Aug. 28, 2010
By Danny Mattie
Athletic Media Relations
FORT COLLINS, Colo. – The No. 17-ranked Colorado State volleyball team improved to 2-0 to start the season on Saturday evening, sweeping the defending Southern Conference champion Furman Paladins – 25-16, 27-25, 25-21 – in CSU’s second match of the Coors Rocky Mountain Challenge at Moby Arena.
Senior outside hitter Danielle Minch led the Rams with 10 kills in the contest, tying Furman’s Chandler Ambrester for match-high honors. Minch hit an impressive .368 and was one of four Rams to record at least seven kills, along with junior Katelyn Steffan (8), sophomore Megan Plourde (7) and senior Jacque Davisson (7). Davisson also added four service aces for the Rams.
Sophomore setter Evan Sanders tallied a match-high 32 assists, helping the Rams to a team hitting percentage of .243. CSU held Furman to just .105 hitting as a team, including a miniscule 0.067 in the opening set. Kelly Kirby (14) and Sarah McCarthy (12) each recorded double-digits in assists for Furman.
Defensively, two Rams, sophomore Izzy Gualia who started Sets 1 and 2 at libero, and senior Audrey Hemmings who started Set 3 as the Rams’ libero, chipped in with double-digits in digs, recording 11 and 12, respectively.
The Rams also held an advantage in blocks, tallying 10.0 team blocks to just 5.0 for Furman. Plourde tallied one solo block and four assisted blocks, while sophomore Brieon Paige added five assisted blocks of her own.
After storming out to the 25-16 victory in the first set, CSU trailed 18-12 in Set 2. The Rams rallied to tie the contest, 22-22. Paige put the match away with a big kill to give CSU the 27-25 win, and a commanding 2-0 lead.
A Minch kill midway through the third set gave CSU an 18-16 advantage, which grew to 20-16 after back-to-back attack errors by Furman’s Ambrester, the second of which was thwarted by a Steffan-Paige block for CSU. Furman never got closer than three points for the remainder of the match, before Davisson closed out 25-21 the victory with a kill.
With the win, CSU improves to 2-0 to start the season; the program’s sixth 2-0 start under Head Coach Tom Hilbert.
CSU now turns its attention to rival Colorado. The Rams and the Buffs renew their rivalry on the volleyball court Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Moby Arena, kicking off the week leading up to Saturday’s football matchup in the Cinch Jeans Rocky Mountain Showdown at INVESCO Field at Mile High.
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