Fur flew in Moby Arena as the CSU Volleyball team revealed Idaho State’s Bengals true stripes last night.
In their first match coming off of last week’s National Association of Collegiate Women’s Athletics Administrators (NACWAA) Tournament, the Rams easily caged the Bengals in three games to win the match. This advances CSU to a two-and-one record after they defeated No. 12 Georgia Tech and narrowly lost to No. 5 Minnesota in tournament play.
“You always have to go in thinking that a team is going to be really good and you have to prepare for that,” said senior middle blocker Katie Jo Shirley-Cahoon after the match.
Their preparation evidently paid off as the Rams posted scores of 30-25, 30-22 and 30-20 in the three games.
Cahoon hammered 10 kills and led the Rams with 14 total points.
Tess Rogers, junior outside hitter, also had a great night on defense as she recorded a career-high 10 digs. Cahoon and senior middle blocker Bri Frech further tamed the Bengal net game with four blocks apiece.
Bengal outside hitter Felice Yocopis clawed out 11.5 points and put up a fierce battle to keep her team alive as the Rams went in for the kill, but her efforts fell short. Yocopis had a strong first game with four kills, but Cahoon answered with five and outside hitter Becky Sarauer knocked down four. Setter Melissa Courtney added 13 assists in the opening effort.
Idaho State aptly ended the second match with a service error-one of 10 served up by both teams throughout the course of the match. Although it was not the prettiest game, the Rams found a way to blind the eye of the tiger and bounce back.
“It’s sort of a growing pains thing we have to go through in order to learn some of these things we’re trying to learn, said head coach Tom Hilbert in addressing the second game slump. “(The team) stayed composed and made the plays when they had to make them.”
Stepping up in the third game, junior outside hitter Casey Bauer took the high on kills with six.
“I like to go in and make a contribution,” Bauer said of her tenacious play.
Redshirt freshman Tonya Mokelki also put up a great effort in the match, displaying some of the depth this team possesses.
“It affords me the ability to show different looks,” Hilbert said.
Hilbert is trying to use his extensive arsenal of weapons more fully in preparation for upcoming games in an attempt to increase experience and comfort on the court.
This could prove crucial as the team faces a series of tough opponents on the road next week. They will face Colorado at Boulder on Tuesday, followed by back-to-back excursions to Washington State and Gonzaga Wednesday and Thursday nights.