Colorado State Climbs to 6-0 in Mountain West Play

  0 Julie Haake | October 08th, 2017 | College - Women's Indoor, Division I Mid-Major


  • Colorado State defeats Utah State, 3-0 (25-19, 25-19, 26-24)
  • Colorado State improves to 16-2; Utah State drops to 11-7
  • Logan, Utah
  • Attendance: 646
  • Box Score

LOGAN, Utah – The Rams defeated the Aggies Saturday night in Mountain West Conference play in the Wayne Estes Center. Colorado State is now 6-0 in conference play this season.

Colorado State hit .306 on the match, with a .375 clip in the second. They held Utah State to a .174 hitting percentage. The Rams out-blocked the Aggies 16-8.

Colorado State setter, Katie Oleksak dished out 38 assists, along with three digs, three kills and four block assists. On the other side of the net, Kassidy Johnson notched 34 assists along with one kill, three digs, and one block assist.

Two Colorado State players posted double-figure kills with Jasmine Hanna totaling 13 kills with zero errors on an impressive .481 clip. Sanja Cizmic tabbed 12 kills, along with three digs and six block assists.

Utah State had two players with double-figure kills as well. Lauren Anderson put away 11 kills on a .171 clip and added six digs and three block assists. Rachel Gale-Hammond recorded 10 kills, six digs, and one block assist.

Both teams will continue with Mountain West Conference play as Colorado State hosts San Jose State and Utah State hosts Boise State.


Courtesy of Colorado State Athletics

LOGAN, Utah – No. 23 Rams recorded their 11th sweep of the season, fifth in the Mountain West, in a late night match with Utah State on Saturday evening in the Wayne Estes Center. Colorado State’s defense was in full effect as it put up 16 blocks – most this season in a three-set match – and the offense produced finishing with a .306 hitting percentage. The last time the Rams had 16 blocks in a three-set match was in 2016 against Air Force.

The Rams were led by Jasmine Hanna with 13 kills, while not having an error in a team-high 27 swings for a .481 hitting mark. The senior is now six kills away from surpassing kill-leader (modern scoring format) Megan Plourde (2008-12) who has 1,066 career kills. This is the second time this season Hanna finished with no errors. (7-0-17 vs. Michigan)

Sanja Cizmic followed with 12 kills on a .320 clip, while middle Kirstie Hillyer posted six kills on a .375 mark. Katie Oleksak dished out 38 assists and Amanda Young led with 14 digs. Cizmic owned the net with a season-high six blocks, which also tied her career high. Hillyer and Breana Runnels followed with five blocks apiece, including Runnels having a career-best three solo stuffs. Alexandra Poletto and Paulina Hougaard-Jensen added four each. McKenna Thornlow recorded a season-high three service aces in the match.

The Rams started the match earning three of their first four points on aces courtesy of Thornlow, which gave CSU a 4-0 lead early. That lead wouldn’t stand for long, as Utah State came back to take a lead at 9-8. The two teams battled for the lead through the heart of the first set, but Colorado State would work to a 15-13 advantage at the media timeout. The Rams held the lead the rest of the set to take the first, 25-19.

In the second set, CSU jumped out to an 8-3 lead before forcing the Aggies to take a timeout. USU followed with a small run to come within a point at 8-7 and eventually tie the frame at 10-10. A few rallies later, Utah State took a 14-13 advantage, but that wouldn’t last as the Rams charged back to grab a 15-14 lead – one they wouldn’t drop, closing the set with a 25-19 score.

The third and final set was a see-saw frame with both teams trading the lead nine different times and tied the score 16. Colorado State took a 21-20 lead, but the Aggies would take the next four-of-five points to reach set point at 24-22. But no sweat to a CSU squad that has thrived in the late game and fighting back. The Rams got within a point at 24-23 before Utah State called a timeout then finished the match off with three-straight points to steal the final set, 26-24, and earn the sweep.

Colorado State will return to Moby Arena and face San Jose State on Oct. 12 at 7 p.m. and Nevada on Oct. 14 at noon.

On recording 16 blocks in the sweep…
“Having 16 blocks in a three-set match like this is really good. We were scheming properly and we blocked better fundamentally tonight than we have in a while, so we were getting more stuffs because of it. A lot of players were involved tonight and that is always good. Coach Murray did a good job calling where to go and they executed really well.”

How the match was emotionally following a big match with Boise State a couple nights before…
“It’s always hard to beat a team on their home court. I thought we did a good job, except on service receive and we got in our own heads again, which we need to work through that and get better.”

On the team and Jasmine Hanna‘s offensive performance in the match…
“It was a great night for us offensively. Jasmine was great, smart, mature in the way she played – like she always is. I was really pleased with her, as well as Sanja Cizmic and Kirstie Hillyer. They all had a great nights.”

On coming back in the third set to record the sweep…
“Utah State stayed with us the entire third set, but we stayed mentally tough and when we were giving points up it was on service receive. In the final points of the third set, we knew where the ball was going and we put our blockers in the right spot and we made a nice block, which changed the momentum.”

Courtesy of Utah State Athletics

LOGAN, Utah – Utah State volleyball played No. 23 Colorado State close, but ultimately lost in three sets to the Rams on Saturday night, 25-19, 25-19, 26-24. The loss puts the Aggies at 11-7 overall and 3-3 in league play, while CSU moved to 16-2 and 6-0 in the Mountain West.

“We gave ourselves some chances in that third game, and we let some slip through our fingers the first two games, and that’s why Colorado State is Colorado State, cause they don’t miss those opportunities,” head coach Grayson DuBose said. “We have to learn how to be a little bit better when the opportunity presents itself and take advantage of some stuff.

“Game three, we did a really nice job staying in the moment, staying in the next play, and we were really kind of gritty,” he continued. “Tasia (Taylor) had a fantastic match. She did some really fun stuff and kept us consistent passing-wise, and then was really just a spectacular defender tonight.”

Taylor led all players on the back row with a match-high 18 digs, keeping the Aggies in the match until late runs sealed victories for Colorado State. Taylor has recorded 15 or more digs in 13 matches this season and was the only Aggie with double-digit digs in the match against the Rams.

Senior outsides Lauren Anderson and Rachel Gale-Hammond led the USU attack with 11 and 10 kills, respectively, as the Aggies hit .174 (38-19-109). Colorado State was paced offensively by Jasmine Hanna with 13 kills and Sanja Cizmic with 12 kills, as the team hit .306 (47-13-111) overall.

The Rams came out of the gates strong, building a 4-0 lead behind three service aces, but Utah State was able to battle back and tie the match at 5-5. The teams then worked through six ties, leading up to an 11-11 deadlock. An ace by Anderson broke the tie and an error by Colorado State on the next rally gave Utah State a 13-11 lead. CSU countered with a four-point run, taking a 15-13 lead and never relinquished the advantage down the stretch. The Rams had their first set point at 24-17, but a CSU attacking error and service ace by freshman Bailey Downing prolonged the set, 24-19. A final kill by Colorado State on the next rally gave the visitors the set, 25-19.

A similar story unfolded in the second set as CSU opened with a quick, 2-0 lead, only to have Utah State come back and tie the frame at 10-10. Four more ties followed, including a 14-14 deadlock. The Rams broke the final tie with back-to-back blocks, starting a 5-1 run that led to a Utah State timeout with Colorado State leading 19-15. Anderson recorded a kill out of the break, but CSU maintained the advantage and closed the set with a 6-3 run, taking it 25-19.

The third set proved to be the most competitive, as the teams fought through 16 ties and nine lead changes. Utah State broke a 22-22 tie with a kill by senior opposite Kayla DeCoursey and a block by DeCoursey and junior middle Lauren O’Brien, capturing set point at 24-22. However, Colorado State countered with a four-point run and took the match, 26-24.

Utah State will have a short turnaround going into its next match, as the Aggies will close its three-match homestand with a contest against Boise State on Tuesday, Oct. 10 at 7 p.m.

Fans can also follow the Aggie volleyball program on Twitter @USUVolleyball, on Facebook at USUVolleyball or on Instagram at @usuvolleyball. Aggie fans can also follow the Utah State athletic program at @USUAthletics, on Facebook at Utah State University Athletics or on Instagram at @USUAthletics.

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