Aug. 25, 2007
HONOLULU, Hawaii - Colorado State opened the 2007 volleyball season with a five-game marathon match, falling to Oregon State 3-2 (27-30, 30-25, 30-24, 28-30, 16-18) in the season opener at the Asics Invitational at the Stan Sheriff Center in Honolulu, Hawaii. The Rams were led by Jaime Strauss who hit .293 with 18 kills.
The match began with a decisive kill by Mekana Barnes, but the action slowed down for the Rams as they began the match playing to a 6-6 tie. Oregon State put together a six-point run to take a 13-7 lead in the first game. The Rams cut the lead to three points after a kill by Tessa Nelson and a block shared by Tonya Mokelki and Barnes and followed up with a kill by Mokelki.
The teams then combined for four service errors over the next stretch to make the score 16-21. Senior Amanda Fahnestock entered the match on a substitution, adding an immediate spark with an attack, a dig off a block, and then a resounding kill at 16-22. Mokelki killed a slow free ball over the middle for the 26-21 lead. The Rams battled back to 27-29 on the strength of service by Mokelki who served three hard balls, including an ace, forcing a Beavers' timeout. Oregon State took the game one win on a service error.
For game one, Jamie Strauss and Mokelki each had four kills while Barnes was two-for-three for the game high in hitting percentage. As a team, the Rams hit .324 while Oregon State hit .414. The teams combined for nine service errors in the game.
Tessa Nelson started game two off with a service ace, and then forced a bad pass for the Beavers for a 2-0 Ram lead. The pace of the game picked up and the Rams showed their strength at the net with Barnes stuffing a pair of balls and Mokelki nailing a kill down the middle for a four-point lead, 10-6. Fornstrom's dump followed by a kill by Barnes gave the Rams a six-point advantage.
CSU held the six-point margin through the halfway point of the match before Oregon State put together a short run to 16-13. Strauss put the Rams back on track with an explosive kill through the block and Mokelki served an ace to go to 18-13. CSU continued to own the net with a stuff block followed by another Mokelki ace to force a Beavers timeout at 20-13.
Oregon State rallied behind hitter Rachel Rourke to make the score 22-19 and lead to a Rams' timeout. The service was broken and the teams held even with a four-point Ram advantage at 25-21. Colorado State took the game two victory on a service error by Kristin Murray, 30-25.
After two games, Strauss led the team, hitting .636 with eight kills. Five Rams had at least one block, led by Barnes with three block assists. In game two, Colorado State held the Beavers to just .219. The service woes continued with six errors for OSU and five errors for CSU. Game three started with the Rams throwing up a wall, stuffing two straight balls after trading points for the 6-3 advantage. The wall returned with another pair of blocks and the advantage for CSU doubled at 13-7. OSU cut the lead to four before Fahnestock killed the ball to stop the run. Barnes added to the lead with a pair of aces to make the score 19-11.
The Beavers refused to give, cutting the lead to four and forcing a CSU timeout. The Rams again showed their mettle at the net, not allowing the ball to cross back over after service for three straight points for the 22-17 lead.
Colorado State punctuated the end of game three with a resounding kill by Mokelki for a final score of 30-24. The Rams hit .375 and added four blocks to their match total. Strauss and Mokelki each reached double figures in kills with 11 and 10, respectively. The Beavers were held to just .152 hitting, dropping their match hitting percentage to .255.
The Beavers come out fighting in game four, quickly gaining a seven-point advantage over the Rams. CSU's offense responded with kills by Barnes, Mokelki and an ace by Strauss to get within three points, 12-15. Out of the timeout kills by Barnes and Fahnestock brought the match to within one and a solo block by Barnes tied the game at 15. The Rams took their first lead of game four on a slicing kill from the right side by Mokelki. The Beavers retook the lead 22-20 after a kill and a CSU error. OSU built on their lead with a kill from Rourke and a three-man block for a 20-24 lead.
The Rams returned fire with a pair of kills to get within one-point at 23-24. The Beavers had a kill to bring the lead back to two points before Barnes' block at the net. An attack error by OSU brought the game back even. The Beavers took the lead on a controversial call, 29-28. Rourke hit the ball off the block for the Oregon State win in game four. The Rams dropped below .300 hitting for the first game, hitting .289 for game four. Mokelki added five kills for 15 on the match.
Game five opened with the Rams on a mission, taking a 2-1 lead on a kills. The Beavers took back an advantage (4-2) on blocks and CSU errors. CSU got a lift to tie the game from kills by Strauss and Barnes. Rourke gave Oregon State a two-point lead at the side change, 8-6. The Beavers kept just ahead of CSU, maintaining their advantage until the Rams broke serve and added another point on a Strauss kill for a 10-11 score.
The Beavers reached 15 first but a kill by Fahnestock tied the match again at 15. The teams traded points again before a service error and an attack error by CSU gave the match to Oregon State, 18-16.
The Rams finished hitting .276 with 74 team kills. Joining Strauss in double-figure kills were Mokelki (17), Fahnestock (13) and Barnes (12). Fornstrom had 55 assists and nine digs, a team high. Also with nine digs was Katelin Batten. CSU tallied 11.5 blocks, led by Barnes with six.
Oregon State was led by Rourke with 17 kills on 40 attempts for a .325 hitting percentage. K.C. Walsh had 48 assists and a team leading 14 digs. As a team the Beavers hit .265 and finished with 13 team blocks. The teams combined for 39 service errors, including 23 by the Rams.
The Rams will continue the tournament with a featured match with No. 10 Hawaii Saturday at 7 p.m. HT before ending the tournament against Michigan in a 3 p.m. HT match.
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