For the first time since 1982, the lady Ram volleyball team is 1-3, after losing to the Denver Pioneers in four games Tuesday night.
Denver was led by senior Amanda Millard, who had a game-high 18 kills in the 30-23, 30-27, 27-30, 30-27 series. Holly Benson added 13 and Lisa Hunter chipped in 12. Senior libero Sarah Adamis led the match with 17 digs, while middle blocker Alyta Baris led all players with nine blocks.
The Rams were paced by senior Dre Downs, who notched 18 kills on the night. Senior Casey Bauer was close behind with 16. Freshman setter Ashley Fornstrom , in her first career start, tallied 29 assists as she played in the first two games of the night. Katherine Whitney came in to play games three and four and recorded 31 assists to finish up the match.
The Rams in the past couple games have had a hard time with unforced errors and controlling the ball, which has seemed to bring them down.
"Every player on the team is in a new role on the team, including the seniors," head coach Tom Hilbert said. "The entire team is uncomfortable in a lot of situations, which is not something we are used to. This is just something we will have to get used to."
The Rams will make their first home appearance of the year this weekend as they host the Hilton Classic. Traditionally the Rams start their season at home, this being one of the first years in recent history that they haven't played their first game in the friendly confines of Moby Arena.
"Being at home with a large crowd will help us a lot," Hilbert said. "It should make us feel more comfortable and help us play better."
With the Rams starting the season the way they did, they are now in a big hurry to fix the problems that need to be addressed, and get back to their winning ways.
"Our team chemistry off the court is great," said sophomore Tonya Mokelki. "We just need to get the flow of each other and the rest will come."
"Our team wants to get back to last year all of a sudden," Hilbert said. "This is not going to change by this weekend, it's going to take time."
The Hilton Classic brings UC Irvine, Oregon State and Virginia Tech to Moby.
The Rams play Friday at 7 p.m., and then follow it with a double header on Saturday with games at noon and 7 p.m.