CSU volleyball starts 2-0 in league

Colorado State volleyball (10-4) opened up the Mountain West portion of the season with a pair of victories last weekend. Dating back to 2006, CSU has now won 12 consecutive Mountain West openers.

On Thursday night, the Rams traveled to Reno, Nevada for a road matchup with the Wolfpack. After dropping the opening set, CSU won three straight to secure the first conference road win of 2018.

In what was a strong team outing overall, Olivia Nicholson posted a career-best 20 digs and four aces against the Wolfpack. Along with a strong outing from Nicholson, Breana Runnels recorded what was her fourth double-double of the season with 18 kills and 10 digs.

On Saturday, the Rams returned to Moby Arena for the MW home opener against San Jose State. Wearing the team’s orange uniforms in honor of Ag Weekend, the Rams swept the Spartans in three sets to move to 2-0 in the league.

Led by Runnels, who posted a team-high 14 kills, CSU finished hit .398 in the contest. Paulina Hougaard-Jensen had a strong outing as well with 11 kills and five blocks on the net. As usual, Katie Oleksak led the team in assists, finishing the Orange Out victory with 35 dishes to her teammates.

“One of our goals was to keep our offense balanced today. I think we did a fairly good job of that when we handled the ball, and it showed in our hitting efficiency numbers,” head coach Tom Hilbert said in a release.

“I was very pleased with our offensive and with our blocking until the third set, but I was very pleased with the way we ended that third set. I thought we did some really good things defensively. Katie (Oleksak) had to take first balls, Olivia (Nicholson) managed those balls really well and Breana (Runnels) took great swings. I was really pleased with that endgame situation.”

The Rams will return to action on Thursday with another road match. CSU will head to San Diego, Calif. to face off with San Diego State at 7 p.m. MT.  

PHOTO: Elliott Jerge | Rocky Mountain Collegian