Oct. 24, 2008
By Luke Simmons
Athletic Media Relations
LARAMIE, Wyo. - Playing without two of its top three hitters, a short-handed Colorado State volleyball team swept the Wyoming Cowgirls (25-21, 25-23, 25-17) to take the second leg of the Border War and extend its winning streak against UW to 22 games.
The Rams (18-2, 8-1) were without senior Jaime Strauss (concussion), and lost starter Katelyn Steffan early in the first set. Strauss averages 3.51 kills per set, best on the team, while Steffan is third on the team with 146 kills.
The injuries opened opportunities for many of the Rams' bench players, including Danielle Minch, who recorded a season-high 13 kills while hitting at a .308 clip. Freshman Evan Sanders, hailed as the team's setter of the future, saw significant playing time as an outside hitter in the Rams' rotation. Sanders finished with two kills and one block.
"Wyoming was very good in the first two sets; they could have gone either way," said Head Coach Tom Hilbert. "But then we got some separation and were able to pull ahead."
After playing a dramatic five-set match in Moby Arena on Sept. 26, the second installment of the Border War featured much less fanfare. The Rams hit at a .446 clip, their second-best performance of the season, and limited the Cowgirls to just three blocks.
Mekana Barnes hit .375 (her sixth consecutive match above .300) and also notched 12 kills and six blocks.
The Cowgirls (3-15, 2-7) challenged the Rams the most in the second set, going on a 5-1 run to tie the score at 21. However, the Rams responded to a timeout called by Hilbert, and closed off the set courtesy of a Minch kill. Jacque Davisson
, who finished third on the team with nine kills, also recorded the Rams' only solo block of the match in the second set.
Nearly half the crowd was covered in green, as many of Wyoming-native Ashley Fornstrom's friends and family were among the 610 in attendance at the UniWyo Sports Complex.
The Rams will enjoy an eight-day layoff, and won't return to the court until Nov. 1 when they host Air Force at 12 p.m. MT in Moby Arena.
"We need this recovery and it comes at a perfect time in our season," Hilbert said. "It's going to be nice to heal our injuries and try to put some new things into place."