How sweet it is: Rams advance with thrilling win over CU

NCAA Volleyball Tournament at Colorado State UniversityThe CSU volleyball team – thanks to one of the greatest performances area fans have ever seen – is the doorstep of history.

The Rams (30-2) beat Colorado (20-14) on Saturday in the second round of the NCAA Tournament in front of a raucous crowd of 6,011 at Moby Arena in a pulsating match that went the distance – and then some.

CSU jumped out to a two-set lead, only to see CU win the next two to set up a decisive fifth set. The Rams faced match point at 14-13 before ripping off three consecutive points to finally seal a 25-22, 25-21, 23-25, 24-26, 16-14 win over the rival Buffs.

‘Greatest match’

“This was a fantastic match in front of an unbelievable crowd in a great venue,” coach Tom Hilbert said. “This has been the happiest and greatest match I have been a part of in 18 years here at CSU.”

Senior Marlee Reynolds, playing her final match at Moby, had perhaps her finest performance as a Ram with 18 kills on .364 hitting. Four other Rams finished with 10 or more kills in the nearly three-hour match.

“It’s just incredible,” Reynolds said. “That fifth set, I was looking around and … it was awesome. Just seeing Moby packed like that, they’re the reason we won this game. They were behind us 110 percent. It was incredible.”

Next stop: Minnesota

As a result, CSU will be making its 10th appearance in the Sweet 16 when they travel to Minneapolis to face No. 2 seed Texas on Friday. The Rams, making their 20th consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance, have never advanced to the final eight teams.