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Volleyball recap: Rams buck Broncos

Katelyn Steffan hit a career-high .667 Saturday afternoon vs. Boise State.

Sept. 24, 2011

Final Stats Photo Gallery

By Nic Hallisey
Athletic Media Relations

FORT COLLINS, Colo.--The CSU Rams sprinted out to a hot start Saturday afternoon, taking an early 10-3 lead in Set 1, and had no problem putting away the Boise State Broncos, 3-0 (25-13, 25-17, 25-20), at Moby Arena.

The win was the first meeting between the two schools since 1995, and also the initial contest as Mountain West foes.

"Boise State is really good," Head Coach Tom Hilbert said. "They're talented, and they have a good system that they run. They're disciplined, but our physicality beat them today."

Senior Katelyn Steffan led the charge for the Rams, recording 14 kills and four blocks.

"Kate is a gifted blocker, and she changes what other teams have to do," Hilbert said. "It really worked for us tonight, and Kate was the primary person to do so. She served the ball excellent and had great force as a blocker. It was a great game by her."

While Steffan has led the Rams in kills in eight of the team's 11 matches on the year, the opposite hitter has hit .210 on the season. Saturday, however, Steffan made zero attacking errors, and hit a career-high .667 (14-0-21). She also had an ace, five digs and a season-best three solo blocks.

CSU hit .374 on the day, but even more impressive was holding the Broncos to .039 hitting, including .000 in each of the first two sets.

Boise State's hitting percentage was the second lowest by a CSU opponent this season, and marked the second consecutive match that CSU has held its opponent to under .100 hitting (also .091 vs. Air Force on Thursday). It is the first time since Oct. 20-Nov. 6, 2010 that the Rams have achieved that feat in consecutive contests, doing so five consecutive times.

In one of its most complete and consistent matches of the season, the Rams were effective in all aspects, recording 10.0 team blocks, 44 kills, 41 assists, 44 digs and five service aces.

"Our players covered Boise State's combos well," Hilbert said. "Deedra (Foss) did a good job distributing the ball, and got Meg Plourde the ball, and that was really good. We also served and passed the ball really good, and as a result, we ended up winning."

Six different players recorded at least four kills, while three players had at least three blocks. Plourde, who led CSU in kills Thursday at Air Force, was the team-leader in blocks, with six, and also tallied seven kills on .500 hitting.

Junior Brieon Paige totaled nine kills, and Foss recorded 32 assists and was very deceptive and effective on her dump attacks, recording four kills. She also had back-to-back service aces in the first set, two of four team aces in the opening period.

In Set 1, the Rams were in control the entire way, never trailing and forcing Boise State to use both of its timeouts before the Broncos could get a half-dozen points, leading 15-5.

The Broncos battled tough in the beginning of the second set, though, causing the Rams to refocus.

Trailing 9-8 and burning a timeout, the Rams rattled off eight of nine points to take control going into the intermission. Set 3 was again a tight one, featuring 11 ties and five lead changes, but never after 14-14.

The Rams will continue conference action next week, as they take their first true road trip in over a month to face UNLV (Thursday, Sept. 29, 8 p.m. MT) and SDSU (Sunday, Oct. 2, 1 p.m. MT).

"This is an interesting league," Hilbert said. "It's going to be crazy. I think there are some talented teams in this league, and they are all beating each other. We're going to have to go out ready to play every single weekend."



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