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Friday December 5, 2008Seniors Lead Colorado State Past FIU

Gainesville, FL

Seniors Mekana Barnes and Jaime Strauss combined for 33 kills, nine digs and 37.5 points on Friday to help lead Colorado State to a 3-1 (25-22, 21-25, 25-22, 25-19) win against Florida International in the first round of the NCAA Tournament held at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center.


The Rams (23-6), who are making their 14th consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance, out-blocked the Golden Panthers (28-7) 12.0-8.0 and out-hit them .304-.180. Barnes and Strauss were two of four Colorado State players who hit better than .300 in the match.


Senior setter Ashley Fornstrom dished out a match-high 52 assists to complement six digs and four kills on .429 hitting, while redshirt freshman right-side hitter Katelyn Steffan posted six blocks in the match.  


FlU, which set a school record for wins this season with 28, was led by junior outside hitter Yarimar Rosa’s match-high 22 kills on .312 hitting with 13 digs for a match-high 24.5 points.  


Colorado State, which snapped a three-match losing streak with its victory against the Golden Panthers, improves to 18-19 all-time in NCAA Tournament play and the Rams have now advanced past the tournament’s first round 14 times in school history.


Colorado State returns to action on Saturday when it plays the winner of the Florida-Florida A&M match, which will be contested at 7:30 p.m. EST Friday. Saturday’s opening serve is slated for 7:30 p.m. in the Stephen C. O’Connell Center and the match will be carried live on GatorVision Online.



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