Volleyball recap: Colorado State rallies, upends No. 5 Nebraska

CSU players celebrate as the final point is recorded in the Rams' upset over the No. 5 Huskers.

CSU players celebrate as the final point is recorded in the Rams' upset over the No. 5 Huskers.

Sept. 2, 2011

Final Stats |  Photo Gallery 

Danielle Minch
Athletic Media Relations

FORT COLLINS, COLO.—The Colorado State Rams volleyball team recorded a signature win Friday night, coming back from down two sets to upset No. 5 Nebraska in front of a record-breaking crowd at Moby Arena.

“People have been asking all week if this is the biggest match in program history,” Head Coach Tom Hilbert said. “You know, it’s hard to quantify that. We’ve had some spectacular wins here at CSU.

“But if you look at the environment in Moby and the hype of this game, and how the game was played and how it ended up, I think it’s a signature moment for these guys. This will be a moment that I think a lot of students, a lot of the CSU community, including the players on this team and some alumni, are going to remember and relish forever.”

The 6,750 fans that piled through the gates for the “White Out” broke last year’s mark of 6,333 to set a new program and Mountain West attendance record.

Junior middle blocker Megan Plourde was at a loss for words in regards to the fans. “I’m really speechless; it was just like, there are no words to explain it. I mean, it’s a once-in-a lifetime chance for some people.”

CSU dropped its first set, 12-25, along with its second, 11-25. In the first two sets, the Rams doubled the Huskers in errors, 12-6, and the Husker offense hit at .421 while holding the Rams to .055.

Entering the locker room down 2-0, senior Katelyn Steffan knew the team needed to make a change.

“We went into (the locker room) knowing that we were not playing CSU volleyball.”

Coming back out for Set 3, the Rams were fired up. As their offense picked up, so did their defense. Three blocks and a Plourde killed made the score 6-2, forcing a Nebraska timeout.

The Rams never let go in the set, leading by as many as 12, and winning the set 25-16. Riding the momentum of the crowd and Set-3 victory, CSU beat Nebraska 25-20 in Set 4, forcing a deciding fifth set.
 
The Rams picked up where they left off, with a kill by freshman Kaila Thomas, who made her Moby debut, and another attacking error by Nebraska, which forced the Huskers into one of its two timeouts of the set. CSU was in control the entire set, eventually finishing the come-from-behind thriller with a block by Plourde and Tori Brummett to send the Moby Faithful rushing the court to celebrate with the team.

Nebraska’s No. 5 ranking was the third-highest ever to play at Moby Arena, and tied for the highest CSU has ever beat on its home court (tying No. 5 BYU on Nov. 1, 1997). With the win over the Huskers, CSU is now 24-11 against ranked teams at Moby Arena under Hilbert.

“That’s as good as it gets,” Hilbert said. “There are no college volleyball matches that are better than that. We play them here, and we win them here.”


 

 

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