Oct. 18, 2008
By Luke Simmons
Athletic Media Relations
SAN DIEGO - Two days after dropping their second match of the season, the San Diego State Aztecs was just what the doctor ordered to get the No. 13 Colorado State volleyball team back on track.
The Rams swept the Aztecs (25-20, 25-20, 25-20) Saturday and extended their winning streak against them to 11 in a row. CSU (17-2, 7-1) has not lost to SDSU (6-12, 3-5) since the 2002 season.
Colorado State head coach Tom Hilbert was pleased with the way his team responded from Thursday’s loss.
“We played with a great deal of intensity and purpose. I was proud of our competitiveness and our ability to score points when we needed to,”said Hilbert.
The Rams were much improved on the serve, totaling 11 service aces compared to one against UNLV. CSU also out-blocked the Aztecs by five and out-dug them by 11.
After cruising through the first two sets, the Aztecs refused to roll over for the Rams in the third. SDSU took a seven point lead early, and at one point led 14-7. But a fourth set was not in the cards, and CSU stormed on an 11-1 run, deflating any hopes the Aztecs had of extending the match.
The second set was the most even of the match and saw 10 ties and five lead changes. The Rams responded well defensively, and were sparked by eight of Audrey Hemming’s season-high 11 digs.
“She made some critical plays for us, especially in set two,” Hilbert said of the sophomore. “They attacked her zone a lot, and she did some nice things defensively.”
The Rams started the match still seemingly hung-over from Thursday’s loss, and watched the Aztecs take a quick 7-2 lead. Three blistering service aces from Jacque Davisson, two back-to-back, woke the team up, and the Rams went on to take the set 25-20. Mekana Barnes also chipped in eight of her match-high 16 kills in the set.
Besides her crucial aces, Davisson also added 10 kills in the match; and Danielle Minch was strong off the bench, recording seven kills on a season-high .500 clip
“I thought Dani was great off the bench today. She’s really beginning to stabilize us on the right side,” Hilbert said.
The Rams will return to Fort Collins to prepare for the second leg of the Border War, taking on the Wyoming Cowgirls Friday at 7 p.m. MT in Laramie, Wyo. The Rams beat their rivals from the north 3-2 on Sept. 26.
“Now that we understand some our issues on the road, we’ll go back and work on our serve-receive and expand what we do offensively,” said Hilbert.
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