Even without the reigning Mountain West Conference Player of the Year, the 17th-ranked CSU volleyball team swept Air Force in Colorado Springs. Senior outside hitter Jacque Davisson tallied 10 kills on the evening to make up for the absence of Danielle Minch.
â€œWe rely a lot on Jacque, and sheâ€™s got a lot of pressure on her,â€ CSU head coach Tom Hilbert said. â€œIt was a new role for her, and as an attacker sheâ€™s got to get kills for us.â€
The Rams trailed by six early in the third set, but a timeout helped CSU settle down and get into the flow of the game.
â€œOur endgame was on, we were able to keep pressure on them,â€ junior setter Evan Sanders said. â€œWe were blocking them so they didnâ€™t have a lot of options.â€
Sanders fired the game winning point on an ace to the left side.
â€œI was focused back there, I wasnâ€™t looking for an ace,â€ she said, â€œIt just happened to work out perfectly.â€ Sanders finished the game with 28 assists, five digs, and a season-high five kills.
The Rams handled the Falcons in the opening set, 25-11. The opening set victory included a Rams rally of 23-9 after beginning the match tied at two points apiece.
â€œI think we needed that pretty bad,â€ said Davisson, of the teamâ€™s victory. â€œJust to know that we could play that well against them.â€
Davisson fired four kills and an ace in the opening set.
â€œIt was important because it gave our players some confidence,â€ Hilbert said. â€œWeâ€™re in a new lineup because of a couple of injuries, but we still persevered.â€
It had been six days since the Rams last played a match, something the team viewed as a positive.
â€œWe had all that time to work on our game,â€ Sanders said. â€œ Weâ€™re really emphasizing becoming a better team so we donâ€™t plateau throughout the middle of our season.â€
CSU is now 3-0 in matches played after a break of six days or more this season. Earlier this year, the Rams defeated Texas Tech and BYU on similar rest.
CSU plays their next match in Las Vegas against the Runninâ€™ Rebels on Saturday at 2 p.m. The Rebels (5-10, 1-1 MWC) fell to the Rams in both of their meetings in 2009.
â€œItâ€™s a quick turnaround,â€ Hilbert said. â€œWeâ€™ve got to get in, get good preparation, and go play a tough match.â€
Volleyball Beat Reporter Kyle Grabowski can be reached at email@example.com.