Senior Danielle Minch
Nov. 26, 2010
By Kaitlyn Comiskey
Athletic Media Relations
FORT COLLINS, Colo. – The No. 14 CSU Rams won their last conference match of the 2010 regular season, defeating BYU in four sets, 25-22, 16-25, 26-24, 25-21, Friday night at Moby Arena.
The win improved Colorado State to 25-4 overall, 14-2 in the Mountain West Conference, and ended BYU’s season with a record of 14-16, 9-7 in the MWC. The win also marked the final home match for the Rams’ four seniors, Danielle Minch, Jacque Davisson, Audrey Hemmings, and Emily Koenning .
Minch came out strong in Set 1, leading the team with an impressive eight kills, hitting .700, and tallying two service aces. BYU racked up five service errors in the first set alone, helping the Rams maintain a comfortable lead. Two back-to-back kills from Minch put CSU at set point, forcing a BYU timeout. A BYU hitting error then gave the Rams the first set, 25-22.
“We came out in Set 1 and played pretty well,” said Head Coach Tom Hilbert. “We served decently, although they passed pretty well. We sided-out at 77 percent, which was the highest that we had done in a while.”
Yet BYU wasn’t about to back down, and fought back to take the second set from the Rams. Despite an impressive kill off of an overpass by setter Evan Sanders to tie the set at 8-8, BYU managed to hold on to the lead throughout the set. A kill from Minch brought the Rams within seven points, but the Cougars went on to take the second set, 25-16.
But the Rams weren’t about to send their seniors out with a loss, and despite trailing in parts of the third set, the team managed to take Set 3. Back-to-back CSU service errors tied the score at 11-11, but a kill from Dana Cranston points later gave the Rams a two-point lead. Outside hitter Katelyn Steffan contributed an ace for the Rams on the following point. Shortly after, BYU went on a three-point run to force a CSU timeout and the Cougars continued to hang close throughout the set, until another impressive kill from Sanders finished off Set 3 at 26-24.
CSU served well going into the fourth set, and Minch alone tallied three aces. Sophomore Brieon Paige put down a huge kill to the middle of BYU’s floor, giving the Rams the momentum as well as a five-point lead. Big swings from Davisson also helped the Rams, as she tallied three kills within the set. A hitting error from the Cougars put the Rams at set point, and Paige and Steffan then closed a big block on the right side to give CSU its final conference win of the season.
“I thought Set 4 was really good,” added Hilbert. “We didn’t hit great, but we did a good job of blocking them. I was pleased with our competitiveness at the end of the set.”
Minch finished the match with 16 kills, as well as five service aces. The five service aces is a career high for Minch, as her previous was four. Davisson and Megan Plourde followed with 12 kills each. Plourde also tallied seven block assists, while Hemmings notched a team-high 18 digs. Sophomore Izzy Gaulia followed with 14 digs.
As the Rams have now concluded their 2010 conference season, the team awaits the NCAA pairings which will be announced Sunday afternoon on ESPNews. A CSU watch party will be hosted by the Rams beginning at 12:30 p.m. at the Beach House Grill in Old Town Fort Collins.
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