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Sports / Recreation

Hilbert winningest coach at Colorado State

Updated November 6, 2010

The No. 14 Colorado State volleyball team improved its record to 22-2, 11-0 in the Mountain West, after sweeping Air Force (4-21, 1-11 MWC) Saturday at Moby Arena. Even more impressive was that Rams' Tom Hilbert, after becoming the winningest head coach in CSU history Thursday by surpassing legendary basketball coach Jim Williams, now has an astounding 354 victories at Colorado State.

Volleyball improves win streak to 13

Tom Hilbert, in his 14th season with the Rams, has surpassed legendary basketball coach Jim Williams for CSU victories.

CSU swept the Falcons Saturday for the second and final time this season with set scores of 25-17, 25-17, and 25-9.

In a follow-up to Thursday's record-setting victory, Rams’ Head Coach Tom Hilbert continues to shatter the previous record as the winningest head coach in CSU history.

Hilbert all-time wins leader

On Thursday, Hilbert surpassed legendary basketball coach Jim Williams with an astounding 353 victories at Colorado State.

Hilbert already holds the title as the school’s all-time leader in career victories by a volleyball coach, and reached his 500-win mark in 2009 in his 22nd year overall as a head coach.

Powered through first set

The Rams and the Falcons battled for the lead at the beginning of the first set but a solid kill from senior outside hitter Jacque Davisson secured the lead for the Rams at 13-12. The Rams powered through the rest of the set, beating the Falcons, 25-17, after a kill from senior outside hitter Danielle Minch for set point. Sophomore Dana Cranston recorded back-to-back service aces while senior Katelyn Steffan had two kills on three attempts (.667) during the first set.

“The more times Dana is on the court it just seems like we're better,” said Head Coach Tom Hilbert. “She's just a really good player. She does things other than just hit and block and pass. She makes little ball-handling plays and she's talking."

Rams dominated second set as well

The team's goal against Air Force was to have a good third game without a letdown, and they did it!

CSU dominated the second set as well, beating Air Force, 25-17. Sophomore Brieon Paige hit 1.000 during the set, recording four kills. Davisson hit well, too, with seven kills on nine attempts (.778).

Following an Air Force attacking error, the Rams won the deciding third set, 25-10. CSU had five team blocks during the set, including solo blocks by Cranston and junior setter Evan Sanders. Redshirt freshman outside hitter Michelle Smith recorded her first-career kill, helping the Rams achieve a hitting percentage of .259. The Falcons only managed to hit at -.026 for the set.

No letdown in third match

"In the third game we started to serve even tougher,” said Hilbert. “Air Force started to lose a little bit of spirit, I think. It was these guys' goal to have a good third game and not have a letdown, and they did it."

For the match, senior libero Audrey Hemmings notched 15 digs. Sanders had 10 digs along with 32 assists. Davisson had 10 kills and Minch recorded nine, hitting .364 and .333, respectively. Paige hit .556 in the match with six kills on nine attempts.

Return to Moby Nov. 24 and 26

The Colorado State volleyball team hits the court next at New Mexico Thursday. The Rams return to Moby Arena to take on Utah Nov. 24, and then BYU, Nov. 26, for Fan Appreciation Week.
 


November 5, 2010

Rams defeat Rebels in four sets

The Rams managed to defeat the Rebels in a four-set win, 25-14, 25-17, 22-25, 27-25, improving their winning streak to 12.

Tom Hilbert waves to the crowd after his record-breaking victory against UNLV on Nov. 4.

The win improves the Rams to a record of 21-2, 10-0 in the Mountain West, and sets the Rebels back to a 8-17 record, 3-8 in the Mountain West.

Hilbert makes history

Even more impressive was that Rams’ Tom Hilbert became the winningest head coach in CSU history, surpassing legendary basketball coach Jim Williams, with an astounding 353 victories at Colorado State.

Hilbert already holds the title as the school’s all-time leader in career victories by a volleyball coach, and reached his 500-win mark in 2009 in his 22nd year overall as a head coach.

“Getting that win, it’s nice to get past it,” said Hilbert. “It’s an honor to be mentioned in the same category as someone as Jim Williams.”

Great blocking, big cross-court kill

The Rams held the Rebels to a -.129 hitting percentage in the first set, making it difficult for UNLV to be effective at the net. CSU’s blocking didn’t help the Rebels’ cause, as they notched 10 block assists in the first set alone. A UNLV service error set the score at 18-12 in favor of the Rams, and a big block from setter Evan Sanders and Tori Brummett forced a Rebel timeout. Senior Danielle Minch finished off Set 1 with a big cross-court kill on the outside.

Minch’s big swings continued into the second set, as she earned the first and second kill of the set for CSU.  Junior Katelyn Steffan served up an ace mid-set, giving CSU a five-point lead. Right side hitter Dana Cranston then followed suit with an ace of her own. Shortly after, UNLV set Cranston up for a big kill off of an overpass, increasing the Rams’ lead to 20-12. Senior Emily Koenning entered the back row to serve for two points toward the end of the set, and Minch once again ended Set 2 with a kill.

“We blocked well in the first two games, and really had an impact on those games,” commented Hilbert. “It had an impact on what UNLV was doing offensively.”

Rebels didn't go down without a fight

Evan Sanders, setter for the Rams, had a big block in Set 1 against the Rebels.

But the Rebels weren’t going down without a fight, jumping out ahead in the third set with a 9-1 lead. CSU never managed to catch back up, and back-to-back service errors mid-set only hindered its attempts. UNLV hit .462 in the third set, over CSU’s .300.

UNLV continued fighting into the fourth set, and the Rams and Rebels remained neck and neck throughout the entire set. Brieon Paige entered the fourth set hitting a perfect 1.000, with seven kills, and ended the match with nine total kills. UNLV held a 10-7 lead mid-set, and Sanders and Minch both responded with kills, helping the Rams to tie the score at 11. A kill from Jacque Davisson put the Rams ahead 20-18, and a big block from Brummett and Sanders gave the Rams a decisive lead of 23-20, allowing them to go on to take the match, with a final score of 27-25.

Minch led the team with 17 kills, and libero Audrey Hemmings and Davisson both notched 11 digs. The team totaled 26 block assists.

Next up

The Rams are back in action in Moby on Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. against Air Force. The team then hits the road for three games at New Mexico, TCU, and Wyoming, returning to Moby Arena on Nov. 24 to face Utah, followed by the final regular season match Nov. 26 vs. BYU.