CSU sweeps LSU in opening match of Michigan Challenge

Colorado State volleyball (5-2) opened competition in the Michigan Challenge by sweeping LSU at Cliff Keen Arena Friday morning. The Tigers battled the Rams close in all three sets but CSU, led by Breana Runnels proved to be too much for LSU (2-5) to handle. 

In the three-set match, CSU defeated LSU with scores of 25-23, 25-22 and 25-23. After defeating the Tigers Friday morning, CSU now leads the all-time series 7-0. 

Runnels led both squads in kills with 15 and led CSU in total attempts with 30 (.367 hit percentage). Kirstie Hillyer also finished the match in double digits with 10 kills on 25 total attempts (.240 hit percentage). 

While Hillyer and Runnels recorded the majority of the kills for CSU, Katie Oleksak was who set her teammates up time and time again. Hillyer led the Rams with 30 assists, picked up seven digs and used timely kill attempts to quietly lead the team in hit percentage as well. Hillyer had four kills on five attempts for a hit percentage of .800.

“To be honest, I am not happy the way we played today," head coach Tom Hilbert said in a release.

"We need to ball handle better and I know Kirstie (Hillyer) and Breana (Runnels) were able to pull us out of some issues. We need to learn how to pass on the road better – we’re not doing it very well. We’re giving away a bunch of points and luckily today we played a team that gave away more points than we did. We need to play better tonight and tomorrow night. That is what our goal has to be; we need to improve.”

The Rams will have to quickly rebound for a second match Friday. CSU will play the program's first-ever match against the University of Oakland (3-3). After playing the Tigers in Ann Arbor, Michigan, the Rams will take on the Golden Grizzlies at Athletics Center O'rena in Rochester. The match is viewable on ESPN3. 

PHOTO: CSU Volleyball Twitter (@CSUvolleyball)