On a scale of one to 10 Colorado State volleyball is an 11, as in 11-0.
In the first of three consecutive road games, CSU knocked off Air Force in a 3-0 sweep (25-22,25-19,25-16). The Rams are 2-0 in the Mountain West and 11-0 overall. CSU has avoided last seasons struggling road series with a perfect record thus far.
At the start of the 2012 season, CSU fell in its first five road matches and 1-3 in the Mountain West. Due to the initial struggle, the Rams were forced to make up those loses in Moby.
“I thought we played in some areas we played pretty well,” Tom Hilbert said. “I thought we served and passed the ball really well, that is something you have to do on the road to win.”
The Rams continued to prove the 2013 season has started off on the right foot when competing in non-conference play, and it has carried over to the MW.
Despite a tight back and forth rally in set one, CSU took control of the lead with a seven point run; increasing the score to 18-17.
With three points to spare, the Rams won set one regardless of their five service errors.
“We probably missed more serves than I wanted to, but we also served the ball tough, which is a good trade off,” Hilbert said.
The Falcons came in with a game plan, to hit the ball high over the blocks and serve high on the Rams back row.
Undeterred by their rehearsed game plan, Air Force found itself penalizing themselves on continuous service error rather than putting CSU in a challenging situation.
One after the other, Air Force served long to challenge the CSU defense with a pass or set. Adrianna Culbert and Jamie Collaizi in perticular rose to the occasion and answered back with a total of 16 digs.
At the start of the second frame, Air Force changed its lineup to Rebecca Bates in the libero position. The Falcons hoped to shake up the Rams, but were unsuccessful.
Samantha Peters led the its offense hitting .571 on her eight kills. Kelsey Snider and Marlee Reynolds also earned eight kills, but struggled on the hitting percentages with a pair of errors. Against the Falcons, the middle hitters were the players to answer too.
CSU finished the night hitting .306 on 42 kills. Air Force offense was contained to .148 hitting on 29 kills. The reason the Falcons could not match the Rams offense came from their 16 errors and only one block.
On Thursday, the Rams improved their all-time record against Air Force to 40-1 with sweeps in their last 18 matches.
CSU continues their road stretch against New Mexico(10-1)on Saturday. The game is scheduled to start at 1p.m. where the Rams look to go 3-0 in the MW and 12-0 overall.
The Lobos are second in the MW with a traumatic support system in the defense.
“New Mexico poses a challenge because they are a great defensive team. They will keep the balls alive, they will be great at playing in long rallies, and were going to have to survive that,” Hilbert said. “We have to stay in long rallies and continue to swing until we get kills.”
Volleyball Beat Report Haleigh Hamblin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org