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STANFORD, Calif. — On a neutral court with much more at stake, Colorado State proved it was still big enough to block the path of Michigan.

The No. 23 Rams knocked the Wolverines out of the NCAA Tournament on Friday in four sets, 25-23, 23-25, 25-22, 26-24 to advance to the second round of the tournament for the first time in three years, and the first time on the road since 2011 in Hawaii.

The Rams (29-3) needed a big rally in the final set, down 24-21, but fought off three set points, then ran the streak to five points in a row to end the match against a team it swept at home in September.

“We’re that in tune in a lot of matches, but in a match of this level, it was really good,” CSU coach Tom Hilbert said. “I thought our blocking versus theirs was the difference in the match. They went after Sanja Cizmic a ton, but we did some nice things against their attack. I thought our blocking aggressiveness and our blocking plan was better than theirs.”

On a night filled with tight sets, Colorado State held one clear advantage, and that was blocking. The Rams finished with a 16-4 advantage in the area as Paulina Hougaard-Jensen led the way with nine total blocks, paired up well with her nine kills.

Colorado State hit .364 while limiting Michigan to a .267 clip.

Read the full story at ReporterHerald.com.

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