Rams down Mustangs for first victory
Aug. 30, 2009
By Danny Mattie
FORT COLLINS, Colo. – The Colorado State volleyball team closed the 2009 Asics/Coors Classic at Moby Arena on Sunday with a 3-0 (25-19, 25-18, 25-19) victory over the Cal Poly Mustangs.
The win snapped a two-match season-opening skid for CSU, and gave the Rams some much needed confidence after two sub-par performances in the first two rounds of the tournament.
“It’s been a rough weekend,” said junior outside hitter Jacque Davisson. “It’s been a learning process for us, and being able to finish the way we did will really help as we continue through non-conference and into the Mountain West.”
Davisson and the Rams posted much improved numbers on Sunday, overpowering Cal Poly offensively and defensively. On her way to a nod on the Asics/Coors Classic all-tournament team, Davisson was one of four CSU players to finish with at least six kills, and hit better than .300 on the afternoon. She racked up 14 kills on .379 hitting, while junior outside hitter Danielle Minch posted impressive numbers with 15 kills, a .414 hitting percentage, three service aces, and five assisted blocks, to help lead the Rams to victory.
“It was all about learning to focus and drive every ball,” said Minch of her performance for the weekend, in which she led the Rams with 32 kills in three matches.
Senior middle blocker Tessa Nelson chipped in with seven kills, a .312 hitting percentage and seven assisted blocks, while freshman Megan Plourde added six kills on .333 hitting, and two assisted blocks for CSU.
“Finishing the tournament with a strong performance gives us a sense of accomplishment, and gives us something to look forward to,” said Nelson. “We know that if we do things right, we will come out on top.”
Sophomore setter Evan Sanders recorded a career-high 38 assists, and added a service ace of her own, to go along with six digs and an assisted block. Freshman Dana Cranston earned her first career start, in place of the injured Katelyn Steffan, and recorded a pair of kills, two digs and two assisted blocks.
Overall, the Rams hit. .351 as a team, while holding the Mustangs to just .147. Cal Poly’s Megan McConnell was the only Mustang to finish in double-figures with a team-high 10 kills. The Rams also out-blocked the Mustangs by a margin of 9.0 to 2.5.
Pepperdine (3-0) cruised to the tournament title with a 3-1 victory over Oregon State (2-1) on Sunday morning. The Beavers finished as the runners-up.
Pepperdine’s Kiah Fiers captured tournament MVP honors, and was joined on the all-tourney squad by teammates Rachel Grochmal and Lilla Frederick. Oregon State placed two players, Rachel Rourke and Jill Sawatzky, on the all-tournament team, and Davisson rounded out the squad for the Rams.
Colorado State will now play host to the annual Hilton Classic volleyball tournament, Thursday-Saturday at Moby Arena. CSU opens play against Georgia Southern at 7 p.m. on Thursday, and Ohio State at 7 p.m. on Friday before closing against UT Arlington at 1 p.m. on Saturday.