Oct 092005
 
Authors: Paul Baker

The Rams came into Homecoming weekend on a high, winning their last eight matches, but No. 16 BYU derailed CSU's hope of having an undefeated home record.

The Rams put up a great effort in the first two games against BYU, yet came up a few points short as they lost in three games 32-30, 32-30, 30-26.

"We have to be two to three points better," head coach Tom Hilbert said. "BYU only had seven unforced errors, which is a sign of an extremely mature team."

The Cougars were led by outside hitter Chelsea Goodman who had a game-high 14 kills and 10 digs, and middle blocker Erica Lott who had 11 kills.

The Rams' leadership came from their three seniors. Outside hitter Tess Rogers had a team-high 13 kills, while outside hitter Casey Bauer had 10 kills to go with 11 digs. Middle blocker Dre downs had another good night blocking as she recorded eight blocks.

"There were times where we competed and times that we needed to push harder," Bauer said of the loss. "Its frustrating, we were right there in all three games."

The Cougars stayed undefeated on the season as their record is now at 12-0, and 5-0 in the Mountain West Conference.

The Rams had to get the loss to BYU out of their heads fast, considering they had to take on Utah Sunday afternoon.

As in any game against the Utes, the Rams had to fight right to the end, but they came out on top in five games: 24-30, 30-21, 30-18, 21-30, 15-11.

"Any time that you can win a five-game match is huge, its very important to your team," junior libero Katherine Whitney said.

The Rams came out in game one and looked flat. CSU's outside hitters were missing shots and ball handling wasn't going the way they wanted, but that quickly changed in games two and three.

In the middle two games, the Rams showed how their offense works if done right. Their passing was precise and the outside hitters were hitting their marks.

"If we're passing the ball well it's hard to stop us. If were not, then it is easier to read us and see where we are going with it," Whitney said.

Whitney recorded a career-high at CSU in digs, with 22.

The Rams had another great day blocking the other team as they stopped the Utes' hitters in games two, three and five.

"At points we blocked the ball as best as any team that I have ever coached," Hilbert said.

Downs became the 12th player in school history to record double figure blocks as she had 11 on the night to go with 14 kills. She now has recorded at least seven kills in every conference match.

The Rams were very balanced from the offensive stand point, as they had four people notch double figure kills. Rogers had a match-high 21 kills, Bauer had 16 kills, while sophomore right side hitter Tonya Mokelki had 12 on the night.

Bauer has now had double digit kills in the last eight games, while Rogers has done it in the last seven games.

"It was a fun match for everyone involved tonight," Hilbert said. "I thought it was a break through match for Tess. We always teach our outsides to swing away, and she finally stopped trying to slice the ball around the blocks and just hit it."

The Rams now at 10-4 on the season and 4-1 in conference, will take a break from MWC play for a week and host Texas Tech Saturday. Match time is set for 1 p.m at Moby.

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