Aug. 29, 2009
By Danny MattieAthletic Media Relations
FORT COLLINS, Colo. – Despite what Head Coach Tom Hilbert characterized as an improved performance by the Rams in a number of areas, the No. 24 Colorado State volleyball team was unable to overcome a strong offensive attack by Oregon State (2-0), falling to the Beavers 3-0 (25-21, 25-23, 25-19) in the second round of the Asics/Coors Classic on Saturday night at Moby Arena.
With the loss, the Rams fell to 0-2 to open the season, marking the first time since Nov. 17-18, 2006, vs. nationally ranked programs from BYU (20) and Utah (9), that CSU has lost two consecutive home matches.
The Colorado State defense could not find an answer for OSU senior outside hitter Rachel Rourke, who recorded a match-high 16 kills, including seven in the opening set.
“Rourke was just dominant in the first game-and-a-half,” said Hilbert. “It was a lot like last night (vs. Pepperdine) but our outside hitters played much better tonight. We did improve in a few areas, but got worse defensively. Every time they got a good swing at a ball, it went down.”
Junior outside hitters Danielle Minch (.304) and Jacque Davisson (.385) each recorded 11 kills in the contest, and the Rams as a team hit .204.
Oregon State, however recorded a .308 hitting percentage, and along with Rourke’s 16 kills, the Beavers got 14 from junior outside hitter Jill Sawatzky and senior outside hitter Bree Knitter.
“In Set 1, we had good hitting numbers, but they had better hitting numbers,” added Hilbert. “We’re just not putting it all together. I think that offensively we played well enough to win, if we had just been able to disrupt them a little more defensively. We have to do good things in all areas consistently, and we will be able to win matches like this.”
Minch also recorded a pair of solo blocks and an assisted block, while Davisson and senior middle blocker Tessa Nelson each added three assisted blocks for the Rams.
The Rams will look to end the two-match skid on Sunday, when they face Cal Poly (0-2) in the final match of the 2009 Asics/Coors Classic at Moby Arena. The match is slated to begin at 2 p.m., while the Pepperdine (2-0) and Oregon State (2-0) will square off for the tournament title at 11:30 a.m.