Jamie Fairchild had a monster game for the University New Mexico, but the CSU volleyball team still won easily.
The Rams (7-3, 2-0) put away the Lobos in three games (30-27, 30-25 and 30-20), extending their winning streak to seven games.
CSU coach Tom Hilbert gave Fairchild, a UNM outside hitter, credit for a good game.
“She is a good player and we need to get better against her,” he said. “This is the best New Mexico team since I have been here.”
Fairchild posted 15 kills and a .300 hitting percentage for the match.
The Lobos kept game one close, but the Rams pulled it out at the end, finishing late lengthy rallies with kills from sophomore Tessa Nelson and senior Tonya Mokelki.
Junior Mekana Barnes explained how critical it was to win those rallies.
“It was very important,” the middle blocker said. “It let us know we were taking good care of the ball well during those long rallies and that we did our job.”
CSU came out strong in game two, taking an early 11-5 lead. The Lobos fought back, wining five straight rallies to pull with in two, 15-13. CSU would then prevail in the end, scoring six of the last seven points.
Hilbert said that UNM’s run caught his team a little off balance.
“They went on a point run and got us a little flustered,” Hilbert said. “Luckily we had a cushion and it was the only significant point run for them all night. We got a big enough lead and then just sided out enough to win.”
CSU dominated game three, keeping a 10-point lead most of the game. Middle back Danielle Minch stepped up big, hitting five kills in the game.
Hilbert explained that he was impressed with the freshman’s performance.
“This was her best match yet,” he said. “The beautiful thing about it is she had 30 attempts and only four errors. For a young player that is very good and it allows her kills to take over a little bit.”
Setter Ashley Fornstrom is happy to end the teams first week of conference play with two wins.
“It is always nice to start conference out 2-0 instead of 0-2,” the junior said. “It gives us more confidence to go and play teams like BYU and Utah next week. We played with more focus this game.”
Volleyball beat reporter Adam Bohlmeyer can be reached at email@example.com
Kills 55 40
Pct. .293 .136
Ast 47 39
Digs 44 42
Blks 17 12