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Rams’ volleyball sweeps their way into successful senior night

The+Colorado+State+volleyball+team+cheers+for+each+other+after+scoring+a+point+against+the+US+Air+Force+Academy+Nov.+18.
Collegian | Avery Coates
Colorado State University volleyball team members cheer for each other after scoring a point against the U.S. Air Force Academy Nov. 18, 2023. CSU beat USAFA in a 3-0 sweep.

There wasn’t a lot at stake for Colorado State volleyball; well except sending their seniors off with a win.

They did just that, beating Air Force 25-19, 25-22, 25-20.

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“I don’t know if (the team was) aware going into this that we were already the second seed based on how the other games in the Mountain West went today,” coach Emily Kohan said. “But to be able to confirm it on your own accord and get a sweep on senior night and know that we have a bye on Wednesday I think is extra special.”

The Rams sent off five seniors into the sunset in their final games in Moby Arena. Those players were: Alyssa Groves, Annie Sullivan, Barrett Power, Ruby Kayser and Anna Porter

There wasn’t a lot of action outside of the Rams seemingly getting a service ace every time they stepped up to serve. 

In just three sets, the Rams finished with 13 aces. They eclipsed their season-high, moved into second all time in a three-set match and Kennedy Stanford set a new career-high getting five of their 13 aces.

“I am so proud of Kennedy because she’s had some emphasis on offense trying to figure out how to get some of her oomph back,” Kohan said. “To be in double-digits in kills and have those aces and she passed really well — going into now the most important games of our season she should feel really good about that.”

While Kohan has been through several senior nights as an assistant coach, this was the first time that she went through as the woman in charge. 

Despite it being her first season as the head coach, not a lot of things change. At the end of the day, you still lose a part of your Ramily. 

“Honestly it’s no different,” Kohan said. “As an assistant coach my heart was with them too, because I’ve been a part of their recruiting processes for a few years. … They’ve always felt like pseudo daughters to me. And so you do feel like you lose a part of your heart and your team.”

Part of that loss for the Rams will be Kayser and Sullivan. Both have had tenured careers in green and gold and have made an impact both on the floor and off. 

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Kayser is well known not just for her athletic ability, but also for her philanthropic work within the community. She has also made a name for herself as a media personality in Rams’ athletics. While she no doubt wants to be remembered as a great teammate, it’s all of the aforementioned achievements that Kayser is hoping to remembered by.

“I hope that people remember me as a fun teammate and somebody who is always working really hard on the court,” Kayser said. “But also (as) a face in the community. It’s super important to me to be involved and be connected in the community and give back to the kids and give back to all the different aspects and just kind of be a leader in the community.”

For Sullivan, her three years playing for the Rams have meant a lot. Sullivan was second on the team in kills this season spiking down 328 of them. 

“This program means a lot to me,” Sullivan said. “I’ve been able to play for some amazing coaches here and then all of my teammates and everything. Especially getting to play here in Moby in front of so many different fans, it’s been a great experience.”

Colorado State gets to take Wednesday off with the bye and will play the winner of UNLV and New Mexico

The Rams won all six of their sets against New Mexico this season. They split the season series with UNLV, but swept them in their win and lost in five when it didn’t fall their way.

The hard part of potentially playing UNLV is that the MW Volleyball Championship is in Las Vegas, Nevada and UNLV will likely have a crowd advantage. Either way, the Rams will begin their quest for glory at 5 p.m. on Nov. 23.

Reach Damon Cook at sports@collegian.com or on Twitter @dwcook2001.

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About the Contributor
Damon Cook, Sports Editor
Damon Cook is the 2023-24 sports editor for the The Collegian and has been at the paper since August 2022. He started doing coverage on volleyball and club sports before moving onto the women's basketball beat. He is in his third year and is completing his degree with a major in journalism and media communication and a minor in sports management. As The Collegian's sports editor, Cook reports on CSU sports and helps manage the sports desk and content throughout the week. After having a year to learn and improve, Cook will now get to be part of a new age under the sports desk. The desk moved on from all but one other person and will now enter into a new era. Damon started school as a construction management major looking to go in a completely different direction than journalism. After taking the year off during the COVID-19 pandemic, he quickly realized that construction wasn't for him. With sports and writing as passions, he finally decided to chase his dreams, with The Collegian helping him achieve that. He is most excited to bring the best and most in-depth sports coverage that The Collegian can provide.

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