Despite facing an opponent the players weren’t sure about, the
Rams volleyball team had little trouble in defeating the Denver
Pioneers in three games Tuesday night, 30-20, 30-21 and 30-20.
“We got an old tape from them,” said junior outside hitter Casey
Bauer. “We didn’t know if they were doing anything different and
After being out-blocked in the first game 6.5 to 4, the No. 9
Rams (17-2, 8-1 Mountain West Conference) were more consistent with
blocking in games two and three, finishing the night with 15 blocks
compared to DU’s 8.5.
This display of blocking helped limit the Pioneers (10-11. 4-5
Sun Belt Conference) to a meager .093 hitting percentage. Senior
setter Melissa Courtney, who had a season-high six blocks,
including one solo stop, was grateful for the win.
“I think our blocking was definitely better (after game one),”
Courtney said. “(The game) definitely was good for us. It gave us
an extra W, which is nice.”
Junior outside hitter Tess Rogers led the Rams’ attack with 14
kills. Bauer added 11 kills and tied a career high with two solo
blocks. Senior middle blockers Katie Jo Shirley-Cahoon and Bri
Frech both had nine kills.
“This was a good match for us because we stayed consistent and
we were experimenting a little,” said CSU head coach Tom Hilbert.
“I felt like Casey (Bauer) played a great game tonight. She and
Katie Jo just weren’t hitting out of bounds.”
The passing game was on task and Courtney recorded 46 assists
and 10 digs in her sixth double-double of the year.
“Our team continues to pass well,” Hilbert said. “We’re passing
so well that we can side out against a team like DU.”
Game one seemed to lack energy as it was mostly back-and-forth
until the Rams started to pull away at 19-11.
“I think we were playing with lower energy in game one,” Hilbert
While DU junior right-side hitter Amanda Millard recorded eight
kills through the first two games, the Rams tried to silence her in
game three. Millard finished with a team best 13 kills, hitting
.219 for the match. Freshman middle blocker Kim Muller had six
kills and just one error on the night.
Sophomore setter Shannon Parker earned accolades from Hilbert
even though the hitters were not killing with her sets.
“I think they do have pretty good setting,” Hilbert said. “She
(Parker) really is quite good.”
CSU turned up the heat in game three, scoring the first five
points of the match, giving up one point and running the score up
“(We wanted to) have fun and find that spark,” Courtney said.
“Finding that spark even when we’re not playing a BYU or a
That spark might be needed this weekend as the Rams host San
Diego State (3-18, 3-5) and UNLV (11-7, 5-3) at home at 7 p.m. in
Moby Arena Friday and Saturday nights, respectively.