Sept. 11, 2009
By Danny Mattie
Athletic Media Relations
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- For the third time in two weeks, the Colorado State volleyball team has handed a previously undefeated opponent its first loss of the season, adding the Marshall Thundering Herd to a list that already included Georgia Southern and Ohio State.
The Rams, playing in the first match of the 2009 Carolina Classic hosted by the University of North Carolina at the Dean E. Smith Center, used a double-double performance by junior outside hitter Jacque Davisson, to hand Marshall, who opened the season 7-0, its first loss of the 2009 campaign. The Rams returned to the win column, bouncing back from a loss at Duke on Wednesday, and improving to 5-3 with two matches left on the weekend slate.
After a closely contested first set, and a 10-point blowout in set 2, the Rams closed out the victory in thrilling fashion with a 28-26 victory in the final set. Trailing by as many as six points, 18-12, and all but dead with the Rams leading 24-21 and match-point on the line, Marshall came back to tie the set at 24, and took a 25-24 lead before the Rams tied it again on a kill by junior outside hitter Danielle Minch.
Davisson, who played exceptionally well for the Rams, recorded a kill to give the Rams a 26-25 advantage, but the Thundering Herd evened the game at 26. A key block by true freshman Dana Cranston and redshirt freshman Brieon Paige on Marshall’s Kristin Marcus, gave the Rams a 27-26 advantage and sent senior libero Katelin Batten back to serve match point. Batten’s serve proved to be the final serve of the match, as MU’s Emily Sullivan couldn’t convert on an attack opportunity, giving the Rams the 28-26 victory and a 3-0 sweep.
Batten set the tone early on for CSU, serving the Rams to a 4-0 lead to start the first set, but it was Davisson who sparked the Rams offensively, leading to the CSU victory.
“Jacque led the way for us in this match,” said Head Coach Tom Hilbert following the victory. “She played outstanding volleyball today; it was one of her best.”
Davisson posted a double-double with 11 kills and 11 digs to lead the Rams, along with Minch who recorded a match-high 13 kills to lead the Rams for the seventh time in eight matches this season. Davisson hit .333 in the match.
Senior middle blocker Tessa Nelson added nine kills and three blocks, while Paige, who was playing in just her third career match after breaking into the Rams’ lineup for the first time last week, recorded six kills on .462 hitting to go along with two blocks.
Cranston was held to just two kills, but added a match-high four total blocks to help the Rams to the big win. Cranston also added 10 digs, joining Davisson (11) and Batten (22) in double figures, and three assists. Sophomore setter Evan Sanders recorded 32 assists, her seventh consecutive match with at least 30 assists.
The Rams resume play at the Carolina Classic tomorrow, taking on the Tennessee Lady Volunteers at 11 a.m. MT, before squaring off with the Tar Heels on their home court at 5:30 p.m. MT.
The game will be broadcast live in Fort Collins on KCSU (90.5 FM). Streaming audio is also available via All-Access subscription on CSURams.com. Live statistics can also be found on CSURams.com by clicking on the “Gametracker” icon from the volleyball schedule/results page.