The CSU volleyball team continued its winning streak this weekend after beating conference rival TCU in straight sets 3-0. The match was a battle and the 1,298 fans there to witness it got a show./
The Horned Frogs (13-4, 2-1) came into this match, riding their own winning streak, which the Rams (10-3, 3-0) snapped at eight. The two teams matched up well with one another, and head coach Tom Hilbert said the key to the game was for his team not to get too anxious./
“We just stayed very patient,” Hilbert said. “I’m pleased with how our team fought. It was a really good match for us.”
In the first set the Rams were able to put together two scoring streaks of more than five, thanks to their ability to spread the ball around the floor. Setter Evan Sanders finished the game with 26 assists and also put up 11 digs and seven kills. The Rams didn’t have a player get into double digit kills because of how balanced they were, but CSU did have six players with five kills or more./
Hilbert said the CSU defense allowed the Rams to have a potent offense. The Rams have stressed their defensive game plan lately, and it has paid off. CSU out blocked TCU nine to seven and held the Horned Frogs to a .108 team kill percentage. The Rams were able to wait for their moments and capitalize on their size and strength./
That patience, anticipation and good defense, Hilbert says, is the best way to set up chances to score.
“We try to get the ball back and slam it down their throats,” Hilbert said. “And that happened.”
The Rams were able to play a complete game Saturday and the composure the Rams played with should also get some credit for the victory.
“We played with maturity. We made them (TCU) work really hard to beat us,” Hibert said. “I feel good about our team and the talent we have.”
That talent was exemplified when CSU got good plays from their young players – especially redshirt freshman Megan Plourde. The 6-foot-3 outside hitter finished with six kills and 3.5 blocks.
The Rams stayed focused and didn’t allow mistakes or TCU to bog them down and the result was a 3-0 conference record that puts them atop the Mountain West.
CSU is out of action until Wednesday when the Rams try to extend their home winning streak to six against in-state rival Northern Colorado.
Volleyball Beat Reporter Keith Robertson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.