Sep 112011
Authors: Kyle Grabowski

Endgame play set the tone for the CSU volleyball team this weekend in the Rams Volleyball Classic.

CSU lost 3-1 to Wichita State, but swept the University of Northern Colorado 3-0 to win the tournament with strong endgame play.

“I was extremely disappointed in what we did in endgame situations,” coach Tom Hilbert said after the Wichita State match.

“We played with a great deal of fear and not very much aggression.”

Hilbert said his team played much better at the end of sets in sets two and three against UNC.

“In set two neither team played good in the endgame and we happened to be the benefactor,” he said.

The Bears came back from a 21-15 deficit in the second set to tie it at 23. The Rams won it 28-26, following two UNC errors.

Senior opposite hitter Katelyn Steffan led the Rams with 31 kills over the weekend, including a career-high 21 on Saturday. She also pulled up 23 digs in two matches en-route to being named the tournament’s MVP.

“It gives me a little (confidence) but (the important thing) is staying grounded and focused,” she said. “Our team still needs to learn a lot of things and I need to learn a lot of things. I still need to get better in a lot of areas.”

This is Steffan’s second tournament MVP award of the season.
Junior middle blocker Breion Paige was also named to the all-tournament team.

“For Breion it was well deserved,” Steffan said. “She came out this weekend and she played athletic like we needed her to and got big plays like we needed her to.”

Despite the win the Rams are working through a tough set of matches and have several areas they need to improve in.

“We probably aren’t getting the production out of right-side attacking that we need to get,” Hilbert said. “How are we going to fix that? Are we going to make Tori (Brummett) better, are we going to put someone else in there? We don’t know yet.”

CSU will leave Moby Arena for its next match Friday to travel down Interstate 25 for a match with the University of Denver.

“You have great matches and you have matches where you don’t have as much pop,” Hilbert said, “but if you just stay consistent and do the right things blocking and defensively, you’ll be good.“

_Volleyball Beat Reporter Kyle Grabowski can be reached at _

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