Lady Rams Hitting Hard

Sep 072003
Authors: Stephanie Lindberg

File under: Sports

The CSU women’s volleyball team is 4-2 after finishing tournament play over the weekend at the Coors Classic in Moby Arena.

After defeating Cal State-Northridge (2-3) and Seton Hall (4-2), the Rams fell in four games to No. 22 California (5-0) on Saturday night before a crowd of 1,375.

CSU players Katie Jo Shirley and Becky Sarauer both earned All-Tournament honors with Cal’s Mia Jerkov taking home the MVP award.

The Rams opened the tournament with a three game sweep of Cal State-Northridge, defeating the Matadors 30-19, 30-24 and 30-17.

Sophomore middle blocker, Andreya Downs, who missed last weekend’s tournament with a concussion, hit .364 against Northridge.

“It felt good (to be back),” Downs said. “It was fun to be back playing and smiling.”

CSU head coach Tom Hilbert was glad to have Downs back in the line up.

“I hope we get Dre back to form,” Hilbert said. “She was the best server in the conference last year.”

Sophomore outside hitter, Casey Bauer, also had a big game on Friday recording 14 kills and hitting .417.

Jeff Stork, the head coach of the Matadors, was impressed with CSU.

“If we’d played the best of nine, I don’t know if we’d have (beat CSU),” Stork said. “If we played them ten times, they’d probably win nine.”

Saturday morning’s Seton Hall match was a quick sweep before a small crowd of 363.

CSU handed Seton Hall their second loss on the year by the scores of 30-19, 30-23 and 30-19.

Only one member of Seton Hall’s team had a positive hitting percentage.

Shirley and Sarauer both had double figure kills and junior setter Melissa Courtney had three service aces.

The match against Cal went to four games before Cal finally defeated the Rams.

After losing the first game 30-19, the Rams won game two 30-26. Games three and four went to Cal 30-25 and 30-26. The Rams lead by as many as three points several times, but were unable to capitalize on those leads.

Match point in game four was decided by a net violation called on Shirley.

Cal’s head coach, Rich Feller, was impressed by the tough play of CSU. It was Feller’s first time back in Moby after coaching the Rams for 14 seasons.

“Now that it’s over I can say it’s great to be back in Moby Gym,” Feller said. “It was a battle and I expected nothing less.”

CSU felt one thing setting them back in the match was the serving ability of Cal, who as a team scored 10 service aces.

“I think their serves disrupted us a lot,” Sarauer said. “We should have stepped up and refocused and we didn’t.”

Feller acknowledged Cal’s serving as one of the team’s strong points.

“The two things we pride ourselves on are blocking and serving,” Feller said.

Despite the loss, Hilbert had some positive things to say.

“We competed well tonight against a team that’s going to be in the top half of the Pac-10,” Hilbert said. “We have to learn from it and say ‘Okay, this made us a better team’, and I believe it will.”

The Rams return to Moby Tuesday at 7 p.m. for an interstate match against CU.

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