The CSU volleyball team wrapped up their regular season schedule on Saturday afternoon at Moby Arena, falling at the hands of the New Mexico State Aggies in four sets.
The match held no post season implications for the Rams (23-5, 15-1), having previously clinched their automatic bid to the NCAA tournament by winning the Mountain West regular season title on Nov. 19. The match was markedly more crucial to the Aggies, who sit squarely on the “bubble” of the tournament.
“If there was a time we could afford to take a loss like this, its now,” said head coach Tom Hilbert. “(New Mexico State) had more athletes player for player than most of the Mountain West teams this year.”
Hilbert, who was named MWC coach of the year on Tuesday for the seventh time in his career, was just one of a group of Rams included in the All-MWC selections. Headlining this years team was junior outside hitter Danielle Minch, who took home MWC Player of the Year honors.
“It’s really exciting for me,” said Minch, who led conference play with 3.80 kills per set. “We have a lot of good players on our team, I’m glad to be contributing to that.”
The Rams grabbed the first set before the Aggies reeled off three consecutive set wins.
“This helps us realize we can’t let down at any point,” said freshman hitter Megan Plourde. “We made some unforced errors we usually don’t make at the end.”
Minch, who led the team with 17 kills, also led all players with 11 errors, contributing largely to the Rams .225 attack percentage.
Unfortunately for seniors Tessa Nelson, Katelin Batten and Shanna Casinelli, they were unable to win their final game at Moby Arena. The NCAA tournament will give the Rams a chance to give their seniors a more fitting send-off.
“I wanted the seniors to go out remembering the way we are supposed to play at Moby,” said Minch. “If we go deep in the tournament, it will be better for them.”
The NCAA tournament selection show will be aired tomorrow at 1:00 PM, and the team will be hosting a selection show party at CB Potts beginning at 12:30.