CSU volleyball left the friendly confines of Moby Arena over the weekend for the Campus USA Credit Union Invite in Gainesville, Fla. The Rams swept Bowling Green and Albany in their Saturday doubleheader but lost their first match of the season 3-1 against the No. 6 Florida Gators.
Head coach Tom Hilbert said that he looks at the Ramâ€™s weekend performance as a process in which the team went on the road and played its best at the end.
â€œWe played against a Top 10 team and played at a very high level. However, it was winnable, and we didnâ€™t win,â€ he said.
Senior outside hitter Jacque Davisson was named the tournamentâ€™s MVP after averaging more than 14 kills and eight digs per match, finishing the weekend with 19 kills and nine digs in the loss against Florida.
â€œI found out at like 4:30 in the morning on Sunday,â€ Davisson said of her achievement, â€œbut I have to give a lot of credit to my teammates. They make it possible for me to play at that high of a level.â€
â€œShe was very competitive from the moment the tournament started, and she helped lead our team, â€ Hilbert said. â€œShe did a lot of great things with regard to her own performance, but she also lead very well.â€
Middle blocker Megan Plourde joined Davisson on the all-tournament team, posting 10 total blocks over the weekend and firing 10 kills home against Florida.
â€œItâ€™s exciting,â€ she said, â€œI do have to give a lot of credit to my teammates for putting me in the position to make plays.â€
Overall the Rams hitting percentage against Florida was 15.1, nearly 10 points below their season average.
â€œWeâ€™ve gotta improve in serving and passing,â€ Hilbert said. â€œWeâ€™ve got to be able to play to maximize our athleteâ€™s ability to hit high and hard.â€
Even though the loss to Florida was tough, the Rams were still thankful to pick up two wins over the weekend.
â€œI think that was really good for us, just to know that we can be good twice in one day,â€ Davisson said. â€œIn sweeping those teams, that was kind of an expectation of us to play two solid matches and not let them take a game off of us.â€
CSU is looking to bounce back from its first loss of the year following a season opening, five-match winning streak.
â€œI donâ€™t think any of us expected to go undefeated, so we have to go try to improve as we go into the next weekend,â€ Hilbert said.
CSU hosts the Rams Volleyball Classic this Saturday and Sunday at Moby Arena.
Volleyball Beat Reporter Kyle Grabowski can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.