Two streaks died Friday night when the No. 7 CSU women’s
volleyball team fell in four games to No. 18 Utah (30-27, 21-30,
35-37, 26-30), but a new streak began with a win over Brigham Young
The Rams (14-2, 6-1) beat Utah (15-2, 7-0) at Moby Arena 19
straight times in past years. Going into Friday’s match, the Rams
had won their last 13 games.
“I’m not sure it’s sunk in yet because we’ve played some very
good matches here over the years and not won,” said 15-year Utah
head coach Beth Launiere.
In game one, the Rams fought off the Utes by hitting 15 kills
and holding the Utes to just six. But Utah had six team blocks and
the Utes won the match on defense. Service errors also played a
large part in the loss, with the Rams hitting 16 on the night
compared to nine by Utah.
Starting off in a 3-0 hole at the beginning of game three, the
Rams had to play catch-up for most of the game.
CSU eventually tied the game at 13 and again at 16, getting its
first lead at 17-16, but the team was unable to close it out.
“The third game I thought we were going to win,” said senior
middle blocker Katie Jo Shirley-Cahoon.
The Rams tied the score 16 times in game three and served match
point three times, but the Utes took the match and didn’t look
Shirley-Cahoon had a season-high of 18 kills and sophomore
libero Kristen Karlik had a career high of 20 digs.
“They’re a good team,” Shirley-Cahoon said. “We could have done
a few things differently. We need to be more prepared for digging
Karlik thought the team was ready to close out a close game such
as game three.
“I think we’re a mature enough team to play those games so I
don’t think that’s a factor,” Karlik said.
The Utes were led by sophomore middle blocker Amie Toone, who
had one solo and 10 block assists while her sister, freshman
outside hitter Emillie Toone, had one solo and seven assists.
Junior outside hitter Shelly Summerfeldt had 16 kills and senior
middle blocker Lyndsey Henderson led all players with a .480
“They blocked us very effectively,” said CSU head coach Tom
Hilbert. “We got a little disrupted. We’re a better team than we
showed tonight. We passed good enough to win we just couldn’t put
Although the players were dismayed by the loss, they knew what
they had to do next.
“We need to put this game behind us,” Karlik said.
That’s just what they did Saturday night against BYU.
BYU was coming in off a shocking loss of its own, having lost in
Wyoming Friday night.
The Rams started off the match with the lead and kept at it for
most of the match.
Despite BYU leading Utah slightly in blocking, the Rams had
little trouble going for the kill and even out-blocked the Cougars
10-6 while hitting .390.
“You learn from your losses and I think we did that,” said
junior outside hitter Tess Rogers, who had 15 kills and hit .737.
“It’s the only way to turn a negative into a positive. I think it
also shows the maturity of our team.”
The Rams were led by Rogers, who also had two solo blocks, and
junior right side hitter Dre Downs, who had nine kills. Senior
setter Melissa Courtney had her fifth double-double of the year
with 38 assists and 10 digs.
“I think it’s great to win this match,” Hilbert said. “BYU’s not
going to disrupt us as well as Utah and if (Rogers) can find those
holes (in Utah’s defense) she has a chance to get kills. I thought
our serving was better and our outside hitting was better.”
Freshman Erica Lott had 13 kills to lead the Cougars offense,
while four other players hit at least 10, including junior setter
Lauren Richards and junior outside hitter Kim Wilson, who both had
“Erica Lott is going to be a great player in this league,”
Finishing out the first half of conference play in second place
behind Utah, the team is looking forward to the second half, which
begins Friday on the road against New Mexico at 7 p.m.