CSU looks to remain perfect on the season with two matches this week.
Sept. 9, 2013
Complete Match Notes #4 Release (PDF) | Media Guide
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The Denver Pioneers come into this highly anticipated match against CSU at 5-1. The Pioneers are riding a hot streak, winning their last three matches, all sweeps, en route to winning the UIC Invitational in Chicago, Ill.
Leading the way for DU’s high-powered attack, which is hitting .296 as a team (19th in the nation), are a pair of dynamic outside hitters: senior Colleen King and freshman Moni Corrujedo. King, the current Summit League Offensive Player of the Week, leads the team with 3.32 kills per set while hitting .312, while Corrujedo provides a nice balance with 2.95 kills per set. Junior setter Bailey Karst is tops on the team with 10.64 assists per set. On defense, the Pioneers are paced by sophomore middle blocker Sarah Schmid’s 1.27 blocks per set at the net and junior libero Kate Acker’s 3.64 digs per set. As a team, Denver’s defense has been very productive averaging 13.82 digs per set and 2.55 blocks per set while limiting its opponents to just .132 hitting.
The Pioneers are coached by Jesse Mahoney, who was a CSU assistant for seven years, including associate head coach for five of them through 2011. In his first season at DU, Mahoney went 17-13. Additionally, former Rams libero Katelin Batten is on Mahoney’s coaching staff. Batten ranks first in CSU history for career digs.
SERIES VS. THE PIONEERS
Overall, the Rams are 15-2 against the Pioneers, including a 4-2 record on the road. CSU, however, did lose in four sets the last time the two teams met in Denver, in 2011.
Last year, the Rams swept the Pioneers at Moby Arena, and have won five of the last six meetings, all by way of the sweep. In two career matches against Denver, junior setter Deedra Foss has registered 71 assists and 15 digs, for averages of 10.14 assists per set and 2.14 digs per set. Kelsey Snider had six kills on .333 hitting in last year’s meeting.
SCOUTING MISSOURI STATE
Winners of its last five matches, Missouri State enters the week 6-1, including an impressive 3-0 on the road this year. The Bears were crowned champions of the Holly Young Invitational this past weekend, and earlier this year upset No.22 Dayton in Ohio.
Missouri State features one of the most balanced offensive attacks that the Rams will see, with five different players averaging at least 2.12 kills per set. Of the five players, senior outside hitter Christine McCarthy leads the team with 2.52 per set. Senior setter Carly Thomas is in charge of spreading the ball around to her numerous attackers, and is averaging 10.81 assists per set. On defense, the Bears provide a tough matchup for the Rams. As a team, Missouri State averages 15.42 digs and 2.27 blocks per set. The Bears have four different players averaging more than 2 digs per set, led by senior libero Ashley Mason’s 4.81.
In NCAA history, Missouri State ranks fifth all-time for total wins.
SERIES VS. THE BEARS
The Rams have enjoyed success against Missouri State, leading the all-time series 4-1. Interestingly, CSU is 0-1 against Missouri State at Moby Arena. The two programs last met in 2006, when Missouri State knocked off the Rams in five sets in Fort Collins. CSU swept Missouri State in its four wins over the Bears.
HOW TO FOLLOW:
- Audio: KCSU will broadcast both matches this weekend, as it does for all home matches and select road events. Tune in to 90.5 FM locally or online worldwide to listen to the call.
- Live Stats: Online statistics for both matches this week will be provided.
Denver | Missouri State
- Twitter: CSU’s athletic department will tweet live updates and results from the CSU Rams Gameday Twitter account: @CSURamsGameday.
- Video: The only video available for Tuesday’s contest at Denver is through a Pioneer Vision subscription ($8.95 per month). Additionally, Wednesday’s home match vs. Missouri State is the Rams’ only contest not available for streaming through the Mountain West Network.
With six straight wins, CSU is off to its best start in more than a decade. Just four Rams teams have had better starts, and with wins against both Denver and Missouri State this week, the 2013 team could tie for the fourth-best start in program history. The last time CSU has started 6-0 was in 2001, when the squad won its first 20 contests before suffering its initial defeat, to No. 15 Utah on Nov. 3. That year, the Rams completed the season 29-4 and ranked No. 10 in the year’s final poll.
It took the Rams six tries to get their first win away from Moby Arena in 2012, finally posting one at UNLV on Oct. 14, in front of a national TV audience. The 2013 season is off to a smoother start. After three home wins to start the season, CSU hit the road, picking up three victories in three tries — two on a neutral court and one in a true road environment.
Dating back to last November, the Rams have now won six straight true road matches, the longest streak since CSU won eight straight in 2004. In all, CSU has won nine of its last 11 overall matches away from Moby Arena — away or neutral.
FOSS NAMED MW PLAYER OF WEEK
After helping the Rams to a 4-0 week, including the Pepperdine Invitational championship, setter Deedra Foss was named the Mountain West Women’s Volleyball Player of the Week. The award is Foss’ first of her career.
Foss, a junior from McKenna, Wash., averaged 12.07 assists, 2.60 digs, 0.67 kills, 0.47 aces and 0.47 blocks per set on the week, earning tournament MVP honors. Against UC Santa Barbara, she tallied a double-double with 53 assists, 13 digs, four kills, four blocks and two aces.
With three wins in Malibu, Calif., capped with a victory over host Pepperdine to win the Pepperdine Invitational, CSU improved to 27-5 in regular-season home tournaments since September of 2009. During that stretch, the Rams have taken first place nine times in 11 tries.
On the weekend, several players stepped up, helping the victories become true team wins. Here are some highlights:
- Deedra Foss was named the tournament MVP, while Michelle Lawrence and Samantha Peters were named to the all-tournament team.
- CSU’s win at Pepperdine is the Rams’ signature win of the season thus far. Not only was it done in front of the Waves’ home crowd, but Pepperdine was receiving top-25 votes, and is consistently known as a top program nationally.
- The Rams were very efficient, hitting above .315 twice on the weekend.
- CSU proved it can play well in ‘end-game’ situations. Three times, CSU trailed late in a set before coming from behind to win, even fending off several set points.
- CSU improved to 3-0 away from Moby Arena on the season, including picking up a win at Pepperdine for the first time in three tries.
- Several attackers have stepped up, proving they can be CSU’s go-to in certain situations. Five different players had double-digit kill totals on the weekend, and on two occasions, four players did it in the same match.
- Sophomore Kaitlind Bestgen had five aces vs. Virginia, including four during a 7-0 CSU run. It marked just the third time since 2009 that a CSU player has posted five or more aces in a match. As a team, the Rams tallied 11, the most since November 4, 2011.
- Sophomore libero Jaime Colaizzi tallied 23 digs at Pepperdine, the most by a CSU player since Izzy Gaulia had 25 at Fresno State on Oct. 11, 2012. Earlier in the day, vs. UCSB, four different Rams had 10-plus digs.
- Foss averaged 12.00 assists per set, including 53 each against UC Santa Barbara and Pepperdine.
- Several Rams recorded career highs on the weekend. For a more detailed look, check the player bios further in this release.
GAINING NATIONAL RECOGNITION
After four victories last week, including three away from Moby Arena, the Rams again moved up in the AVCA Division I Coaches Top 25 Poll. Announced Monday, CSU is the top team in the ‘Receiving Votes’ category.
The Rams have steadily climbed each week, earning 15 points in the preseason poll (38th nationally), before receiving 50 last week (31st) after a 2-0 start to the season. On Monday, CSU earned 125 total points, which is ranked No. 26, just outside the top-25.
Texas A&M, which CSU will host on Sept. 21, earned 22 points (33rd).
The Rams have been ranked in the final season’s poll 15 times in 31 years (tied for 15th in the NCAA), in addition to being ranked in 235 of the 448 all-time weekly polls (15th). The Rams’ highest national rank was No. 3, which was held for five weeks in 2000.
LEADING THE LEAGUE
While the season is just beginning, the Rams are off to a great start, and they’re leading the Mountain West in several statistical categories.
Three of the MW’s top-five hitting performances came from CSU players (Kelsey Snider, .571, first; Marlee Reynolds, .524, fourth; and Michelle Lawrence, .519, fifth). Additionally, Lawrence’s 16-kill performance vs. Northern Colorado was tied for the best three-set performance on the season, and Foss’ 39 assists vs. Baylor is the most in a three-set match. Samantha Peters’ six blocks vs. Cal Poly ranks second among three-set matches this season.
As a team, CSU’s three match hitting percentages all rank in the top-10, with its .529 mark vs. Baylor the top spot.
TOP OF THE NATION
The initial statistics report was released by the NCAA on Monday, and the Rams found themselves on the list several times, as one of the best teams in several categories. Through two weeks of play, CSU ranks fifth in kills per set (15.00), eighth in hitting percentage (.315) and 15th in assists per set (13.67). Additionally, CSU is in the top 65 in blocks and aces.
Individually, Deedra Foss’ 12.10 assists per set ranks eigth, and Samantha Peters’ hitting percentage of .418 is 40th. Sophomore Kaitlind Bestgen ranks 45th with 0.52 aces per set.
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