Colorado State rebounded from its first loss of the season with an emphatic win vs. UNLV, sweeping the Rebels for the team’s 16th sweep of the season.
With the victory, CSU improved to 28-1 on the season, the team’s best-ever regular-season finish. Regardless of how the Rams do in the NCAA tournament, the 2013 team’s winning percentage will be the best in CSU’s storied history (at least .933).
Following the victory, CSU was presented with the 2013 Mountain West championship trophy, its fifth straight. With the title, the Rams earned the conference’s automatic berth to the NCAA tournament, the Rams’ 19th straight appearance – seventh among active streaks in the nation. Michelle Smith has been part of each of those championships, becoming just the second player in CSU history to win five conference titles.
The Rams concluded Mountain West play with a 19-1 mark, leading wire to wire for the fourth time in the past five seasons. The 19 victories is the most by any team in the league’s 15-year history.
CSU’s 14-1 mark at Moby Arena is tied for eighth-best in program history. It marks the 11th time that the Rams have lost one or fewer matches at home in a season.
The 28 victories are tied for the fifth-most to a season in CSU annals, and the most since 2003. The Rams can finish the season with no more than two losses, which is a program best (was three in 1999).
With 4,681 fans in attendance, Friday marked the fourth time this season the Rams have drawn a crowd above 4,000. Only the 1987 team (five) accomplished the feat more times.
Friday’s crowd was the 11th-largest in program history. CSU finished the regular season averaging 3,283 fans per match, a program best. The previous record was held by the 2001 Rams, averaging 2,846. CSU currently ranks sixth nationally for attendance average.
CSU won 44 of its 49 sets played at home this season, tied for the fewest home sets lost in a season (also 2001 and 2011).
CSU improved to 33-6 all-time against UNLV, including 17-1 at home. CSU’s last loss to the Rebels came 2008, a span of 12 straight victories.
Following the victory, CSU was presented with the 2013 Mountain West championship trophy, its fifth straight. With the title, the Rams earned a berth to the NCAA tournament for a 19th straight season – seventh among active streaks in the nation. Michelle Smith has been part of each of those championships, becoming just the second player in CSU history to win five conference titles.
CSU limited UNLV to nine points in the second set, the first time a Rams opponent has been held to single digits in a set since Nov. 17, 2012, at Boise State (seven).
Junior Deedra Foss padded her assists-per-set average with 41 on the night (13.57 per set). Her season average (11.86) ranks seventh nationally. She also added a team-high three blocks and four kills.
Sophomore libero Jaime Colaizzi had 22 digs, her second straight match with at least 20 digs, and the eighth time this season. Adrianna Culbert (16, one shy of a career high) and Cassidy Denny were also in double figures.
As a team, the Rams out-dug UNLV, 61 to 34, including 27-11 in Set 3. Making the statistic even more impressive is the fact that the Rebels entered Friday ranked first in the MW with a 15.61 digs-per-set average.
Despite hitting just .140 in Set 3, CSU hit at a .337 clip on the night, including .475 through the first two sets. It marks CSU’s 16th match this season above .300. On the year, the Rams are hitting .298 (sixth nationally). On the flip side, CSU held UNLV to .034 hitting, the Rams’ seventh opponent to hit below .100.
With so many digs (nearly 30 percent above its season average), CSU was limited to five blocks, its lowest total since Sept. 7 vs. UC Santa Barbara.
UNLV’s Sekola Falemaka recorded eight kills on .500 hitting in the opening set, but was limited to -.048 efficiency over the final two sets (2-3-21).
In addition to 10 kills, senior Samantha Peters hit .533 (10-2-15), increasing her season hitting percentage to .403. She ranks in the top 15 nationally for hitting percentage.
The Rams will anxiously wait until Sunday night, when the NCAA tournament pairings are revealed on ESPNU. CSU is hosting a selection show watch party at Fuzzy’s Taco Shop, beginning at 6:30 p.m. The selection show begins at 7:30 p.m.