Match Notes: No. 13 CSU puts undefeated mark, 14-match home win streak to test

The undefeated CSU Rams, ranked No. 13 in the nation, return home for a pair of Mountain West matches against Utah State and Boise State. The Rams have won 14 straight home matches and 13 consecutive overall to start the season.

The undefeated CSU Rams, ranked No. 13 in the nation, return home for a pair of Mountain West matches against Utah State and Boise State. The Rams have won 14 straight home matches and 13 consecutive overall to start the season.

Oct. 8, 2013

Match Notes #9

Match 14: Utah State at No. 13 Colorado State - PINK OUT
Thursday, Oct. 10 | 7 p.m. | Moby Arena

Match 15: Boise State at No. 13 Colorado State
Saturday, Oct. 12 | 7:30 p.m. | Moby Arena

SCOUTING UTAH STATE
Playing in its first season in the Mountain West, the Aggies face the Rams boasting a 9-6 record, including a 3-2 mark in conference play. Utah State has only played at home twice this year, sweeping Boise State and being swept by New Mexico.

The Aggies are led by junior outside hitter Rachel Orr. After earning All-WAC honors last year as a sophomore, Orr has continued her dynamic play for the Aggies in 2013. She leads the team with 3.41 kills and 3.92 points per set, which rank sixth and fifth in the conference, respectively. The Aggies also have two other players, Elle Brainard and Tumua Etimani, averaging at least 2.50 kills per set to provide a balanced attack.

Junior setter Paige Neeves paces the offense with 9.98 assists per set, which ranks sixth in the Mountain West, and is also second on the team with 0.22 service aces per set.

On defense, the Aggies rank fourth in the MW in opponent hitting percentage (.193) and blocks (2.52 per set). Leading the way on defense are middle blockers Alyssa Everett and Kaitlyn VanHoff. Everett leads the team and is fourth in the conference with 1.23 blocks per set while VanHoff ranks ninth with 1.16 blocks per set. In the back row, junior libero Ashlan Rogers-Court is fifth in the conference with 3.81 digs per set, while three other Aggies average at least 2.35 digs per set.

SERIES VS. THE AGGIES
Overall, Colorado State is 17-14 all-time against Utah State with an 8-6 record when playing at home. The two programs have not squared off against each other since 2001, when the Rams defeated the Aggies, 3-1, in Fort Collins.

After losing the first 11 matches of the series, and 14 of the first 15, CSU has now won 16 matches in a row dating back to 1983. The Rams are 9-0 all-time against Utah State while being ranked.

SCOUTING BOISE STATE
After a non-conference win vs. Grand Canyon on Monday, the Broncos continue play this week at Wyoming (Thursday), followed by at CSU. Entering Thursday's match at Wyoming, Boise State is 8-7 on the year, including 2-3 in conference action. The Broncos are 2-3 on the road, defeating San Jose State and Fresno State in five sets.

Boise State is led by junior outside hitter Alyssa Gammel. One of four players to average at least 2.00 kills per set, Gammel leads the team in kills (2.72) and points (3.11). Sarah Horton (2.53), Taylor Murphy (2.39) and Brittany Reardon (2.07) balance out the quick Boise State attack.

The Broncos utilize two setters in their system, making them a unique opponent to scout.  Senior setter Casey Rose averages 5.88 assists per set, while sophomore setter Sarah Baugh averages 5.26. Boise State's unique offense has been effective this year, as the team ranks third in the MW in kills (13.50 per set) and second in hitting percentage (.254).

Defensively, the Broncos are led by Reardon's 0.89 blocks per set and freshman libero Hannah Hubbard's 3.79 digs per set.

SERIES VS. THE BRONCOS
The Rams have been dominant against Boise State, and boast a 6-0 all-time record against the Broncos. CSU is 4-0 at home against Boise State, and has yet to drop a set in any of the six matches against its MW foe. CSU is 2-0 all-time against Boise State while playing as a ranked team.

In four career matches against Boise State, junior setter Deedra Foss has enjoyed plenty of success. Foss has averaged 11.25 assists, 2.42 digs and 0.92 blocks per set. Even more impressive, she has led the Rams to impressive offense numbers, including a .398 hitting percentage over the four matches. In each of the contests, CSU has hit at least .374 against Boise State.

DIG PINK FOR BREAST CANCER AWARENESS
Thursday's match vs. Mountain West newcomer Utah State will be `Dig Pink' night, as players raise awareness for breast cancer prevention by wearing pink jerseys and accessories. Several players have had family affected by breast cancer, including junior Kelsey Snider, whose mom is a survivor. Fans are encouraged to join the players in wearing pink to raise awareness and encourage persons to be proactive and get checked. More promotions this weekend.

STARTING HOT
With 13 straight wins, CSU is off to its best start in more than a decade, and third-best in program history. The program's best-ever start came 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.

THIRTEEN IN A ROW
Not only are the Rams off to their best start since 2001, but the team's 13-match winning streak is the program's longest since winning 13 straight from Sept. 24-Nov. 6, 2010. A win Thursday would be CSU's fifth-longest winning streak in program history.

CSU hasn't lost a regular-season contest since Oct. 25, 2012, a span of 21 straight wins.

MOVIN' ON UP
Despite playing just one match last week, CSU jumped four teams to the No. 13 spot in this week's AVCA Division I Coaches Top 25 poll. That national ranking is CSU's highest since Nov. 14, 2010, when the Rams were also ranked No. 13.

After a 13-0 start to the season, the Rams have steadily climbed the poll each week, receiving votes the first three weeks before cracking the top 25 three weeks ago. All-time, just 14 teams have been ranked more frequently than CSU, which has been voted into the top-25 poll 239 times in its history. CSU is to 414-125 all-time as a ranked team, including 234-28 at Moby Arena.
 
REMAINING UNDEFEATED
Entering the seventh week of the season, CSU is one of three Division I teams to have yet to lose a match, joining Missouri and North Carolina.

STREAKING AT HOME
After a 6-0 start at home — all sweeps — CSU has now won 14 straight matches at Moby Arena, which is the tied for the sixth-longest stretch in program history. Dating back to Sept. 10, 2011, the Rams have won 30 of their last 31 home matches.

Between September 1998 and November 2000, CSU won an impressive 44 consecutive home contests, a Moby Arena record. Since then, the Rams have pieced together streaks of 21, 20 and 16, which spanned a calendar year through the beginning of the 2012 season.

HOME COOKING
The Rams have had tremendous success at Moby Arena, winning nearly 90 percent of their home matches under Head Coach Tom Hilbert. Since 1997, Hilbert’s first season in Fort Collins, CSU has gone 232-28 (.892) at home.

Looking back even further, to 1995, CSU has won at least 10 home matches each season, including 15 of 16 in 2012. The .938 winning percentage last year tied for sixth in program history, and the best since 2008. The Rams’ only loss in 2012 was a five-set thriller to No. 2 UCLA, the 2011 national champions.

MOBY MADNESS
Always known as one of the most hostile gyms in the entire country, CSU's Moby Arena currently ranks eighth nationally, averaging 2,927 fans per contest. The average would be the highest in program history if the season ended today. Currently, the program's best attendance average came in 2001, when the Rams averaged 2,846 fans per match. In all, CSU has brought in more than 2,000 fans per match eight times, including each of the last three seasons.

ROAD WARRIORS
The Rams are one win away from tying a program record for consecutive true road wins. Dating back to Oct. 27, 2012, the Rams have won 10 straight, one shy of the mark of 11 set in 2003.

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. After three home wins to start the year, CSU hit the road, picking up three victories in three tries -- two on a neutral court and one in a true road environment (Sept. 6-7). Three days later, CSU did it again, defeating Denver in four sets on the road, and over the past week, CSU has improved to 7-0 on the season away from Moby Arena, with three conference wins at Air Force, New Mexico and Nevada.

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