The CSU Volleyball team faced the toughest challenge of its young season Saturday night and came out on top.
The Rams Swept the Hilton Classic Tournament and did it in dramatic fashion, defeating Eastern Washington in five games 25-12, 25-19, 25-27, 21-25 and 15-9.
CSU jumped out to an early lead in game five, one which they would never relinquish, finishing off the Eagles with a Mekana Barnes kill, her 17 of the match.
Rams head coach Tom Hilbert said that the EWU gave CSU a legitimate scare and showed where his team’s weaknesses are.
“We are out of system more than I thought we were and we have to be better at hitting on the outside,” he said. “We have the athletes to play the positions; they just have to get better.”
Hilbert explained that he was still mostly pleased with how the Rams played in their first tournament of the season.
“I’m really happy with our competitiveness,” the 12-year CSU coach said. “These are good experiences for our team to get right now.”
Senior Ashley Fornstrom agreed with her coach.
“It was a good match for us to play this early in the season,” the setter said. “For us to go a five game match and win is huge.”
The Rams ran the tables of the Hilton Classic, besting the University of Arkansas on Friday night and Denver University Saturday afternoon, both in three games.
Along with the being crowned tournament champions, Middle Blockers Tessa Nelson and Mekana Barnes were named to the all tournament team. Barnes received Most Valuable Player honors.
Up next for CSU is a showdown with Pepperdine in the Asics Classic scheduled for Sept 5.
Sports reporter Adam Bohlmeyer can be reached at email@example.com