Sept. 8, 2011
Athletic Media Relations
FORT COLLINS, Colo.—The Colorado State women’s volleyball team came back from losing the first set (29-27) and won the next three, beating Nova KBM, Slovenia’s top national team, Thursday night at Moby Arena. The exhibition match against CSU marked Nova KBM’s eighth match played in the United States. The Rams are only the second team to have beaten them.
Nova KBM played tough against the Rams, keeping the first three sets close (27-29, 26-24, 25-23). But, in the fourth game the Rams widened the gap, closing out the match, 25-15. Service errors had a large impact on siding out. CSU had nine service errors for the whole match, while Nova KBM had a whopping 15.
Head coach Tom Hilbert hoped his team would have had to work harder for their sideouts.
“A lot of times when people start passing better, the opposite servers sort of get tentative,” Hilbert said. “They didn’t. They got more aggressive. Really, in Game 4 it was too easy for us to side out because of missed serves, and that’s kind of a shame because I would like for our team to be pushed a little bit more.”
Blocking played a big role in the win. The Rams ended the match with 16.5 total team blocks to Nova KBM’s total of two team blocks. Senior Katelyn Steffan led the Rams with three solo blocks, along with two block assists. Middle blockers Megan Plourde and Brieon Paige were in on six blocks, along with setter Deedra Foss, who was in on four.
Steffan was happy with the team’s blocking.
“I think that a lot of times when one of us gets a block, it feels better than getting a kill,” Steffan said. “Just knowing that you’re shutting one of their big players down, it’s just a good feeling.”
With it being an exhibition match, and having a consistent lead in the fourth set, Hilbert was able to use some reserve players and try out different rotations.
“I really liked what Marlee Reynolds did today,” he said. “She came in and got a nice kill from the left side and a big block. These young kids that are starting to get in are getting more and more valuable time. It was a good win for us. Although it doesn’t count on the record, it still was a good win because I think that is a good team and they push you, and we need to be pushed.”
The second day of the Rams Volleyball Classic, hosted by CSU, continues Friday with the Rams hosting the Wichita State Shockers at 7 p.m. The tournament will conclude with three matches on Saturday, capped by CSU’s “Orange Out” vs. Northern Colorado, at 7 p.m.