Oct 302011
 
Authors: Kyle Grabowski

Members of the CSU volleyball team must have had plans Saturday night. It took the Rams only an hour and seven minutes to defeat the University of Nevada-Las Vegas 3-0.

The Rams hit .493 for the match, a season-high, and held UNLV to a .058 hitting percentage while collecting 12.5 total team blocks.

“We’re doing fundamental things right, and as a result, when we disrupt the other team and we play that solidly, it’s a very lopsided affair,” CSU coach Tom Hilbert said.

CSU won the second set 25-9 powered by four service aces and six total team blocks.

“A lot of that was because our players aren’t driving enough. They’re not making the blockers guess where the ball is being set,” UNLV coach Cindy Fredrick said. “If you do that to a team like Colorado State, they’re good blockers and they’re tall, they’re going to take you right out of your offense.”

UNLV sophomore setter Stephanie Thelen only had 19 assists total, and none of the UNLV attackers had more than six kills.

CSU’s offense, on the other hand, was humming along under the direction of freshman Deedra Foss, who finished with 36 assists.

Junior middle blocker Megan Plourde finished with eight kills and eight blocks, continuing her strong play of late after a relatively slow start offensively in conference play.

“I feel like me and Deedra were connecting really good today both (setting) in front and behind (her),” Plourde said.

Senior opposite hitter Katelyn Steffan led the Rams with 10 kills on a blistering .667 hitting percentage to go along with five blocks.

Reserve outside hitters Marlee Reynolds and Kelsey Snider entered the match late in the second set and finished with two and three kills respectively.

“They need playing time in real situations because it keeps them fresh, it keeps them active, and they won’t be as nervous when they come in again,” Hilbert said. “We’re going to need those guys at some point.”

After the win Saturday, CSU has three conference games remaining before the Mountain West tournament. The Rams have won six straight matches since their five-set defeat in Laramie against the University of Wyoming and 11 out of 12 overall.

“I feel like we’re getting better. We all know we need to be at the top at the end of the season,” Plourde said. “We’re trying to progress to get there and I feel like we’re doing it.”

The Rams’ next match is the final home match, and a chance to repay Wyoming for their only conference loss.

“Not that we have a grudge or anything, but it’s our only (conference) loss and we would like to avenge that,” Hilbert said.

Volleyball Beat Reporter Kyle Grabowski can be reached at sports@collegian.com.

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