Senor middle blocker Dre Downs was unstoppable Friday night as she notched 29 kills, a career high, against the Buffaloes. It was the second most kills recorded in a NCAA Tournament game in school history behind Angie Knox who had 34 kills.
The Rams used their composure and tough serving in games two and three to beat the University of Colorado in four games 26-30, 30-24, 30-19, 30-27 and move on the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament.
“I’m very proud of our players tonight,” head coach Tom Hilbert said after the game. “They came out a little tight in game one, but they composed themselves and pulled it together.
CSU came out of the gates tight and not playing together as a team, blocking assignments were missed and serving the ball poorly. But behind Downs who hit .532 for the match, the Rams put together a charge to tied the match at two.
“We wanted to be composed and relaxed coming into the match,” Downs said.
“But after we came out a little tight in game one, we had to build on our momentum and I thinks that’s what we did in game two.
After coming out of the break, CSU had one of their best games of the year as they hit .528 as a team with only three hitting errors in game three.
“I think that our passing broke down and as soon as that happened, things starting to go their way,” CU head coach Pi’i Aui said about his team after game two. “Credit CSU though, they played really well tonight.
Sophomore right side hitter Tonya Mokelki had a good match for the Rams as well as she recorded 12 kills on 17 swings, to hit .471 for the match. Senior Casey Bauer lead the team in digs with 12, while freshman setter Ashley Fornstrom had 62 assists on the night.
“We’re all just really excited,” Mokelki said after the match. “We prepared a lot for CU, so we will have to work hard tomorrow in scout practice to prepare for Washington.
The Rams now move to 11-1 all time in NCAA Tournament games played in Moby Arena. The Rams will now face the University of Washington in the Second Round as the Huskies defeated Sienna in three games. Match time is set for 7:30pm MST