Even the best of the best have something to say about middle blocker Dre Downs.
The CSU redshirt freshman showed up at Thursday night’s game revved and ready to go. Although number 18 ranked CSU couldn’t pull off a win against number 6 ranked Long Beach State, Dre put out an excellent game, leading the team in both kills (17) and points scored (24).
Dre started out a little slow at the start of the game, but quickly gained momentum, keeping the Long Beach girls, particularly All-American senior Brittany Hovechar, on their feet. Hovechar praised Downs’ performance on Thursday night.
“She was definitely good…we tried to stop her first, but she remained solid,” Hovechar said. “Downs came right at it and never let down.”
Head coach Tom Hilbert also had a good word for Downs. He especially touched on Downs’ enthusiasm and energy, which gave all of the girls the extra pep they needed during the grueling four game match.
“We were very pleased with Dre- she really stepped up tonight,” Hilbert said of his middle blocker. He also commented on Downs need to work on defense, but added that that was an area the entire team was focusing on as they prepare for their first conference match against Wyoming tomorrow night.
Downs had a few words to say about her own performance.
“I really gained a lot of confidence from this game,” she admitted. “There were times of weakness, but what is important is that we make our weakness our strength.”
Strength is certainly what Downs needed, along with senior middle blocker Michelle Knox. Long Beach State head coach Brian Gimmillaro revealed the team’s plan to “attack the teeth of the two best blockers.”
CSU middle blocker Dre Downs had nothing but a smile planted on her face, even after the Rams’ defeat. This girl is most definitely one to watch out for – before you know it she too will be the best of the best.