Dec. 11, 2009
By Danny Mattie
Athletic Media Relations
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – The Colorado State volleyball team’s 2009 season came to a close Friday night at the University of Minnesota’s Sports Pavilion, as the host Gophers dispatched the Rams, 3-1, in the regional semifinal round of the NCAA tournament.
The Rams, who advanced to the regional round for the fifth time under Head Coach Tom Hilbert, were unable to overcome a match-high 22 kills by UM’s freshman outside hitter Tabitha Love.
Colorado State junior Danielle Minch led the Rams with 17 kills and senior Tessa Nelson, a native of Balaton, Minn., tallied 14. Redshirt freshman Megan Plourde, from nearby Somerset, Wis., just 37 miles from Minneapolis, posted 10 kills in her homecoming.
The match was closely contested from start to finish, as neither team won any of the first three stanzas by more than three points, but it was a 29-27 Minnesota victory in Set 2 that proved to be the difference in the match.
The Rams came out after the intermission and captured the third set, 25-23, and opened up a 12-10 lead early in the fourth set. But the Gophers regained the 15-12 advantage, and never looked back, en route to the 25-18 victory and a spot in the regional finals against No. 3-seeded Florida State.
Sophomore setter Evan Sanders recorded 41 assists for the Rams, and senior libero Katelin Batten closed her career at CSU with a team-leading 18 digs, and a career-high-tying three aces.
With the loss, Colorado State closes its 15th consecutive NCAA tournament appearance, with a 25-6 overall record. The Gophers, the 11th seed in the tournament, improve to 27-8.