Friday vs. UNLV 7 p.m., Moby Arena
Saturday vs. SDSU 7 p.m., Moby Arena
The Rams put on a clinic last Friday night, as they showed Wyoming the correct way to block. CSU out-blocked the Cowgirls 20-6, as they blew past them at the UniWyo Sports Complex in Laramie this past Friday in three straight games.
This match-up between the two teams was completely different from the last time they met in late September. CSU controlled the ball nicely, found the seams up the middle and shut down the Wyoming offense. All things the Rams needed to do.
"We did a great job as a team tonight," head coach Tom Hilbert said. "We were much better this time. Credit assistant coach Karrie Larsen for a good job on scouting what the other team was doing."
The Rams were led from the middle of the court behind senior Dre Downs and freshman Mekana Barnes. Downs had a match-high 14 kills on 24 attempts, with only one error on the night. The two recorded six total blocks, which helped stop the fast offense of Wyoming. Barnes helped out with nine
"Our defense was playing well, getting balls up, and so we had the opportunity to go up the middle," Barnes said.
Senior Casey Bauer had a solid night as she recorded her eighth career double-double, with 10 kills and 17 digs against the Cowgirls.
"I think that we prepared a lot better this time as opposed to last time we met up," junior defensive specialist Brittany Fornstrom said.
Game one started off with the Rams jumping to a 9-point lead, as Wyoming had a hard time controlling the ball. The Rams didn't look back and won Game One 30-20.
In game two the Wyoming offense found their feet, as outside hitter Rachel Smith put down a few balls. The Rams let Wyoming's lead get to six before they turned things around. Bauer caught fire in the middle of the game, posting three kills and a block to pull the Rams within two points. Wyoming then fell apart, committing two attacking errors and three net violations that allowed the Rams to take the lead and win the game 30-27.
Game three was short as the Rams completely controlled the ball. CSU ended the game with three straight blocks by freshman setter Ashley Fornstrom and Downs.
"We found out what our weaknesses were last week," Barnes said. "This definitely helped the team grow as a group."
The Rams move to 13-6 on the season and 6-3 in the Mountain West Conference.