Rams remain perfect

Nov 022003
Authors: Stephanie Lindberg

Webster’s Dictionary defines perfect as complete in all respects

or excellent, as in skill or quality. It is also the word that best

describes the CSU women’s volleyball team.

After wins at San Diego State University on Thursday and

University of Nevada-Las Vegas on Saturday, the No. 16 Rams

remained undefeated in conference play.

Saturday night in Las Vegas, the Rams (20-4, 11-0 Mountain West

Conference) defeated the UNLV Rebels (10-12, 3-7) in four games by

scores of 32-30, 30-27, 26-30 and 30-28.

“We’re competing well at critical times, although we’re playing

kind of flat,” said head coach Tom Hilbert in a news release. “I’m

happy to get two wins on the road trip because this is a hard one.

We get to come back home for two weeks and we hope to improve our


Junior middle blocker Katie Jo Shirley led the team by hitting

.656 with a career-high 23 kills. Junior outside hitter Becky

Sarauer and sophomore outside hitter Tess Rogers both had 15 kills

and junior middle blocker Bri Frech added 13.

It was the fourth straight match in which the Rams had four

players record double figures in kills.

As a team, the Rams had nine service aces. Junior setter Melissa

Courtney had four service aces to lead the team.

“Katie Jo was very good tonight,” Hilbert said. “She was the

go-to (player) for us tonight and really played with maturity.”

Senior outside hitter Patricia Assuncao led UNLV with 20 kills

for the Rebels. Leiana Oswald and Sheila Ocasio-Clemente had 14 and

10 kills respectively.

“UNLV played really low-error tonight,” Hilbert said. “We

weren’t very on in blocking in this match.”

In Thursday night’s match against the Aztecs in San Diego, the

Rams pulled out a five-game battle, their first such challenge in

conference play this season, by scores of 20-30, 30-27, 30-27,

28-30 and 15-12.

Sarauer led all players with 20 kills and was one of five Rams

in double figures in kills. Sophomore outside hitter Casey Bauer

notched a career-high 15 kills, Shirley added 14 kills and junior

middle blocker Bri Frech and sophomore right side hitter Dre Downs

had 12 and 10, respectively.

“We struggled with our serving and passing at the beginning of

the match,” Hilbert said. “Dre and Becky stepped it up in game five

when we really needed it.”

In game five and trailing 9-6, the Rams got three straight kills

– from Shirley, Courtney and Sarauer – to knot the score at 9-9.

Then, trailing 11-10, Sarauer got consecutive kills to take the

12-11 lead when San Diego State called for a break. Downs then

recorded back-to-back kills for a 14-11 advantage when the Aztecs

used their final timeout. Kara Moriarty, who had 16 kills for the

Aztecs, got a kill to cut the Rams’ lead to 14-12, before the

Aztecs committed a service error leading to the Rams’ 15-12


The Rams return home to battle Wyoming in the second edition of

the Border War at 7 p.m. on Friday.




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