Putting the wraps on a weekend worth smiling about:
Volleyball – In our bottom-line world, it’s important to note right off the top that the season is over. The Rams’ glorious run through the 2010 campaign ended Saturday night in a three-game loss to second-ranked (and host) Stanford in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The Rams fought valiantly in the opening set, losing 28-26, before succumbing 25-13, 25-15 in the final two sets.
Prior to that, however, came a performance that has to stand as one of the more memorable in recent CSU athletics history. The 17th-ranked Rams, playing No. 24 Cal State Fullerton in the first round of the NCAAs, fell behind 2-0 after the first two sets and looked to be finished. The Titans, who came into the tournament with a veteran squad that had dominated its competition over the past month, looked invincible in the first two games. No matter what the Rams tried, Fullerton seemed to have the right answer.
After a 10-minute intermission, however, the Rams simply took over, rolling to a 19-25, 20-25, 25-12, 25-21, 15-12 win. It was CSU’s first rally from a 2-0 deficit in four years, and it was a thing of beauty as pretty much every Ram contributed to the historic comeback. The star of the show, however, was sophomore middle blocker Megan Plourde, who put together a performance for the ages with a school-record 19 blocks and a career-best 20 kills.
The loss to Stanford ended the careers of seniors Danielle Minch, Jacque Davisson, Audrey Hemmings and Emily Koenning.
Men’s basketball – The Rams avenged a humiliating 23-point loss at Fresno State last year by beating the Bulldogs 87-74 on Saturday to improve to 4-1 – their best start under fourth-year coach Tim Miles. Andy Ogide, who is third in the Mountain West Conference in scoring (17.6) and rebounding (8.2) had his ninth career double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Rams. Ogide, a senior forward/center, is leading the MWC in field-goal percentage, making 70.4 percent of his shots.
Next up – The Rams face their biggest test of the season at 8 p.m. Wednesday when they take on rival Colorado (4-3) at Coors Events Center in Boulder. The Rams beat the Buffs last year in Fort Collins, and this year’s game figures to be a great battle with both schools fielding talented, veteran squads. The game is part of a women’s-men’s doubleheader, with the CSU women (5-2) taking on the CU women (6-2) at 5:30 p.m.