- #21 Colorado State def. New Mexico 3-2 (21-25, 24-26, 25-17, 25-16, 15-11)
- Colorado State moves to 20-2 overall, 10-0 Mountain West
- New Mexico drops to 11-12 overall, 3-7 Mountain West
- Albuquerque, New Mexico
- Attendance: 845
- Box Score
- VolleyMob Top 25 Power Rankings (Week 9)
The #21 Colorado State Rams used a balanced attack to rally from a two-set deficit and defeat the New Mexico Lobos in a five-set thriller.
Colorado State was led offensively by freshman outside Breana Runnels who notched 20 kills, while senior outside Jasmine Hanna added 16. Two other Rams also had double-digit kills: sophomore middle Paulina Hougaard-Jensen (12 kills) and senior Sanja Cizmic (11 kills). Cizmik also had four of the Rams’ nine service aces. Sophomore setter Katie Oleksak paced the offense with 58 assists, adding 12 digs to register her fourth double-double of the season.
For the Lobos, two players scored double-doubles of their own: sophomore outside Lauren Twitty (19 kills, 18 digs) and freshman setter Sarah Lobo, playing in just her second career start (46 assists, 13 digs). The back-row defense was led by senior libero Ashley Kelsey, who tallied 25 digs.
“I thought we came out super strong and focused,” Twitty said. “We didn’t hold anything back the entire match. I think it shows the level we can play at and that we can compete with great teams.”
Up 17-16 in the first set, the Lobos scored three of the frame’s final four points to win 25-21 on a kill by junior outside Carly Beddingfield. The second set ended on a 7-1 run by the Lobos, with a kill by freshman middle Yasmin Tan sealing the 26-24 win.
After the intermission, Colorado State jumped to an 18-9 lead and never looked back, eventually taking the third set 25-17. Set four was more of the same, with the Rams gaining an early 11-5 advantage which they never relinquished on their way to a 25-16 win.
In the tiebreaker set, Colorado State led 14-7, but the Lobos fought off four straight match points before a double block by Oleksak and sophomore middle Kirstie Hillyer sealed the 15-11 victory for the Rams.
Colorado State hosts Wyoming on Tuesday night, while the Lobos travel to Utah on Thursday for a match against Utah State.
Courtesy: Colorado State Athletics
No. 20 Rams Fight Back at New Mexico to Stay Perfect
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M – The No. 20 Colorado State Rams found themselves behind 2-0 in the match against New Mexico, but fought back to win in five sets to remain perfect in the Mountain West Conference. This was not the first time the Rams found themselves down 2-0 this season or in a conference match. CSU came back from a deficit against TCU on Sept. 1 and against Boise State on Oct. 6 to claim victories. With the Saturday afternoon win, the Rams remain undefeated in Mountain West Conference play with a perfect 10-0 record and improve to 20-2 overall.
Four different Rams finished with double-digit kills, led by Breana Runnels who had 20 which also broke her previous career high of 19. Jasmine Hanna added 16, while Paulina Hougaard-Jensen and Sanja Cizmic floored 12 and 11 kills, respectfully. Hougaard-Jensen also led the team in hitting percentage, swinging at a .600 clip with no errors in 20 swings. Katie Oleksak came one assist short of tying her season high, as she paced the offense with 58 assists. She also added 12 digs to record her fourth double-double of the season. Cizmic led the defense with a career-high 14 digs, which also inks her first double-double of the season. Cizmic also recorded four service aces in the match despite the Rams struggling to serve tallying 17 errors. Kirstie Hillyer controlled the net recording eight blocks, while Hougaard-Jensen had six stuffs.
The Rams found themselves trailing early in the first set, as the Lobos jumped out to a 5-0 lead forcing CSU to take a timeout. Colorado State managed to fight their way to five tie scores throughout the set but New Mexico held onto the lead to win 25-21.
CSU gained control early in the second frame taking a 4-0 lead, but the Lobos went on a 7-1 run to gain control. The Rams fought to retake the lead through the heart of the set and did after three-straight rallies gave them the advantage at 15-12. CSU led at 22-17 before the Lobos manufactured a 5-1 run to come within a point late. The Rams offense couldn’t close the set as New Mexico finished the frame on a 4-1 run to take a 2-0 match advantage.
Following the break, the Rams seemed to flip a switch, grabbing an early lead at 6-2 and would retain it through the set. CSU widened their advantage to 18-9 for their largest lead of the match before avoiding the sweep with a 25-17 third-set victory.
The two teams battled for control early in the fourth set, but the Rams took a solid lead at 11-5 and again, maintained it to force a fifth set. CSU held New Mexico to a .125 hitting mark in the frame and allowed just 10 kills – the lowest of the match thus far.
In the match-deciding fifth set, CSU took the lead first and increased it with a four-point run to take a 12-5 edge. The Rams looked to finish the come back easily as they had match point at 14-7. The Lobos wouldn’t go down too easily as they clawed their way back to a 14-11 score before a block by Katie Oleksak and Kirstie Hillyer finished the match a 15-11 victory.
Colorado State will face Wyoming at home on Tuesday night at 7 p.m. for their Border War rivalry match.
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics
Lobos’ Upset Bid Foiled in Five-Set Loss to CSU
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Lauren Twitty and Sarah Lobo both tallied double-doubles and Ashley Kelsey played superb back-row defense, but the University of New Mexico volleyball team’s upset bid fell just short in a five-set defeat to No. 20 Colorado State.
Although Twitty, Lobo and Kelsey dazzled for the Lobos (11-12 overall, 3-7 Mountain West) on Saturday afternoon, the conference-leading Rams (20-2, 10-0) proved to be a match for New Mexico’s upstart performance inside Johnson Center.
New Mexico won the first two sets 25-21 and 26-24, but Colorado State claimed the final three sets 25-17, 25-16, 15-11.
“I thought we came out super strong and focused,” Twitty said. “We didn’t hold anything back the entire match. I think it shows the level we can play at and that we can compete with great teams.
“We learned a lot and now we can focus on the things we need to work on as well, but, overall, I thought it was a good match.”
Closing out a stretch of five matches in 10 days, the Lobos earned a number of stellar showings across the board.
Twitty finished with 19 kills and a career-high 18 digs for her 10th double-double of the season, while Lobo, in her second career start, notched career highs in both assists (46) and digs (13) for her first career double-double.
Twitty finished with a team-best .306 hitting percentage (19 kills, 4 errors, 49 attempts), and logged a career-best fifth-straight game with double-figure kills.
New Mexico also received solid offensive results from Mariessa Carrasco (11 kills), Carly Beddingfield (10) and Yasmin Tan (eight). As a team, UNM hit .205 (56-25-151).
On the defensive end, Kelsey played a tremendous match from the libero position, collecting a match-best 25 digs with just a single reception error. She tied a season best in digs and finished just four digs short of a new career high.
Hailey Rubino chipped in 12 digs as the Lobos out-dug CSU 77 to 56. UNM’s 77 digs are the team’s second-most this season.
Serving also played an important role in the match. Although New Mexico limited its mistakes serving — UNM had four service errors to Colorado State’s 17 — the Lobos weren’t able to force the Rams with their serve, finishing with two aces total.
“The biggest thing I wish we would have done is stayed more aggressive serving,” head coach Jeff Nelson said. “I think we started not wanting to make errors instead of just going for it.”
New Mexico opened the match on a roll, surging to a 5-0 lead behind two kills each from Twitty and Beddingfield. Colorado State would tie it up at 7-7 before eventually putting together a lead at 16-14.
But the Lobos wouldn’t yield, scoring three straight to retake the lead at 17-16. A 4-1 run, featuring an Abbey Willison ace, would put UNM up 21-18, and the Lobos would finish the set off with three of the final four points for a 25-21.
Twitty and Beddingfield both had four kills in the set as New Mexico hit .333 (12-3-27) in the set. The Lobos were also aided by six CSU service errors, often helping UNM side out after a Ram point.
Colorado State opened the second set much like New Mexico did in the first, racing out to a 4-0 lead. But UNM reeled off a 7-1 run to take a 7-5 lead, sparking some back-and-forth play. The Lobos would tie the set at 12-all, but CSU took a 15-12 lead into the media timeout.
The Rams stayed ahead all the way to 23-19, but, after a timeout, New Mexico capped the set with a 7-1 run, winning the set 26-24 on a Tan kill in the back corner of the court.
Twitty posted five kills in the set, but a five-block effort by the Lobos limited the Rams to a .106 hitting percentage.
Coming out of intermission, CSU moved ahead 9-4, expanding that lead nine at 18-9. UNM would cut the deficit to six at 18-12 and 21-15, but the Rams won the set 25-17.
UNM hit .222 (15-7-36) in the set, but Colorado State committed just one error en route to a .400 (15-1-35) attack percentage.
The fourth set started similarly, with CSU moving ahead 11-5 early. UNM would make it a five-point game at 15-10, but the Rams extended their lead to eight at 18-10 before winning 25-16. Carrasco and Twitty both had four kills, but UNM was limited to a .125 hitting percentage (10-6-32).
Colorado State kept the momentum in the fifth and final set, taking leads at 8-4 and 12-5. New Mexico scored four in a row facing match point to trim the deficit to three at 14-11, but CSU finished the set off with a point, winning 15-11.
“There are a lot of good things,” Nelson said of the Lobos’ performance. “Even in game five, when you’re down, AK (Kelsey) served tough and we battled. It was a rough week and I think they did a lot of good things.”
The Lobos return to action next Thursday, October 26 as they travel to Logan, Utah, to face Utah State.