Dec 042003
 
Authors: Stephanie Lindberg

The postseason has arrived.

Though the CSU football team will not play its final game until

Dec. 31, the women’s volleyball team will begin NCAA Tournament

play today at 3:30 p.m.

CSU travels to the University of Maryland to face George Mason

University (16-12) in the first round of the Women’s Volleyball

Division I National Championships.

The No. 12 Rams (28-4), the tournament’s 14 seed, have not lost

since Sept. 19, winning 21 straight matches since then. A team with

no seniors but plenty of top performers, the Rams have three

players who made the All-Mountain West Conference team this year,

including Co-Player of the Year and Setter of the Year, junior

Melissa Courtney. Four Rams were named to the Mountain West

All-Tournament team and Courtney was also named Setter of the

Tournament.

In the last game of the regular season, a sweep at Long Beach

State University, Rogers had 16 kills. Junior middle blocker Katie

Jo Shirley had 14 kills and a match-high .619 with only one hitting

error. Sophomore right side hitter Dre Downs had 12 kills and tied

for four blocks with junior Bri Frech.

CSU head coach Tom Hilbert, this year’s MWC Coach of the Year,

said the past week was one of the best while he has been at

CSU.

“This has been one of the greatest weeks since I’ve been here,”

Hilbert said after the team won its final regular season game last

week. “I’m really proud of our team and I’m proud of our program.

It’s an exciting time for CSU volleyball.”

The George Mason Patriots of Fairfax, Va., won their second

straight Colonial Athletic Association Tournament against Hofstra

University (13-17).

The Patriots boast senior outside hitter Aline Pereira, a

two-time Sports Imports/AVCA National Player of the Week and

three-time Player of the Year in the CAA. Pereira scored 43 kills

in a four-game match against Hofstra, sixth best on the NCAA

all-time list. It was her second game in eight days with 43 kills.

She also had six digs and two blocks.

Last year, the Patriots fell in three games to Michigan State in

the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Head coach Pat Kendrick in

19 years at George Mason has been to four previous NCAA

Tournaments.

If the Rams defeat George Mason, they will face either American

University (22-9, 14-0 PL) or No. 25 University of Maryland (26-7,

12-4 ACC) at 5 p.m. on Saturday.

American has won 19 of its last 20 games. In the final match of

the Patriot League Tournament, the Eagles held Bucknell to a .185

hitting percentage.

Senior outside hitter Karla Kucerkova had 26 kills and 11 digs

in the match and was named the tournament MVP. Junior outside

hitter Natacha Cornaz had 11 kills, hitting .476. As a team the

American Eagles hit .349. In the 1997 first round, CSU defeated

American in three games.

The host Maryland Terrapins defeated No. 11 Georgia Tech (31-3,

15-1) in the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament in four games.

Three Terps scored double-doubles in the match, including senior

outside hitter Lynnsy Jones, the tournament MVP. Jones had 18 kills

and 14 digs. Junior outside hitters Maria DiLivio and Sarah

Treadwell had the other double-doubles. DiLivio had 11 kills and 15

digs while Treadwell had 15 kills and 21 digs.

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