Rams take Border War II

Nov 092003
Authors: Katrice Thomas

Over 2,000 fans filed into Moby Arena to watch the sequel of the

Mountain West Border War. The match was filled with drama and

intensity, as the 15th ranked Rams sent the Cowgirls home with

another heartbreaking loss (30-17, 24-30, 30-21, 30-19).

“We can play with teams like CSU, and we showed a glimpse of

that tonight,” said Wyoming head coach Jim Barnes. “But we weren’t

consistent enough to win.”

The Rams were very consistent in game one and their

determination stifled the Cowgirls. Early in the match the ladies

put up nine straight points and put Wyoming at a 3-11 deficit.

“We let game one get away at the start,” Barnes said. “That gave

them confidence, but in game two we got into the game plan, and it

came together.”

The Cowgirls started game two with vengeance and the intensity

propelled them to new heights. A height that had Rams fans on edge.

After tying the game at 10-10 the Cowgirls went on an attack spree

of their own. The Rams kept battling back, but Wyoming’s Andrea

Seele, who had a team-high 10 kills, wasn’t about to let history

repeat itself.

“We can’t expect to drill teams and not put any effort into it,”

said head coach Tom Hilbert. “Wyoming is very good, they are real

competitive and well coached.”

Wyoming lived up to their qualifications, which left the Rams’

fans worried. But CSU planned for this night to end their way.

“I was never really worried,” said setter Melissa Courtney who

had six kills and 56 assists.

Sophomore outside hitter Andreya Downs, who had 10 kills in the

win, said the Rams just needed to regain their focus.

“We just had to reunite, realize our strengths and weaknesses,

and execute the simple skills,” Downs said. “That’s when you


The Rams turned the tables back in their favor, but the Cowgirls

never quite went away until game four when Courtney sealed the deal

and ended the game at 30-19.

“I think that we may have gotten a little overconfident, but

they also played well,” Courtney said. “We just needed to focus,

they’re not going to hand it to us.”

Along with her teammates, middle blocker Katie Jo Shirley proved

that she wasn’t going to back down from any challenge by tallying

19 kills.

“Competition is going to be a lot harder,” Shirley said, whose

team approaches the end of the season.

Junior transfer Kimi Foytich and freshman Kristen Karlik who saw

her first conference action at libero, both got in on the action

with career-high 11 digs. Even though the Rams still have two

conference games remaining, they have clenched at least a share of

the Mountain West title.

“The key is to focus on one match, and one game at a time,”

Hilbert said. “There is no science to it, they’ve got to continue

to perform well and improve.”

The Border War might be over but the combat continues. The Rams

travel to Denver to play the University of Denver on Tuesday night

and return to conference play Friday night at Moby against the Air

Force Falcons.




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