Aug 31, 2013
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By Craig Buchanan
Athletic Media Relations
FORT COLLINS, Colo. — The Colorado State Rams (2-0, 0-0 MW) continued its excellence at home, taking down the Cal Poly Mustangs (1-2, 0-0 Big West) in three sets (25-19, 25-22, 25-16) on Saturday night at Moby Arena.
“I’m very pleased with where this team is right now,” Head Coach Tom Hilbert said. “We are better defensively than we’ve been in a while, and we are a great serving team. We’re getting to be really solid on the outside at times.”
Junior middle blocker Kelsey Snider helped pave the way for the Rams with 13 kills on .571 hitting. The match marked the second consecutive match that the new middle blocker hit above .500 with double-digit kills.
“Deedra (Foss) and I are starting to connect really well and I’m starting to see more things, which is awesome,” Snider said. “The way I’m built and the way I see things works better for me as a middle than they did on the outside.”
While Snider put the pressure on the Mustangs from the middle, sophomore outside hitter Adrianna Culbert provided a nice secondary punch for the Rams with 11 kills and six digs on .474 hitting. Freshman outside hitter Michelle Lawrence was third on the team with six kills.
Foss helped anchor the Rams’ offense and defense, but fell just short of her second double-double of the year with 34 assists and nine digs. Michelle Smith and Jaime Colaizzi each had eight digs in the match for CSU, which limited Cal Poly to .178 hitting. This was the second match this year that CSU’s opponent has hit below .200.
The Rams also dictated play at the net, out-blocking the Mustangs, 10.5-6.5. Senior middle blocker Samantha Peters led the way for CSU with six blocks, while Culbert and Snider each had three.
CSU jumped out to early control of the match behind Culbert’s strong play in the first set, but found itself in a tight match in the second frame with either team unable to get separation.
The two teams played in see-saw fashion, exchanging leads and ties until finally the Rams were able to break through late and end the set on a 4-0 run to win, 25-22. The crucial set featured 14 ties and seven lead changes.
“I thought we competed well at the end,” Hilbert said of Set 2. “Those are the moments that we have to do well in; this was a good effort.”
The third set featured just four ties and zero lead changes as the Rams used an 8-2 run midway through the set to take control and close out the match.
CSU returns to its home court to face intra-state rival Northern Colorado on Tuesday. The match is slated to begin at 7 p.m. MT.