After loosing its first three games and dropping out of the national rankings, the CSU volleyball team took a huge step forward by winning the first game of the Coors Classic Thursday night.
The Rams defeated the 13th-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes in three games, 30-22, 30-25 and 30-21.
Mekana Barnes and Jamie Strauss lead the team with 12 kills each, and Ashley Fornstrom pitched in with 42 assists.
CSU Head Coach Tom Hilbert gave credit for the victory to the teams improved blocking and passing.
“Our blocking was significantly better,” he said. “I am very proud of our players and I thought we came out in the third game extremely focused. That is exciting to me.”
The Rams had struggled to close out games so far this season, loosing two matches in which they led 2 games to 1.
But Barnes explained that the team had the ability.
“When the games are close we just keep fighting and pull away,” said the middle blocker. “We knew we could play well if we just served and passed well.”
CSU improved on their serving, committing only three service errors. The Rams averaged 18 per match in their first three outings.
Hilbert was more than happy with the win, and explained this might be a foreshadowing of things to come.
“It is a great feeling to win like this,” he said. “Every coach lives and dies in the last match they play, but I have a few days to sit on this one. If we play with the kind of maturity and poise we showed tonight, we are going to beat a lot of teams.”
Sports reporter Adam Bohlmeyer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Player of the game- Mekana Barnes- 12 kills with a .526 hit percentage. The junior also stepped up big with 7 blocking attempts and three service aces.
CSU- 30 30 30
OSU- 22 25 21