Cowgirl defense not enough in Border War against CSU

 

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The Wyoming volleyball team brought the highest ranked defense in the Mountain West to Moby Arena Friday night in effort to ice CSU’s red hot offense.

The Cowgirls and Rams went back and forth for the entire first set before CSU ultimately proved to be too much for Wyoming to handle, sweeping them three sets to none.

Set one gave definition to the term “border war” as the two teams lit up the court for a combined 47 points of excitement. The set saw the lead shift 10 different times and 14 tie scores which had all 3,727 people in attendance on the edge of their seats before CSU pulled it out 25-22.

“That set was neck and neck. It was really good to play that kind of a set and win because we need to understand that teams are going to play us well and we need to be the better end game team,” CSU coach Tom Hilbert said.

The Cowgirls were in for a ride after the first set as they completely lost control of the match.

CSU took the early lead in the second set and ran with it the entire way, never letting Wyoming even tie the score once before they got the second win 25-13.

“We lost a bit of confidence and couldn’t get it back,” Wyoming coach Carrie Yerty said. “They picked us apart point by point after that.”

The third set was similar to the second, it included lots of Ram offense that finally put the nail in the Wyoming coffin as CSU took it 25-13 again.

The Cowgirls did rally a little bit in the final set, taking the lead back twice but CSU’s momentum from the set before proved it to be too little too late for Wyoming.

“We knew that they ride on that emotion all that they can. Our crowd was a huge part of that tonight; it was awesome how many people were there. Once they got into a funk like that in front of a crowd like this it’s really hard to come out of it,” senior outside hitter Dana Cranston said.

The crowd on hand Friday night was the biggest Moby has seen since the UCLA match earlier in the season.

“Our home environment and crowd here was incredible. When all of the Wyoming guys came in and lined up I said to my assistant, “I love when that happens because that’ going to make our students even more rabid.” They aren’t going to be outdone by guys coming in all dressed up,” Hilbert said.

The result of Friday’s match ends Wyoming’s two match win streak as they fall to 13-6 (1-3 MW) while the Rams are now riding a three match win streak that improves them to 10-5 and 3-1 in MW conference play.

The Rams’ next match will be Thursday night at Fresno State as they take on the 9-7 Bulldogs.

Volleyball Beat Reporter Quentin Sickafoose can be reached at sports@collegian.com.