Volleyball recap: Rams overcome slow start to sweep rival Cowgirls
Oct. 30, 2009
By Danny Mattie
The junior outside hitter from Sterling, Colo., notched a match-high 17 kills on an impressive .419 hitting, to lead Colorado State (18-4, 10-1 MWC) to a 3-0 (25-22, 25-20, 25-20) sweep over rival Wyoming (10-15, 1-9 MWC) on Friday night at Moby Arena.
The Rams got off to a sluggish start, but found their rhythm thanks to Minch who led the team in kills in each of the three sets.
“We are very thankful for Danielle Minch’s performance tonight,” said Head Coach Tom Hilbert. “When other players struggled to terminate the ball, she was on fire, and her numbers were outrageous.”
The Cowgirls jump out to a quick lead, and held a 17-12 advantage over the Rams before an 8-1 rally gave CSU its first lead of the match. Minch killed two of the Rams’ final four points, including set-point, to hold off Wyoming for the Set 1 victory.
“Minch just got off to a good start and rode it,” added Hilbert. “Wyoming took away the lines, but they allowed her to hit inside. She just hits with such velocity that even if they’re defenders can get in front of it, they aren’t able to dig it. She’s got a big, big arm.”
Minch followed up her opening-set with a five-kill performance in the second set. Once again, she was the catalyst for a long CSU rally. With Colorado State trailing 13-10, a Minch kill sparked a 7-0 run, and she added two more during the stretch, which gave CSU a 17-14 advantage and a lead they would never relinquish. The Rams won the second set and took a commanding 2-0 lead into the intermission.
However, it was in the deciding third set that Minch really wowed the Moby faithful. She notched an impressive eight kills – double any other player on the court – to dash the Cowgirls’ remaining hopes and seal the victory for the Rams.
“Dani is that player that I always feel I can go to,” said sophomore setter Evan Sanders. “It’s nice to have that person that you can rely on to be low-error and give the team some momentum. That is definitely what she did for us tonight.”
Dana Cranston was another bright spot for the Rams. Stepping into a new role at outside hitter in place of Davisson, the freshman recorded a career-high nine kills and added three assisted blocks, to go along with 12 digs for the Rams.
Senior Tessa Nelson was steady as usual. The leading blocker in the MWC, she notched a match-high six blocks to go along with nine kills of her own.
Sanders finished with 40 assists for the Rams, while senior libero Katelin Batten kept her streak of consecutive double-figures digs matches alive at 19 straight with a team-leading 13 digs.
The victory – CSU’s 24th consecutive over Wyoming – also marked the 325th career victory at CSU for Hilbert, and his 499th victory overall.
Colorado State will remain home for two more conference games next week, beginning with a matchup against Air Force at 7 p.m. on Thursday. The team will then take on San Diego State at 1 p.m. Saturday.