No. 1 Colorado State Claims Mountain West Volleyball Title, 3-0, over UNLV
Rams claim fifth tournament title and 17th consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament
Nov. 20, 2011
2011 MW Volleyball Championship Central
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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Top-seed Colorado State swept No. 7 UNLV, 3-0, in the Mountain West Volleyball Championship Final to claim its fifth MW Tournament Title and 17th consecutive trip to the NCAA tournament.
The Rams improved to 22-5 while the Rebels finish the 2011 season 14-17. CSU has one more match in the regular season at noon on Saturday, Nov. 26 at New Mexico State in Las Cruces, N.M.
"All three of the teams we played this weekend presented interesting challenges," said the Rams' head coach Tom Hilbert. "We played very efficiently and relaxed against Air Force, which I liked. Last night's match against Wyoming was tough. Tonight we went against UNLV, a Cinderella team. They played with no fear. I was feeling good at how relaxed and how well we played in the first two games and then before we knew it, the score was 20-20, but we made plays at the end that we needed to make."
The Rams used a 6-0 run early in the first set to jump to a 9-3 advantage at the start of the first set and maintained a comfortable lead throughout, taking the first set, 25-14.
CSU claimed set number two with the same score, 25-14. Again the Rams jumped to an early 11-6 lead, forcing the Rebels to call a timeout. CSU continued to dominate, however, never allowing UNLV to score more than two consecutive points.
The Rebels battled in the third set as there were 11 ties and six lead changes. Mid-set, UNLV rattled off three unanswered points, taking a 17-14 lead and prompting a CSU timeout.
Following the breather, the Rebels tacked on two more points to make it five unanswered points, 19-14. The Rams answered by going on an 11-3 run to finish out the set and the match, 25-22.
Megan Plourde led CSU with 12 kills, while Katelyn Steffan added 11. Izzy Gaulia and Deedra Foss each recorded 13 digs, with Foss adding 30 set assists.
UNLV was led by Candice Thomas who had six kills. Stephanie Thelen added 19 set assists and Allison Davies recorded 15 digs.
"UNLV came out on fire in this tournament," said Steffan. "They wanted to make a statement and make it to the NCAA tournament. Wyoming gave us a run for our money last night. We beat them in three, but they were all close games. It was a great tournament."
This is the second time in MW volleyball tournament history that the No. 1 seed won the title. The only other time that the top-seeded team won the championship was in 2003 when CSU defeated Utah, 3-1. This is the fourth time in tournament history that the championship match had a 3-0 result.
2011 Mountain West Championship All-Tournament Team