Rams faced No.25 Colorado but finished short
BOULDER, Colorado – It was a battle between the defensive players of the week from both leagues, but the No. 25 Colorado outlived Colorado State, 3-1 Thursday night at the CU Events Center. Alexa Roumeliotis, who was named Mountain West’s defensive POW, posted a record 22 digs in four sets as the Rams lost the game, 25-22, 18-25, 19-25, 20-25.
Colorado State started the game with their best hit of the night, a .222 mark with a high of 16 kills on 36 swings. The Rams ran 3-0 to take a 7-5 lead and held it for most of the set. Colorado was 5-0 late to take a 22-21 lead, but CSU took three of the last four points to secure the victory in the first set. Jacqi Van Liefde punctuated the Rams’ offense with six kills on 10 swings. The two teams also combined for nine blocks in the set.
In the second set, the two teams began trading points before a 5-0 Colorado run gave them a 13-7 lead – one they wouldn’t lose. The Rams came close to three at 16-13 before the Buffs ended the set to tie the game. Van Liefde again led the Rams in the second quarter with four kills on 10 swings. Colorado went on to block Colorado State with three blocks in the set and nine in the game already.
The third set was tied at 8-8 before Colorado took off and took a five-point lead at 15-10 before holding the rest of the course. The Rams came close to two at 17-15, but the Buffs managed the game down the stretch to take a 2-1 lead. Colorado had their highest sideout percentage of the game in the third at 15-20 for 75%.
The final set was a total brawl as there were 11 tie points and five lead changes. Colorado State first took the lead at 6-3 after a 3-0 run. The Rams held onto that lead until a 4-0 Colorado run took a 10-9 advantage. The two teams traded points in the next handful of rallies before going 3-0 runs and putting the Buffs one point at 16-15. The Rams took their final lead at 18-17 before a 4-0 run from Colorado propelled them to the front and won the game taking eight of the last 10 points. The fourth set was the worst for the Rams, hitting 0.083 with 11 kills and eight errors. Colorado also added to their block count with three blocks to end the night with 14.
The state of Colorado was ruled by Jacqi Van Liefde with 15 eliminations and hitting .237. Annie sullivan added two-digit kills with 10 and Kennedy Stanford save nine. Ciera Pritchard distributed 39 assists with 13 digs to register his fourth double-double of the season. The Rams lost four aces for eight service errors, while CU had just two aces. CSU finished with five blocks, led by Sasha Colombo, Leber and Pritchard both with two. Alexa Roumeliotis finished with 22 dig, his 20th consecutive double-digit game, dating back to the 2020 season and the fourth 20+ dig game of the season.
Colorado State will face Colorado’s No.25 again, this time at Moby Arena on Saturday afternoon with the first serve at 1 p.m. MT on the Mountain West network.