Down Two Sets, #22 Colorado State Battles Back to Top Boise State in 5

  0 Bill Stadick | October 06th, 2017 | College - Women's Indoor, Division I Mid-Major, News


  • #22 Colorado State def. Boise State (21-25, 11-25, 25-23, 25-19, 17-15)
  • Colorado State moves to 15-2, 5-0 Mountain West
  • Boise State drops to 11-6, 4-1 Mountain West
  • Boise, Idaho
  • Attendance: 741
  • Box Score
  • VolleyMob Top 25 (Week 7)

After scoring just 32 points combined in the first two sets, the #22 Colorado State Rams stormed back to win the next three frames and defeat the Boise State Broncos in a five-set thriller.

Colorado was led offensively by four players with double-digit kills: freshman outside Breana Runnels (17 kills), senior outside Jasmine Hanna (15 kills), sophomore middle Kirstie Hillyer (12 kills) and sophomore middle Paulina Hougaard-Jensen (10 kills).

Defensively, three Rams had double-digit digs: Amanda Young (20 digs), McKenna Thornlow (11 digs) and Sanja Cizmic (10 digs). Hillyer led the net defense with seven blocks and Cizmic added five. Sophomore setter Katie Oleksak recorded a double-double with 57 assists and 12 digs.

For Boise State, senior outside Sierra Nobley returned to the lineup after missing the last four matches and registered a double-double (24 kills, 12 digs). Other key contributors included junior outside Sabryn Roberts and sophomore outside Janell Walley, who each had 13 kills, and senior setter Jaymee-Lee Bulda, who tallied 52 assists.

“It was highly competitive and spirited match from the beginning to the end,” said Colorado State Head Coach Tom Hilbert. “It was a good thing for this team to go through and a signature moment for them. I have a lot of respect for my players’ abilities and they weathered a lot of storms during this match.”

Sets one and two were all Boise State. In the first, the Rams closed to within one at 21-20 before Boise State took four of the next five points to win 25-21. The second was never close and the Broncos won by a decisive 25-11 edge.

Coming out of the break, Colorado State jumped out to a 20-14 lead and held on to win the third frame 25-23. In the fourth, the Rams led 20-9 before a late run by Boise State made it close, but the set still ended 25-19 in Colorado State’s favor.

The epic fifth set featured seven tie scores and five lead changes. Colorado reached match point first at 14-12, but the Broncos scored the next three to go up 15-14. After a Boise State service error, Hillyer gave the Rams their second match point and a Breana Runnels kill sealed the 17-15 victory.

Both teams play again on Saturday, with Colorado State traveling to Logan, Utah to take on Utah State, while Boise State hosts the Wyoming Cowgirls.



Courtesy: Colorado State Athletics

Rams Storm Back to Stun Broncos in Mountain West Battle

BOISE, Idaho – One word to describe Thursday night’s Mountain West showdown for first place: Battle. The No. 23 Colorado State volleyball team found itself down 2-0 in the match before storming back to stun Boise State in a five-set thriller in Bronco Gym. With the victory, the Rams sit in first place in the Mountain West standings after improving to 15-2 overall and 5-0 in the conference.

Four different Rams finished with double-digit kills, led by Breana Runnels who had 17. Jasmine Hanna added 15, while middles Kirstie Hillyer and Paulina Hougaard-Jensen floored 12 and 10, respectfully. Hougaard-Jensen also led the team in efficiency, tallying a .571 mark. Katie Oleksak came two assists short of tying her season high as she paced the offense with 57 assists. She also added 12 digs to record her third double-double of the season. Amanda Young led the defense with 20 digs, while McKenna Thornlow had 11 and Sanja Cizmic who matched her career-high had 10. Hillyer controlled the net with seven blocks and Cizmic had five stuffs.

The Rams found themselves trailing in the first set, but clawed back late with a five-point run to come within a point at 21-20 and force Boise State to call a timeout. The Broncos went on to take four of the last five points in the set and win, 25-21.

The second frame was all BSU as there were no lead changes or tie scores. The Broncos charged out to a 9-1 score and never stopped, while holding the Rams to a -.167 hitting mark. Boise State grabbed a 2-0 match lead after a 25-11 second set.

Following the break, the Rams spun the table, earning a 12-8 advantage in the third for their biggest lead of the night so far. CSU led at 20-14 following a Boise State timeout, but the Rams could not coast to the end as the Broncos came back within one at 21-20 to force a timeout. The two teams fought back-and-forth till the end, as Colorado State looked to avoid the sweep. The Rams reached match point first at 24-21 and avoided the shutout with a 25-23 third set finish.

The fourth set was filled with runs on both sides of the court as the Rams led 3-0 early before the Broncos strung four together to take a 4-3 lead. CSU recorded five-straight points a little while later to reclaim the lead at 11-6 – one they wouldn’t lose. The Rams led at 20-9 before Boise State tried to steal the set, using a pair of runs to force the Rams to call a timeout at 23-19. CSU would take the final two points to force a fifth set.

The final set – arguably the biggest battle of the match, as there were a match-high seven tie scores and five lead changes. The frame was tied at 5-5 before the jousting started. CSU gained a 9-6 edge, but the match would again get tied up at 11-all. The Rams took three of the next four rallies to reach match point first, but the Broncos wouldn’t go down easy. BSU took the next three points to steal match point at 15-14. A service error the next rally tied the match again and left the door open for the Rams to complete the come back. A huge block by Kirstie Hillyer gave Colorado State match point once again and a kill by Breana Runnels finished the match off.

Colorado State will face Utah State on Saturday night at 8 p.m., in Logan Utah.

On going down two-sets and battling back…
“It was highly competitive and spirited match from the beginning to the end. It was a good thing for this team to go through and a signature moment for them. I have a lot of respect for my players’ abilities and they weathered a lot of storms during this match.”

On how close the match was…
“One thing – one pass, set or kill could have been the difference. We had to make critical plays at the end of every set and that is competing; when the whole arena is against you and you have to make plays during those times.”

On the blocking in the match…
“It was a big part of the match and Kirstie Hillyer had a great blocking match late. She was involved in a lot of the blocks we had in the fourth and fifth sets and lot of them were on Boise State’s main hitter, which was big.”
Courtesy: Boise State Athletics


Boise State led two set to none, but could not hold on as No. 23 Colorado State rallied for the win.

BOISE, Idaho – Sierra Nobley returned to the lineup to lead Boise State with a double-double on 24 kills and 12 digs, but it was not enough as 23rd-ranked Colorado State rallied from two sets down to defeat the Broncos in extra points in the fifth 21-25, 11-25, 25-23, 25-19, 17-15.

Boise State opened the match fired up and dominated the first two sets. After Colorado State took a early lead in set one, the Broncos stormed back to take a set-high six point lead at 14-8. Boise State never trailed again, but CSU did make it interesting closing to within 21-20 before the Broncos put it away on a 4-1 run powered by twoJanell Walley kills and one by Sabryn Roberts.

Boise State opened set two on a 5-0 run, then extended it out to 9-1. The Broncos then put it in cruise control as they won 25-11 to go up 2-0 in the match. Nobley led the way with six kills and one block.

Colorado State rallied taking the next two sets. The third was tight as Boise State rallied from five down to close within one late. Trailing 24-21 the Broncos fought off two set points for the Rams before CSU took it 25-23. The fourth period saw Colorado State take control early as the Rams led nearly the entire way before taking it by six points at 25-19.

The fifth set was a battle to the end as the teams traded leads early. Colorado State rolled of a 4-0 run to go up 9-6. With the Rams leading 11-8, Boise State rallied with a 3-0 run behind a kill by Nobley and a pair of back-to-back service aces by Maddie Simon to tie it up at 11.

Colorado State regrouped and had match point at 14-12 only to see the Broncos rally again with a 3-0 run to take a 15-14 lead for a Boise State match point. Unfortunately for the blue and orange the Rams came back with their own 3-0 run to claim the victory.

The loss drops the Broncos to 11-6 overall and 4-1 in Mountain West play. Colorado State took sole possession of first as the Rams moved to 15-2 overall and 5-0 in league. Boise State will be back at home on Saturday when the Broncos host the Wyoming Cowgirls.

Head Coach Shawn Garus

On what the team walks away with . . .

“I think that was the battled that we expected, it’s disappointing. We’ve come up on the short side on some really good, tough matches against some ranked teams. I think the thing that got away from us was our serving. We made too many errors down the stretch. We had to serve tough because Colorado State is so tough offensively, but we made too many errors.”

On Sierra rejoining the lineup after four games . . .

“I was proud of the team for finding a way to win without Sierra on the court. I think she gives us a lift when she’s out there, and she played well tonight, but we have to get better at all areas. You’re not going to beat a team like Colorado State – a nationally ranked team – if you don’t have a lot of pieces.”

On where the team goes from here . . .

“A good team was going to lose tonight. We ended up on the wrong side of it. We had a serve for the match, but we just didn’t put it away. We have a couple swings to extend the match. It was a good volleyball match, but I don’t think either team played well at the same time. It was a really streaky match, we were great for two sets, they were good for two sets. I think we just have to keep getting better, and try to be steadier for our next opponent on Saturday.”

Sierra Nobley

On how the team walks away . . .

“I think we had really good moments, we were just a little bit shaky in the middle, and at the end we played their game. We can’t let them do that because they’re great at their game – they’re ranked No. 23. When they’re in rhythm, it’s really hard to defend them. I think we just need to work on serving tougher . . . I think we’ll bounce back great. We play another tough team on Saturday with Wyoming. We always battle tough with them, but I think this was a good chance to face that huge blocker they put up. She played great today. We just couldn’t stop her down the stretch.”

On returning after missing four games . . .

“It felt really good. I got back into my rhythm pretty quickly. A couple of moments I felt a little bit winded. I think the team definitely improved without me when I was gone, they really came together and won those four games that I was not able to participate. It just made us that much stronger as a team. ­­


Player of the Match: Sierra Nobley was Boise State’s player of the match. She returned after missing the previous four contests to tally a double-double on 24 kills and 12 digs. She also recorded four blocks, two were solos.

Sabryn Roberts: The junior tallied 13 kills, nine digs and four blocks two of which were solos.

Janell Walley: The sophomore outside hitter finished the match with 13 kills, seven digs and four blocks.

Dishing it Out: Jaymee-Lee Bulda dished out 52 assists in the contest and just missed a double-double with nine digs.

Defensive Leader: Maddi Osburn led the team in digs with a high of 16.


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