The CSU women’s volleyball team began conference play this
weekend by defeating both the University of Utah and Brigham Young
University in Utah.
The Rams (11-4, 2-0 Mountain West) lengthened their winning
streak to four matches by defeating BYU Friday night in three games
and pulling off a four game win over Utah on Saturday.
The two conference wins put the Rams in first place in the
Mountain West Conference.
The juniors were on parade for the Rams Friday night against BYU
(9-4, 1-1 MWC), winning the first two games 30-20 and game three
30-26. Juniors Katie Jo Shirley and Becky Sarauer led the team with
16 kills each, while juniors Bri
Frech and Lindsey Kerr both had 11 digs. Junior setter Melissa
Courtney tied a career-high mark with two solo blocks, the second
time in three matches.
“We blocked really well from the beginning of the match,” said
head coach Tom Hilbert. “That helped give us the momentum early and
I was very pleased with that.”
While hitting .313 as a team, the Rams held the Cougars to a
.123 hitting percentage. CSU also had more blocks and digs than
BYU’s top players were sophomore outside hitter Kimberly Wilson,
senior Uila Crabbe and sophomore setter Lauren Richards. Wilson had
a team best seven kills while Crabbe and Richards lead the team in
digs with 10 a piece.
Utah (6-7, 1-1) entered the season as the favorite to win the
MWC but have had a puzzling season.
CSU defeated Utah in four games, forcing the Utes to hit a
season low .103 while the Rams hit .269.
Utah sophomore Danielle Leichliter led the team with 13 kills
while three other players had 12 kills each.
Shirley had 15 kills for the Rams and three other Rams had nine
“CSU is playing very well,” said Utah head coach Beth Launiere.
“They’re quick, athletic and they served very well. We played good
volleyball at times, we just need to sustain it. We actually played
well a lot of the time. We just got in slumps where we let them
score too many points in a row.”
During game one the Rams went on a 10-3 run to take a 13-6 lead.
While the Utes tried to come back and tied the game at 20, the Rams
closed out the game 30-25.
In game two the Rams sprang out to a 7-2 lead and the Utes again
played catch up, tying the score at 25 and 26 before falling
With the match on the line, Utah kept game three close and won
Game four started close until the Rams scored seven straight
points to take a 12-7 lead. CSU ran out their lead and didn’t look
back, winning game four 30-15.
“I’m so happy right now and so proud of our team,” Hilbert said.
“We had a little let down in game three but we played well at the
end of every single game. In the fourth game I asked the team to do
more blocking and defense and they stepped it up.”