The games began with an intense back-and-forth pace, featuring 14 ties and 10 different lead changes.
However, it was when the scoreboard read 11-11 when the Rams began to make their presence felt, thanks to a 4-0 run, including back-to-back service aces from CSU.
The first set’s see-saw theme continued, eventually leading to a 21-20 Wyoming lead. However, the Rams continued their tenacious play, mustering up another 4-0 run to win the opening set 25-22.
Rams’ head coach Tom Hilbert says those types of closely contended sets are a positive thing for his club.
“It was really good to play that kind of a set and win it because we just need to understand that teams are going to play us well and we have to be the better end-game team.”
After a challenging first set, the Rams began to get into their groove, especially in the defensive and serving departments.
The Rams charged their way to a quick 18-4 lead in the second set, including a 13-1 run which was led by three service aces between two of the team’s outside hitters, freshman Adrianna Culbert, and Fort St. John’s senior, Dana Cranston, to eventually win the set 25-13.
Entering the final set of the game, the Rams kept their focus and intensity and jumped out to an early 19-8 lead over the Cowgirls, to go on to win the set 25-13.
Friday was a solid outing from the Rams, as the team’s attention to detail and execution resulted in the team only trailing once in the second and third set, 3-1 at the start of the third.
It was another solid outing for Cranston, who scored a game high 12 points, while also earning three spikes, eight kills, two service aces and one dig, among other impressive numbers on her stat line.
After the game, Cranston talked about the shift in momentum from the first and second set, and how the home crowd of 3,727 helped the Rams come out on top.
“We knew they ride on that emotion all they can and our crowd was a huge part of that tonight. I mean that was awesome that that many people were there, and once they get into a funk like that in front of a crowd like this, it’s really hard to come out of it. And we know that it’s going to be like that for us when we go there.”
With the win, the Rams earned their third straight victory in Mountain West play, with the team record now reading 10-1 when playing in front of their home crowd.
Last week, Cranston told Moose FM/Energetic City that this was a big game for her and her Rams, as not only was it the team’s homecoming game, but the Rams were looking for a little revenge following a loss to Wyoming last year, the first loss suffered under the 15 year reign of head coach Tom Hilbert.
With the emotional win under their belts, the Rams will clean off their hoofs and begin preparing for their third road trip of the season, traveling to Fresno State Thursday and UNLV Sunday.
For more information on the Rams, check out the team’s official website.