Webster’s Dictionary defines perfect as complete in all respects
or excellent, as in skill or quality. It is also the word that best
describes the CSU women’s volleyball team.
After wins at San Diego State University on Thursday and
University of Nevada-Las Vegas on Saturday, the No. 16 Rams
remained undefeated in conference play.
Saturday night in Las Vegas, the Rams (20-4, 11-0 Mountain West
Conference) defeated the UNLV Rebels (10-12, 3-7) in four games by
scores of 32-30, 30-27, 26-30 and 30-28.
“We’re competing well at critical times, although we’re playing
kind of flat,” said head coach Tom Hilbert in a news release. “I’m
happy to get two wins on the road trip because this is a hard one.
We get to come back home for two weeks and we hope to improve our
Junior middle blocker Katie Jo Shirley led the team by hitting
.656 with a career-high 23 kills. Junior outside hitter Becky
Sarauer and sophomore outside hitter Tess Rogers both had 15 kills
and junior middle blocker Bri Frech added 13.
It was the fourth straight match in which the Rams had four
players record double figures in kills.
As a team, the Rams had nine service aces. Junior setter Melissa
Courtney had four service aces to lead the team.
“Katie Jo was very good tonight,” Hilbert said. “She was the
go-to (player) for us tonight and really played with maturity.”
Senior outside hitter Patricia Assuncao led UNLV with 20 kills
for the Rebels. Leiana Oswald and Sheila Ocasio-Clemente had 14 and
10 kills respectively.
“UNLV played really low-error tonight,” Hilbert said. “We
weren’t very on in blocking in this match.”
In Thursday night’s match against the Aztecs in San Diego, the
Rams pulled out a five-game battle, their first such challenge in
conference play this season, by scores of 20-30, 30-27, 30-27,
28-30 and 15-12.
Sarauer led all players with 20 kills and was one of five Rams
in double figures in kills. Sophomore outside hitter Casey Bauer
notched a career-high 15 kills, Shirley added 14 kills and junior
middle blocker Bri Frech and sophomore right side hitter Dre Downs
had 12 and 10, respectively.
“We struggled with our serving and passing at the beginning of
the match,” Hilbert said. “Dre and Becky stepped it up in game five
when we really needed it.”
In game five and trailing 9-6, the Rams got three straight kills
– from Shirley, Courtney and Sarauer – to knot the score at 9-9.
Then, trailing 11-10, Sarauer got consecutive kills to take the
12-11 lead when San Diego State called for a break. Downs then
recorded back-to-back kills for a 14-11 advantage when the Aztecs
used their final timeout. Kara Moriarty, who had 16 kills for the
Aztecs, got a kill to cut the Rams’ lead to 14-12, before the
Aztecs committed a service error leading to the Rams’ 15-12
The Rams return home to battle Wyoming in the second edition of
the Border War at 7 p.m. on Friday.