On an emotional Senior Day at Moby Arena, the CSU volleyball team defeated the UNLV Rebels 3-0 Sunday afternoon for its 28th consecutive home match win.
The Rams (22-3, 12-2) avenged its loss at UNLV (15-13, 8-7) earlier this season with stifling defense and leadership from its three seniors, Mekana Barnes, Jaime Strauss and Ashley Fornstrom.
All-American middle blocker Barnes led the team with 14 kills and 10 blocks. Outside hitter Strauss added seven kills and two blocks, while Fornstrom finished with 30 assists at the setter position.
“We knew it’s special, the senior night and that’s always an honor to be recognized like that, but we had work to day and we knew that and that comes before everything,” said Barnes.
The Rams took control of the match in the second set. After getting off to a slow start, trailing 9-6, the team reeled off a 12 point run and finished the set with a 19-3 run to win 25-12.
“Us going on a 12 point, that’s not going to happen very often with a team of that quality,” said Head Coach Tom Hilbert. “It changed game two because they were ahead at that point. They had momentum from the end of game one and took that momentum into game two.”
The other two sets were much more tightly contested with the Rams winning set one with a score of 27-25 and set three 25-20.
“Set one and three were the types of sets I expected in this match,” said Hilbert. “Vegas just hangs around and hangs around.
The win gives the Rams two consecutive seasons with 14-0 marks at home. In the three seniors’ tenure at CSU they posted a 55-5 home record.