No matter what the sport, thereâ€™s always a rivalry between Colorado State and CU-Boulder.
That showed Tuesday night as the CSU volleyball team kicked off the Rocky Mountain Showdown week in fashion, beating CU in straight sets, 3-0.
The two teams faced off in front of an energetic crowd at Moby Arena, and the play in the first set suggested some nerves from each side.
The Buffaloes had eight service errors in the first set while the Rams shot a poor .160 in the same frame. CSU was able to improve as the match went on, however, leading to the victory.
â€œWe got better set to set,â€ coach Tom Hilbert said. â€œThey outplayed us in set one. Set two, we didnâ€™t play great but we played well enough to win. Set three, we played outstanding.â€
The Rams were able to escape punishment for their subpar play in set one due to unforced errors
After weathering the slow start, the Rams were able to exhibit what has become a trend in the early part of the season by finishing the match strong.
CSU dominated most of the third set, playing the best they had all night, ultimately winning it 25-16 to complete the sweep.
Finishing matches strong is something the Rams work and pride themselves on.
â€œThatâ€™s been a mentality for our team last year and this year,â€ said junior setter Evan Sanders.
â€œItâ€™s something that we work at in practice so when we get in situations like this itâ€™s not really as stressful. Itâ€™s something weâ€™re used to.â€
In addition to the service errors by CU, the Rams played some stifling defense of their own, constantly pushing the Buffs to work for every point.
CSU forced CU to shoot a paltry kill percentage of .128 for the match.
The crowd of 3,472 at Moby Arena not only got a chance to see the 15th-ranked Ramsâ€™ volleyball team beat its rival, but they also got to take part in an informal pep rally, as the CSU football team addressed the crowd between sets two and three as they prepare for the Rocky Mountain Showdown this Saturday in Denver.
Rams fans can only hope that some of the dominance from the volleyball team rubbed off on the football team.
Tuesdayâ€™s win continues an impressive run for the CSU volleyball team over CU. This win was the sixth straight for the Rams, although the two teams didnâ€™t meet last year. The Rams lead the series all-time with a record of 22-11.
Despite the fact that CU is in rebuilding mode, returning only two starters from last year, the team knows that it is always nice to win a game against the schoolâ€™s biggest rival.
â€œItâ€™s still CU,â€ said senior Danielle Minch, who led the team with eight kills. â€œItâ€™s still a rivalry.â€
Volleyball beat reporter Kevin Lytle can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.