Rams had a successful road trip to Arkansas, taking two out of three games. Senior and captain Stanford highlighted the weekend and led the Rams with 42 kills, while Herman put up a solid 137 assists throughout the triple header.

The Rams will look to rest up for the Ram Volleyball Classic this upcoming weekend. Baylor, Bowling Green and Pacific will join the Rams in Fort Collins for another trio of matchups. CSU will first play Bowling Green at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 7.

Reach Ben Fairly at or on Twitter @benjaminfairly.

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