No. 21 Colorado State Tops In-State Rival Colorado

9/10/2008

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FORT COLLINS, Colo. - "The Big Week" for the Colorado State University volleyball team is underway and is off to a solid start.

The Rams opened the Coors Rocky Mountain Challenge, and a stretch of three matches in four days against some strong competition, in style as they posted a 3-1 (25-23, 25-23, 19-25, 25-16) win over rival, and previously undefeated, Colorado (6-1) on Wednesday night in Boulder.

Next up for the Rams (6-1, 0-0 MWC) are home matches on Friday night against ACC foe North Carolina and Saturday night against No. 8 Florida at Moby Arena where the Rams have won 17 straight matches.

All-American Mekana Barnes was dominant once again for the Rams coming up with big point after big point. She helped lead the Rams to wins in each of the first two sets thanks to big plays down the stretch. The senior finished the game with 15 kills while hitting .360 and adding a season-high nine blocks.

"Jacque (Davisson) and Mekana were huge for us in the second set," said Head Coach Tom Hilbert. "This match would have been totally different if we had not come back in that set. Mekana made some big plays and Jacque had some great serves which was key."

After squeaking out a tough first set, the Rams appeared headed for trouble in the second set. But any thoughts the Buffaloes had of tying the match at 1 were squashed late in the set. Colorado took leads of 14-9, 20-15 and 22-18 in the second set but the Rams rallied each time and finished the second set scoring 10 of the final 13 points including each of the last six. In those six points, Davisson posted a kill and a service ace, Jaime Strauss added a kill and then Barnes tallied a block and a pair of kills to seal the deal.

CSU jumped out in the first set leading 4-1 and pushed their lead 15-10 before Barnes took over. The Buffaloes got back in the set thanks to an 8-3 run that tied the game at 18. That's when Barnes posted a kill and a block in back-to-back points that sparked a 7-5 run to give the opening set to the visiting Rams.

In the opening set, Barnes tallied four kills while hitting .800 and adding three blocks. The Buffaloes made things interesting however as they picked up their game and led wire-to-wire to post a win in the third set. CSU responded in the fourth set though as they scored five straight points early in the set to take a lead they would not relinquish.

Senior setter Ashley Fornstrom finished with 45 assists for her seventh straight game with over 30 assists. Davisson continued her hot play, tallying nine kills and 11 digs for her second double-double in as many games. Redshirt freshman Katelyn Steffan posted her fourth game this season with double digit kills as she tallied 11 kills while hitting .269 in the win.

The Rams have now won 10 of the last 11 meetings against the Buffaloes including three of the last four against Colorado in Boulder.

Article courtesy of Colorado State athletics.

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