Laramie, Wyo. – In the first installment of the CSU vs. Wyoming
Border War the Rams took the Cowgirls to the slaughterhouse in a
quick 30-25, 30-18, 30-20 three-game sweep.
Playing in front of the usual hostile Wyoming crowd at
Arena-Auditorium the Rams (14-4, 5-0 Mountain West Conference) came
out firing and the Cowgirls (13-7, 2-3) could not stop the Rams’
The win marked the third consecutive conference road victory for
the Rams, who came into the match ranked 22nd nationally, and left
Wyoming coach Jim
Barnes disappointed in his team’s defensive effort.
“We just didn’t have it tonight,” Barnes said. “We prepared
well, thought we were ready and came in No. 1 in the conference in
defense, but tonight we looked like we were last. Defense didn’t
show up, CSU did and was very aggressive.”
Sophomore outside hitter Tess Rodgers led the Rams’ attack,
pounding 13 kills in 16 swings with an error to notch a .750
hitting percentage – ninth best in school history. Junior outside
hitter Becky Sarauer also pegged double figures in kills with 12
and junior middle blocker Katie Jo Shirley hit .692 (9-0-13) on the
Junior setter Melissa Courtney tallied a match-high eight digs
and also tied her career high with five service aces in the match.
Junior middle blocker Bri Frech led all players with six blocks in
the three games.
“We played very mature tonight,” said head coach Tom Hilbert.
“Tess was unbelievable for us tonight and every one on the team
passed the ball exceptionally well. We knew this was going to be a
tough place to play in and we came in focused and ready.”
Wyoming middle blocker Leah Powers led the Cowgirls with 10
kills, while middle blocker Jill Roslund hit a team-best .545
The Rams hit .396 for the match and had nine service aces, while
missing just six serves. They also had seven blocks and held the
Cowgirls to a .188 hitting efficiency.
With Wyoming fans hootin’ and hollerin’ the Rams showed poise in
game one, scoring the first four points off a pair of blocks by Dre
Downs and Frech and a service ace from Courtney. Wyoming scored the
next two points to make it 4-2, but never got closer as the Rams
took the game with relative ease.
In game two with a 12-7 advantage, the Rams scored five straight
behind the tough serving of Courtney. Frech had two kills during
the stretch and Courtney had her third ace of the night en route to
the 30-18 win.
Game three started much the same as the other two, with the Rams
up 4-1 early. Trailing 19-11, Wyoming put together its second
three-point run of the evening, getting a kill by Roslund and an
ace serve from Vanessa Latimer to pull within five, 19-14, but she
missed the next serve to end the rally. The Rams took over from
there and took the match 30-20, sending a subtle Wyoming crowd home
CSU looks for its fourth and fifth consecutive conference road
victories this week when the team travels to Albuquerque, N.M., to
face New Mexico Friday and to Colorado Springs to play Air Force on