Oct 172004
 
Authors: Stephanie Lindberg

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

on Saturday.

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

back.

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

that block.”

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

hitting percentage.

“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

it away.”

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

10 digs.

“Erica Lott is going to be a great player in this league,”

Hilbert said.

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.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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