- #23 Colorado State def. Nevada 3-0 (25-21, 25-20, 25-23)
- #23 Colorado State improves to 25-2 (15-0, MWC); Nevada falls to 9-18 (7-8, MWC)
- Reno, Nevada (MWC Match)
- Attendance: 286
- Box Score
Reno, Nevada – #23 Colorado State stayed perfect in Mountain West play with a road sweep of Nevada. While the Rams already had clinched the conference crown, they will look to keep winning with an outside hope of earning a top 16 seed but more likely a chance at a better first round matchup as the second ranked team in a four-team grouping.
The match was won for the Rams with a balanced and efficient attack, as it was enough to overcome a strong Nevada block. Even as Nevada had five more blocks (10-5), the Rams hit .281. A big part of that can be attributed to mental toughness for Colorado State, as they kept swinging and didn’t put their head down when they were blocked.
Setter Katie Oleksak led the attack by distributing 48 assists for the Rams, with plenty coming to Breana Runnels (15 kills, .235) on the outside. What opened things up for Runnels even more though – and to some extent vice-versa – was the play of the two Rams’ middles in Paulina Hougaard-Jensen (14 kills, .550) and Kirstie Hillyer (11 kills, .450).
On the other end, Madison Foley logged 11 kills and eight digs, but overall the Colorado State defense had more digs (46-40) in holding Nevada to a .168 mark. A serve that was inaccurate at times was at least aggressive for the Rams in putting the Wolfpack out of system on occasion and assisting with that defense.
Although the match was a sweep, that may not be indicative of how tight things were at times. The Rams led for a majority of the opening set, but five ties and three lead changes occurred in the second with six more ties and a lead change happening in the third. At the end of the day though, the Rams spread out attack with too much to handle in the middle would be Nevada’s downfall.
Moving forward, Colorado State stays on the road for maybe their toughest remaining match as they visit San Jose State on Saturday. Meanwhile for Nevada, they play host to another top-tier Mountain West team as Wyoming comes to town in a few days.
Courtesy of Colorado State:
RENO, Nev. – The No. 19 Colorado State volleyball team pushed its winning streak to 15 consecutive matches after sweeping Nevada on Thursday night in the Virginia Street Gym. The sweep is the Rams’ 19th of the season as they improve to 25-2 overall and 15-0 in the Mountain West.
CSU was led by Breana Runnels who floored 15 kills and Paulina Hougaard-Jensen tallied 14, while also hitting .550. Kirstie Hillyer also reached double-digit kills with 11 and controlled the net with three blocks. Katie Oleksak passed out 48 assists – bettering her career high of 45 (vs. Utah State) and is the most assists in the modern scoring era in a three-set match. Amanda Young and Maddi Foutz both recorded double-figure digs with 11 and 10 digs, respectfully.
The Rams led all of the first set, even though the Wolf Pack tied the set at 13-13 and 14-14. CSU led at 19-15 before taking the first frame, 25-21. The second set featured the matches most tie scores with five and most lead changes with three. The Rams led at 9-7 before both teams traded points through the heart of the frame. Nevada came within two points at 21-19, but a 4-1 run closed the set at 25-20 and gave CSU a 2-0 match lead. In the final set, the Wolf Pack held the advantage from the start and led at 11-6 to force the Rams to call a timeout. Nevada kept its lead at four or five through the majority of the set and had a 21-17 lead before the Rams started their come back. Colorado State finished the match on an 8-2 run to earn the sweep and remain undefeated in conference play.
The Rams will continue their road trip at San Jose State on Saturday starting at 3 p.m. MT
Courtesy of Nevada:
RENO, Nev. – The Nevada volleyball team fell in three sets to the No. 19 team in the nation, Colorado State, on Thursday night in front of 286 fans at the Virginia Street Gym. The Rams took the sweep, 25-21, 25-20 and 25-23.
The Wolf Pack fell to 10-17 overall and 7-8 in Mountain West play while the Rams, the top team in the league, improved to 25-2 overall and a perfect 15-0 in the Mountain West. Senior Madison Foley led the Pack with 11 kills on the night while sophomore Shayla Hoeft tallied nine kills and recorded a team-high five blocks. Sophomore Dalyn Burns recorded 33 assists on the night for the Pack, while junior Peighton De Von hit .467 on the night with seven kills and three blocks.
Nevada made a run in the third set, with the Pack up four, 19-15, in the set but the Rams found their stride offensively and starting chipping away. CSU cut Nevada’s lead to 21-19 and forced a Wolf Pack timeout. The Rams caught the next point to cut it to one, and then later caught the Pack at 22. Nevada broke the tie but the Rams would finish the comeback and sweep the match with a 25-23 win on the final set.
The Rams didn’t cruise early but were mostly in control during the first two sets. The Rams out-hit the Pack .281 to .168 on the night. Nevada hit just .086 in set one and improved to a match-high .211 in the second set, but was out-matched by CSU’s .411 as the Rams went up two sets to zero.
The Pack will be back in action on Saturday with a morning match against Mountain West foe Wyoming. The matchup will begin at 11 a.m. and is free to all at the Virginia Street Gym. It will also be broadcast on the Mountain West Network.