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For the second time this season, the No. 23 Colorado State volleyball team defeated a Big Ten team as the Rams defeated Michigan, 3-1. The Rams took the Wolverines to four sets in the first round of the NCAA Tournament and advanced to the second round for the 14th time in program history and the 13th time under Head Coach Tom Hilbert. CSU will face host No. 3 Stanford Saturday night at 7 p.m. MT on the Pac-12 Network – Bay Area.

The Rams recorded 16 blocks in the victory, to reach double-digit stuffs for the 16th time this season, led by Paulina Hougaard-Jensen who tallied nine on the night. Sanja Cizmic followed with a career-high seven blocks, while Kirstie Hillyer added six.

“Michigan didn’t know who she was since she didn’t play against them earlier this season,” Hilbert said of Hillyer. “They can see her on film, but they won’t know exactly who she is until they play against her. She did a really good job tonight consistently hitting to gaps that were open. I thought a lot of people played well, but Kirstie was very good.

Hillyer and Jasmine Hanna led the offense with 13 kills apiece as Hanna recorded her 20th match of the season reaching double figure kills and Breanna Runnels also contributed 12 kills. Katie Oleksak primed the offense, dishing out 51 assists in the win, while Amanda Young had a career-high 26 digs.

“It was awesome that Sanja Cizmic and Jasmine Hanna had great nights and I know they’ll both have successful tournaments because it is their last time playing and you saw that tonight,” Oleksak said of the seniors.

Colorado State started the first set with three-straight points and built its lead to 13-8 before holding a 15-10 advantage at the media timeout. Michigan didn’t let the match get out of control, pulling within one point late before tying the set 23-23 to force CSU to take a timeout. Following the timeout, the Rams set off back-to-back kills from Jasmine Hanna to take the set, 25-23.

The Rams again started the second frame off with a lead, this time at 4-0 before the Wolverines score their first point. Michigan fought back and locked the set up at 7-all before both teams traded points through the heart of the frame. CSU led the set at the media break at 15-13 before Michigan went on a 6-2 run to lead 19-17 late. The Rams tied it up at 22-22, but the Wolverines finish the set 25-23.

Following the break, the Wolverines led 5-3, but the Rams fired off three-straight points to take a one-point lead. The Rams added to their lead and led 15-11 at the media timeout. CSU went on to lead the frame down the stretch to take a 2-1 match lead, despite Michigan coming within two points at 21-19.

In the final set, both teams battled as there was 17 tied scores and seven lead changes. Neither team led by more than two points the entire set. The frame was tied 19-19 before Michigan raddled off three-straight points to take a 22-19 advantage. Four points later, the Wolverines had set point at 24-21 and it look as if the match was going to go five sets – but that wasn’t the case. Sanja Cizmic started the comeback with a kill before Michigan made an attack error and called a timeout. Out of the break, Michigan again committed an error to tie the set, 24-24. The Wolverines called their final timeout, but not before Colorado State took the lead at 25-24 via a kill from Jasmine Hanna. The final point came on an error by Michigan and gave the Rams the set and match, 26-24 to complete a five-point run.