Nov 132003
 
Authors: Stephanie Lindberg

The CSU women’s volleyball team has the chance to do something

that has never been done before: finish the regular season

undefeated in conference play.

No Mountain West Conference volleyball team has finished

conference play undefeated since the conference was formed in 1999.

The Rams are 12-0 in conference play going into this weekend.

Excitement is in the air for the players. After not playing in

the Rams’ win against the University of Denver on Tuesday night,

junior libero Lindsey Kerr is ready to get back in on the

action.

“I’m excited about this weekend,” Kerr said. “We’re going to

take it one (game) at a time and not look over anyone. We’re intent

on winning the conference. We have a chance to do something pretty

awesome and we get to be at home.”

The Air Force Academy (13-13, 3-9) and University of New Mexico

(4-22, 1-11) are the only teams standing in the way.

AFA is on a four-game losing streak and UNM won its first

conference game last week before promptly losing to San Diego State

University on Saturday. Both teams lost in their previous matches

against CSU.

Sophomore outside hitter Dre Downs said the team has looked at

the past games against their opponents.

“You look back and see how you did and how you can do better

than last time,” Downs said.

CSU is armed with junior middle blocker Katie Jo Shirley, who

was named co-player of the week for the second time this season.

Shirley almost had her first career triple-double (kills, digs and

blocks) last week. She hit .548 with 19 kills, 12 digs and eight

blocks in four games against Wyoming.

Head coach Tom Hilbert said he sees the opponents in a slightly

different way this time around.

“This is the most excited I’ve been for Air Force and New Mexico

in a long time,” Hilbert said. “I think we’re outplaying our

expectations.”

The Falcons have lost 18 consecutive matches against CSU and

have lost four straight going into this weekend.

Senior outside hitter Delavane Diaz is hitting .302 with 30

kills, 19 more than any other player, but couldn’t save her team as

the Falcons lost to SDSU last weekend. The Falcons also lost to

University of Nevada- Las Vegas.

Air Force’s junior middle hitter, Lamecca Jefferson, hit a

double-double in the loss to SDSU with 11 kills and 11 digs.

Sophomore middle blocker Kristen Hamlett stepped up in the loss to

UNLV with 13 kills and five digs and a team best .346 hitting

percentage.

Several UNM players will look to stop the Rams on Saturday.

Senior outside hitter Anna Reines had 26 kills in the Lobos first

conference win against UNLV on Nov. 6. It was the first game the

Lobos had won since Sept. 6. Junior setter Monica Meihack had 52

assists and four service aces.

The team had 16 service aces in the win, a MWC season record,

but on Nov. 8 the Lobos lost to SDSU.

Hilbert said he doesn’t think the expectations and excitement

will affect the team too much.

“It’s good,” Hilbert said. “It gives us something to work

for.”

 

 

 

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