Smith Stars as Colorado Surges from Down 2-0 to Top #18 Colorado State

  0 Wendy Mayer | September 16th, 2017 | College - Women's Indoor, Division I Mid-Major, News, Pac 12


  • Colorado (RV) def. #18 Colorado State 3-2 (21-25, 23-25, 25-22, 25-14, 15-8)
  • Colorado moves to 10-1; Colorado State falls to 10-2
  • Fort Collins, Colorado
  • Attendance: 4,664
  • Box Score

FORT COLLINS, Colo. – Colorado rallied from a 2-0 deficit and bested No. 18 Colorado State in every statistical category en route to a five-set win Saturday night. The Buffaloes outhit CSU .318 to .201, and topped their instate foe 72-55 in kills, 9-7 in aces and 9-7 in blocks. Both teams managed 70 digs.

Junior outside hitter Alexa Smith racked up a match-high 25 kills to go with a team-best 15 digs, a team-leading four blocks and two aces. Junior outside Frankie Shebby added 16 kills and 11 digs, while senior opposite Joslyn Hayes added 11 kills, hitting at a team-best .435 clip. Setter Brynna Deluzio chipped in a 55-assist, 13-dig double-double, while notching four blocks and two aces. Senior outside Stephanie Shadley served up three aces, while junior libero Gabby Cart-Samuels added 13 digs.

Senior outside Sanja Cizmic paced Colorado State with 16 kills, two aces and three blocks. Redshirt freshman outside Breana Runnels (13) and senior outside Jasmine Hanna (12) followed with double-digit efforts. Hanna hit at a team-best .333 clip, while sophomore middle Paulina Hougaard-Jensen added eight kills and a team-best four blocks. Sophomore setter Katie Oleksak notched a 47-assist, 16-dig double double to lead the Ram defense, while sophomore defensive specialist Amanda Young (15) and freshman defensive specialist Maddi Foutz (12) also added more than 10 digs.

Colorado grabbed an early 3-1 lead and boasted an 8-5 edge at the changeover in Set 5. Three Smith kills helped the Buffaloes to the advantage, which forced a CSU timeout. An ace by senior middle Anna Pfefferle made it 10-5 and forced the Rams to use up their final timeout. Kills by Shebby, junior middle blocker Naghede Abu and Smith made it 14-7 and a Colorado State service error clinched the upset victory.  The Buffs hit at a .345 clip with no errors in 29 swings in the final stanza.

Colorado State led by as many as five (9-4) in the early goings of Set 1, but Colorado chipped away eventually cutting the margin to one at 14-13. Two kills apiece from Smith and Shebby led the Buffalo rally. Another Shebby putaway and a CSU miscue knotted the score at 15. After another tie at 16-all, Colorado State pulled away with a 6-0 run, including a block and a kill by Cizmic. A block and two putaways by Hayes narrowed the gap to three at 22-19, but could not get any closer. A Pfefferle kill thwarted CSU’s first shot at the set at 24-20, but a hitting error wrapped up the Ram victory.

The teams split the first 16 points of Set 2 before Colorado gained some breathing room with a 6-1 run. A pair of aces by DeLuzio highlighted the stretch. The Buffaloes cut the 14-9 margin to three at 15-12, but Colorado scored six of the next seven, including three Smith putaways, to boost the advantage to eight at 21-13. The Rams countered with a 7-0 run, as Hanna notched two kills and Oleksak served up an ace. Down 23-21, CSU got a kill and a block from Runnels to tie it up. Colorado called timeout but could not stop the Ram rally. A kill by Runnels gave them a set-point try and a stuff by Hougaard-Jensen and Cizmic capped the 25-23 comeback win.

The teams tied nine times in the first half of Set 3, last at 11-all. Down 14-11, Colorado surged ahead with a 5-0 run, including kills by three different players and two blocks. Trailing 16-14, Colorado State turned the tables with five of the next six points. Three Buff errors and two Hanna putaways gave the Rams a 19-17 lead. A kill and a block by Shebby knotted the score at 19, setting up ties at 20, 21 and 22. An Abu kill, a CSU miscue and a Shadley ace gave Colorado the 25-22 win to extend the match.

Down 6-3 in Set 4, Colorado gained the lead at 8-7 and cruised to a 20-10 advantage. Five Ram miscues and three Shebby kills guided the Buffaloes in the rally. CSU managed three of the next four points, including two Cizmic kills. Colorado forced the decisive fifth set with a 3-0 run, including a Smith kill, a stuff by Pfefferle and DeLuzio and a Ram hitting error.



Courtesy: Colorado Athletics

The Colorado Buffaloes rallied from a 0-2 deficit to defeat No. 22 Colorado State (10-2) in exciting 3-2 fashion on Saturday night at Moby Arena.  Set scores were 21-25, 23-25, 25-22, 25-14, 15-8.

The win marks the first for the Buffs (10-1) in Moby Arena since 1995 and also put an end to CSU’s head coach Tom Hilbert’s perfect record at Moby Arena against instate Colorado DI programs, which now stands at 51-1. This is also the second straight win over CSU for the Buffs as they defeated the Rams in 2016 (3-1) in Boulder.

WHAT HAPPENED: The Buffs earned their second straight win over the Rams as they also earned a 3-1 decision in Boulder in 2016. Junior Alexa Smith led the charge for the Buffs, hammering 25 kills while hitting .310. She also turned in a great defensive performance with 15 digs.

Smith had a lot of help from her entire team, including Frankie Shebby who tallied 16 kills and 11 digs. Senior Joslyn Hayes was a force on the right side, adding 11 kills while hitting .435 to lead the match.

At the net, senior Anna Pfefferle and freshman Brynna DeLuzio each posted four blocks. Pfefferle tallied four block assists, while DeLuzio had three block assists and one block solo. DeLuzio played a great all-around game, added 55 assists, two aces, 13 digs and four kills.

Colorado State was led by Sanja Cizmic‘s 16 kills. Breana Runnels added 13 kills and Jasmine Hanna tallied 11 in the effort.

SET 1: The two teams played a very even set, but when the game was tied 16-16, CSU was able to record a 6-0 run, giving the Rams a huge advantage near the end of the set. The Buffs did not let up and despite a great effort, the disadvantage was too much as CU dropped the first set 25-21. CU actually hit better than the Rams (.323 as compared to .241), but had six service errors on the frame.

SET 2: Again things were very close to start the game, but the Buffs were ready. CU had a 12-9 advantage when the Rams were forced to take their first timeout of the set. CU kept the pressure on and increased the advantage to 18-12, again making CSU take a timeout. The Buffs took the first point out of the break, but CSU was able to string together a 6-2 run to cut CU’s lead to three (21-18). The Buffs took a timeout to regroup, but a short time later, the set was knotted at 23-23, forcing CU to take its second break of the set. CSU came out of the timeout with two points to win the set 25-23.

SET 3: CSU took at 14-11 lead in the set before the Buffs used a 4-0 run to go up 15-14, causing CSU to take a timeout. The Buffs increased their lead on the following point with a block by Smith, but the Rams were able to retake the lead with a 5-1 run (19-17). The two sided went back and forth, but the Buffs were able to sneak ahead at 22-21 and once again, CSU needed a break. The Rams tied the set up on the following point, but the Buffs were not going to let this one go and finished the frame with three straight points (25-22).

SET 4: The Buffs had a lot of momentum from the third set win, and it was evident in the fourth game. CSU had the 7-6 edge when the Buffs organized a 6-0 run to take a 12-7 lead. CSU sided-out, but was unable to maintain possession and the Buffs responded with another run, this time 5-0, to go up 17-8. CSU took the following two points, but the Buffs answered with three straight of their own (20-10) to take a 10-point lead. Colorado went on to take the game 25-14.

SET 5: Colorado used a 3-0 run to take an 8-5 lead in the final frame. CSU took a timeout at the side change, but it didn’t slow the Buffs as they took the following two points for a five-point lead. After the Rams’ second timeout, CU cruised to a 5-2 run to take the set, and the match, 15-8.

NOTEABLE: This is CU’s second straight win against Colorado State…The last time CU defeated CSU in consecutive matches was in 1994 when they met in a home and away series…The last time the Buffs visited Moby Arena also went to five sets; CSU won the final set 16-14 to advance to the NCAA Sweet 16…The Buffs are now 5-15 against CSU in Fort Collins…CSU leads the all-time series 23-13…This is the start of three straight matches against ranked opponents for the Buffs.

TEAM STATISTICS: CU out-hit CSU. The Buffs recorded a .318 hitting percentage with 72 kills and 17 errors on 173 attacks, while the Rams hit .201 with 55 kills and 23 errors on 159 attacks. CU dished out 65 assists to CSU’s 52. The Buffs also had the edge in blocks, posting 9.0 to CSU’s 7.0, as well as aces (9-7). Both teams recorded 70 digs.

NEXT UP: Pac-12 play starts next as the Buffs travel to Salt Lake City, Utah, for a match on Sept. 22 against No. 16 Utah. CU will return to Boulder to host No. 4 Stanford on Sept. 24.

Head coach Jesse Mahoney
“Well it’s a really competitive match for all five sets. In the first two we kicked away some chances, made a lot of service errors. Especially in set two when we kind of were in control and let it go. But going in between two and three we just talked about continuing to do the same stuff, cleaning up a little bit. I felt we made great plays to win set three and really were in control in that point. I think we controlled the match in four and five. Every kid played great. We had a lot of great performance, especially our outsides. I thought we defended as well as we had all season. It was a lot of fun.”

On Alexa Smith
“I think Alexa is a big game player. The coaching staff doesn’t have to work hard to get players hyped up for this match. She was pretty hyped. She’s so steady, she makes such great choices. We relied on her a lot, we fed her a lot of balls because she was scoring. She came up big.”

On CSU Head Coach
“I’m not sure I look at it in those terms. Were happy to get every win, we’re really happy to get an in state rivalry win. Tom has done a great job with this program. To be 51-1 is pretty good but I’m happy for our kids. I know they’re excited to break the streak. I know they’re excited and it was fun.”

On Keeping The Momentum Of This Win Through To Pac-12 Play
“I think it’s huge. We’re 10-1 now. We’ve played three matches against elite teams, Illinois, Penn State and Colorado State. We’re 2-1 in those matches. So we know we can play at that level. We’re going into Pac-12 play to play two top 20 teams, one top 10 team and the following weekend we’re doing the same thing. We’re in a place where every match is going to be one like this and any opportunity to play in this type of match in this type of environment is only good for us.”


Courtesy: Colorado State Athletics

The No. 22 Colorado State volleyball team fell on Saturday night to Colorado, in front roughly 4,700 Ram faithful. Despite the Rams winning the first two sets in the contest, the Buffs’ defense halted the CSU attack in the final three sets to take a 3-2 victory.

Colorado State senior Sanja Cizmic had a team-high four kills in the first set to guide the Rams to a 25-21 set win. The team finished with a hitting mark of .241, but forced four errors from Colorado’s attack. After the set was knotted at 16 all, the Rams rallied for six-straight points and finished the set with points from Cizmic, Paulina Hougaard-Jensen, and a service error from Colorado.

In the second set, the Rams needed two large runs to take a 2-0 lead into the break. CSU senior outside hitter Jasmine Hanna started an eight-point rally with a kill to make the score 21-14 and finished the rally with another to bring the Rams within a point late. The Buffaloes would lose a two-point lead when Colorado State won the last four points of the match to steal the set.

The third set was tight until the end and both teams put together runs. The Rams led at 21-20 before the Buffs went on a 5-1 scoring run – including winning the last three points – to take the set 25-22.

Colorado State struggled offensively in the fourth and fifth frames, netting a total 14 kills between the two. The Buffs charged out to sizable leads, while the Rams would hit below .200 in both the final two sets.

Sanja Cizmic finished with a team-high 16 kills, while Breana Runnels and Jasmin Hanna added 13 and 12, respectfully. Katie Oleksak finished the night with her second double-double of the season. The sophomore dished out 47 assists – including a match-high 10 in the third set and dug 16 balls. Amanda Young also reached double-digit saves with 15 in the loss.

Colorado State will begin conference action this Thursday, hosting New Mexico at 7 p.m.

Tom Hilbert on the match…
“It was a fun match. I thought it was interesting in the first set, they out hit us by almost 100 (percentage) points, but missed six serves. That was the answer for us. In the second set, I thought we did a nice job of coming back at the end and rallying and doing the right things. Then we started falling victim to some very good serving by them and we got disrupted a little bit. Our offense did not have as much flow as it has had the last few matches. We are going to have to figure out why that happens and hopefully we can outgrow it and correct it. Hats off to Colorado, they did a good job tonight. They forced us into these things, but I feel like we got disrupted, mostly by the service-receive game.”

… on where the team is going into conference play…
“This is a very good volleyball team. It is a volleyball that is vulnerable at times. Being able to shorten those moments up, but you are never going to get rid of those moments, but you can shorten them. We are a pretty-good volleyball team and we can compete with anybody. I think now we go into Mountain West (Conference) and the mindset changes. We have a target on our back and everybody brings there best against us. We have to prepare well, and everybody knows each other well.”

Senior Outside Hitter Jasmine Hanna on the loss to Colorado taking steam from the teams start…
“I think this adds steam. I know personally, I am fired up and the rest of the team is fired up about this so it just adds momentum.”

… on the progression of the match…
“I think we got complacent, maybe comfortable. The first two sets they did not play their best and when we went into the locker room we knew they were going to bring another level. They came in, and brought it to another level and we did not match it. We needed to play our best to match them.”

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About Wendy Mayer

Wendy Mayer

Wendy Mayer has worked in athletics media relations for the last 20 years. The Northwest Missouri State alumna is currently senior writer for after spending the last 15 years with Purdue athletics.

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