With fellow outside hitter Jacqui Davisson sidelined with a concussion, Danielle Minch took it upon herself to decide the result of Friday evening’s bout with Wyoming.
Minch led all players with 17 kills, and the Rams (18-4, 10-1 MWC) followed her lead en route to a victory over the rival Cowgirls in straight sets (25-22, 25-20, 25-20).
“We’re very thankful for Danielle’s performance tonight,” said head coach Tom Hilbert. “She was absolutely on fire.”
After two close sets to begin the match, Minch wanted to break the spirit of the Cowgirls in the third match. She did just that, tallying 8 of her 17 kills in the final set.
“I was sick of (Wyoming) feeling like they had a chance,” said Minch, who leads the Rams with 279 kills on the year. “I feel like we weren’t really playing our top game.”
The victory is the Rams 24th consecutive over the Cowgirls, having not lost a match to Wyoming since Nov. 17, 1997.
The Rams struggled early Friday evening, trailing the Cowgirls (10-15, 1-10 MWC) for large stretches of the first and second sets before ultimately rallying to win both. Hilbert was visibly frustrated at times, but said he would not complain about the final result.
“We weren’t getting the ball high enough at times,” said Hilbert. “Eventually we settled down and started siding out more.”
The Rams are very quietly building another home court winning streak after seeing their 28-game streak snapped in the first match of the season. Friday’s win marks their 10th straight at Moby Arena.
The conference-leading Rams will get some rest before hosting the Air Force Falcons (8-15, 0-11 MWC) this Thursday. The Falcons have yet to win a conference match this season, and have lost all but one set in the Mountain West.
Still sophomore setter Evan Sanders feels the team must continue to prove themselves, every time out.
“Every team has improved,” said Sanders, who totaled 40 assists Friday evening. “It’s super important for us to prove we are getting better too.”