With a couple of recruits in the building, the CSU volleyball team gave them a good show dominating the Air Force Falcons for a 3-0 sweep in Moby Arena on Saturday.
Taking only one hour nine minutes, the win was the Rams (19-2, 9-1) 30th consecutive over the Falcons (5-19, 0-10) and 26th consecutive win at home.
Head Coach Tom Hilbert was not concerned with how fast the Rams won, but rather the fashion in which they did so.
“Before the match coach Hilbert said it is not about how quick we get it over with but if we get it over with quick it has to be with quality,” said freshman setter Evan Sanders. “And quality it was.”
Senior middle blocker Mekana Barnes led the team with nine kills on .500 hitting and sophomore outside hitter Danielle Minch finished with eight.
It was sophomore Jacque Davisson though who stole the spotlight.
Davisson recorded seven service aces and had one stretch where she served for 11 consecutive points during a run in set three in which the team went 18-1 after the Falcons jumped out to a 2-1 lead.
“It’s been something we’ve been working on in practice just refining it and it’s cool that it actually shows up in the game,” said Davisson.
Davisson’s seven aces is second most in team history.
Hilbert was impressed with the team’s serving on Saturday.
“This game was about serving and defense and blocking,” said Hilbert. “Long point runs like that and then we would side out because we passed the ball well.”
Hilbert got the opportunity to mix and match with his lineups, due to Katelyn Steffan (knee) and Crystin Roderick (neck) being out with injuries, but also because of the big lead.
“So we got to play a lot of people, got good performances from everybody,” said Hilbert. “We have good leadership and good setting, so you can do different things and it works out well.”
The team used a different lineup for every set and Sanders played at both setter and right side hitter.
“Evan is an extremely functional volleyball player in all regards, she knows the whole game and that helps,” said Hilbert.
Sanders recorded four kills, four assists, seven digs and had a hand in three blocks. She is used to playing all over the court from her experience in high school and club ball.
“It’s not anything new to me (to play every position),” said Sanders. “I’m surrounded by so many amazing players who take a lot of pressure off me. They are doing their job so well that I can focus on me and make as little errors as possible.”
The team even had a different player wearing the libero jersey on Saturday as sophomore Audrey Hemmings replaced Katelin Batten in the third set.
“Who knows maybe she’ll be that for us someday,” said Hilbert. “Audrey has been serve receiving really well. I thought I’d give her a shot.”
Freshman Lisa Weintraub made her second appearance of the season, coming in the third set. Senior Jaime Strauss returned from a concussion to play one set and recorded five kills.
Sanders said it is games like this over lesser opponents that the team can grow and work on different things.
“It’s always easy to get pumped up for the big games where you have a big name team on the other side of the court, but it’s the little games where you can work on things and get better that are going to get you victories against those big name teams,” said Sanders. “This is what we should be like, this is what’s expected, it’s what we’re capable of.”