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By: Braidon Norse

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FORT COLLINS, Colo. – Finding some kind of consistency can sometimes make the difference in a volleyball match, especially in Colorado State’s match against Pacific, where for the first set and a half, neither team was able to accomplish anything, hitting well below average and accumulating errors.

In games like that, you don’t necessarily need showmanship, just stability. Down the stretch, CSU limited its attacking errors as the Tigers piled them up. The result was a 3-1, 26-24, 25-19, 24-26, 25-21 Rams victory.

Pacific finished the game with 33 attacking errors, almost double that of CSU (17). They also racked up seven more service errors.

“At first it was a battle between two ugly volleyball teams. We weren’t playing very well and they weren’t playing very well,” the head coach said. Emily Kohan saying. “We just needed to be able to run an offense and make some good swings. I feel like we adjusted well towards the end.”

The Rams outhit Pacific in the first set .167 to .075, less than ideal for either team but good enough for CSU to take the first set in extras.

The second set was where both teams began to polarize in terms of consistency. CSU improved to a solid .348, while Pacific fell to a match-worst .053 en route to the largest margin of victory of any set.

“That was our message to the team: Learning to win ugly is also a skill,” Kohan said. “While this wasn’t our prettiest performance of the season, it was one where, you know, we beat a good team. And that’s something we have to remember, we can pull off some ugly wins, too.”

For much of the last two sets, it became a running game. CSU would go on a 3-0 or 4-0 run, then Pacific would counterattack with runs of its own. Pacific won the third set in the same fashion, coming back from a 23-20 deficit to win in extras.

While stretches like that can be frustrating, the blocker Naeemah Weathers I knew from the first half of the game that it would be a routine. So, on his way to posting a game-high six blocks for the second time this weekend, he played the way he knows best.

“The most important thing is to be aggressive, be aggressive, be aggressive,” Weathers said. “Stopping hitters that were making a difference in their offense is something I love contributing to the team.”

After giving up the third set as a comeback, consistency also had to influence the Rams’ mentality. It was especially true late in the game, when an overturned decision turned into another comeback threat for the Tigers.

CSU had a comfortable 24-19 lead on match point when, during a long rally, Emery Herman He seemed to have done a lot of digging to keep the tip alive. They won the point and seemingly won the match, but a challenge from Pacific revealed that the ball hit the ground before Herman reached it.

Pacific scored two more points and suddenly gained momentum again. But just as they had done for most of the match, they defeated themselves and ended the match with a service error.

Kohan said the team is still “in this search” for the all-around performance he knows his team can produce. Next week could be the time to cash in as they play two straight games against in-state rivals Colorado.

“I’m very excited,” Weathers said. “We love playing in Boulder, we love the rivalry and we love the way the fans get here and there. There are great atmospheres both ways.”

Whether or not the team finds a way to fire on all cylinders at the pace Kohan would like, it’s still an exciting prospect to play their biggest rivals two nights in a row.

The first is the showdown on Thursday, September 14 in Boulder at 7 pm, followed by a rematch the next day at Moby Arena at the same time.

“There’s no win like the Buffs, you know?” Kohan said. “I think they get equally excited and the back-to-back is always an interesting scenario. Beating any team twice in a row is something unique, but yeah, we’re sure excited to play the Buffaloes.”

#Colorado #State #University

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