On a rare Sunday afternoon match in San Diego, the CSU volleyball team disposed of its in-conference rivals San Diego State in four sets (25-19, 25-20, 21-25, 25-18).
The match culminates a road trip in which the Rams (10-3, 4-0 MW) defeated the University of Nevada-Las Vegas on their floor on Thursday before heading to San Diego.
Coach Tom Hilbert noted the importance of performing well on the road.
â€œWe played with more maturity than San Diego State did,â€ Hilbert said. â€œAnd they were at home, so it was kind of interesting.â€
The Rams were once again led by the outstanding play of senior outside hitter Katelyn Steffan, who tallied 18 kills and 22.5 points while hitting .385.
â€œSteffan had another monster match,â€ Hilbert said. â€œShe is really coming into her own as an outside hitter.â€
While Steffan led the Rams in kills, contributions by Dana Cranston (11 kills) and Megan Plourde (9 kills) spurred the Rams on to total 56 kills on the day and attack at .355 as a team.
CSU was able to spread the ball around and confuse SDSU (8-5, 1-2 MW) by distributing the ball to many different hitters.
â€œThey had a hard time defending because they didnâ€™t know where it was going,â€ Steffan said. â€œEven distribution is something weâ€™ve worked on in practice.â€
Freshman setter Deedra Foss led the Rams in assists with 46 by distributing the ball to the multitude of 6-foot-tall hitters on the front line.
â€œ(Deedra) did a good job. Everyone is getting good numbers, but Iâ€™d like to see Brieon (Paige) getting more sets,â€ Hilbert said. â€œIâ€™d like to see people besides our outsides getting more sets.â€
The Rams attacked at .424 and .346 in the first and second sets respectively, before dropping the third set to SDSU, who overcame 8 errors to notch a 25-21 victory.
â€œSan Diego State came out with a completely different lineup,â€ Hilbert said on the third set. â€œLots of different personnel, they were trying to play faster and hit harder, and it shook us up a little bit.â€
The Rams were able to overcome the different personnel moves by attacking at .438 in the fourth set and closing SDSU out by winning the set 25-18.
Next, the Rams will return to Fort Collins to play Seattle University this Thursday night, before going on the road again to battle Wyoming on Saturday. The Rams enter a critical portion of their seasonâ€™s schedule this week, as 10 of their last 11 games will be played against MW opponents.
The Rams are eager to face off against some of their tougher conference foes, because according to Hilbert, â€œAdversity is good for us.â€
Volleyball Beat Reporter Andrew Schaller can be reached at email@example.com.
- What: CSU vs. San Diego State
- Result: CSU wins in four sets (25-19, 25-20, 21-25, 25-18)
- Up next: Seattle University
- When: Thursday Oct. 6 at 7 p.m.
- Where: Moby Arena
- Coverage: 90.5 KCSU FM