The Rams graced the court this weekend, with visions of a
conference championship twinkling in their eyes. That vision became
a reality as the 15th ranked Rams (24-4, 14-0 Mountain West) were
crowned conference champions at the mercy of the Air Force Falcons
and the New Mexico Lobos.
CSU’s women’s volleyball team went into the weekend with their
boxing gloves on, and walked away with smiles as bright as the belt
of a heavyweight champion. They delivered two devastating knockout
blows, one to the Falcons (13-14, 3-10) on Friday night 30-24,
30-19, 30-12, and another to New Mexico (4-24, 1-13) on Saturday
night, 30-11, 30-19, 30-18. Shortly after the win the 2004 MWC
champion Rams celebrated with their 2,230 fans at Moby arena.
“At the beginning of the season this seemed so far away,” said
setter Melissa Courtney. “But now it’s here, and it still hasn’t
set in yet, it’s still hard to believe.”
With the wins the Rams are the first team in the MWC to complete
the regular, conference season undefeated. But according to the
team, the task seemed attainable early in the season.
“This was our goal since the beginning,” said Casey Bauer who
had seven kills against the Lobos.
Becky Sarauer and Katie Jo Shirley also had seven kills each
against the Lobos.
“I felt like I could set anyone,” Courtney said. “Everyone was
All eyes were on the Rams Saturday as they dared to dream of
places that no team before them had gone. But more important than
the dream, was the plan executed on the journey to the Rams fourth
consecutive conference championship.
“Everyone played very well and we executed our game plan” said
head coach Tom Hilbert. “I am proud of the players.”
Junior middle blocker Bri Frech led the Rams Saturday with eight
kills and a career-high seven aces.
“I just got my serve on tonight,” Frech said.
It was Frech and CSU’s tough defense that ensured the Rams a
spot in history. Courtney led the team with eight digs and Shirley
led all players with five blocks. New Mexico sophomore middle
blocker Chelsea Sondrup led the Lobos with five kills, while the
Rams held Lobo sensation Anna Reines to only four kills.
Against Air Force Tess Rogers led the Rams with eight kills, and
Andreya Downs hit .600. Frech tied her career-high with 10 blocks,
and Courtney had four aces and served 10 straight points in the
second game. Senior outside hitter Delanave Diaz led Air Force with
nine kills, and senior defensive specialist Brittany Edmonds led
all players with eight digs.
The Rams started the season at the base of the mountain with
eight other teams. No matter how high the mountain seemed in the
beginning the Rams continued to climb and fight off others who
attempted to take their spot at the top. The last fight for the
Rams was this weekend, but the journey for the Rams is far from
“We can celebrate now, but we still have to be ready to play
well,” Frech said.
The Rams now look to the conference tournament for their next
“No one has ever won the regular season and tournament
championship,” Courtney said.
The No. 1-seeded Rams will attempt to be the first school in the
conference to do so. No. 8 New Mexico and Colorado State face each
other in the first round of the Mountain West Conference
Championship Tournament at San Diego State on Thursday at 5