Oct. 27, 2011
By Danielle Minch
Athletic Media Relations
FORT COLLINS, Colo.—In a battle between the top two teams in the Mountain West, the Colorado State Rams showed why they are on top, sweeping the San Diego State Aztecs at Moby Arena Thursday night (25-21, 25-18, 25-21).
CSU (16-4, 9-1 MW) won the first set on a 9-3 run after trailing 18-16. There were 12 total ties and six lead changes in the set. After tying the score at 11-11, the Aztecs played on their heels in Set 2, thanks to junior Brieon Paige and senior Katelyn Steffan, who recorded several big kills. CSU was able to finish the set on a 14-7 run to take a 2-0 lead into the locker room. The Rams stayed on track in Game 3 with the help of great offense by Steffan, Paige and junior Megan Plourde.
CSU finished the match with a hitting percentage of .282 on 40 kills, while holding SDSU to .116 on 37 kills. The difference in the match was blocking. CSU finished the match with 10 blocks, compared to SDSU’s three.
Head Coach Tom Hilbert was also pleased with the offensive play of his outside hitters.
“Dana (Cranston) and Kate were taking ‘garbage’, or scramble attacks from pretty far off the net, but they were very resourceful in finding kills,” Hilbert said. “We also got a lot of kills off of our middles. Deedra (Foss) really connected with Megan on the slide ball.”
Paige led CSU with nine kills on .529 hitting, followed by eight kills apiece by Steffan and Plourde, and a half dozen each from Cranston and Tori Brummett. Plourde led the Rams with six kills.
Cranston finished with five aces, marking the first time a CSU player has recorded at least five since Jacque Davisson had seven against Air Force on Nov. 1, 2008.
“I was able to serve tough at their 5-6 seam and took them out of their passing,” Cranston said. “Then, I dropped one and it worked, too. So I was pretty happy with it.”
CSU has now won a season-most 15 consecutive sets since falling to Wyoming on Oct. 8. The Rams have also won five straight matches, tying their season high.
With the win, the Rams expand their lead in the conference race to 2.5 games. CSU hosts UNLV Saturday at 1 p.m. MT.