Sep 262004
 
Authors: Stephanie Lindberg

Mental preparation was key this weekend for the CSU women’s

volleyball team, which lengthened its winning streak to 10 matches

starting conference play.

Air Force (4-5, 0-1 MWC) got clipped by CSU (10-1, 2-0) on

Friday night and the New Mexico Lobos (6-6, 0-2) fell victim to the

Rams on Saturday.

“We could have come into the game against Air Force and not have

been mentally focused and still have won the match,” said head

coach Tom Hilbert. “I was really pleased with everyone

tonight.”

The Falcons had not played a match in 10 days and it was

evident, as the Rams won in three games 30-17, 30-13, 30-21. The

Falcons were out-played in pretty much every aspect.

“Our goal was not to play down to anyone,” said senior outside

hitter Becky Sarauer after Friday’s game. “We were really mentally

prepared.”

Senior middle blocker Katie Jo Shirley-Cahoon led the team with

11 kills and junior outside hitter Tess Rogers had nine kills.

The entire active roster played at some point during the match

and 6-of-11 players recorded at least one kill against the Falcons.

Switching up the line up had little effect on the fluidity of

play.

“We didn’t lose any speed in the transition when we got other

people in there,” said redshirt freshman Tonya Mokelki.

The team as a whole hit .452 against the Falcons who hit just

.036. Junior middle blocker Kristin Hamlett led AFA with 10

kills.

“I kinda wished we had played New Mexico tonight,” Sarauer

said.

In playing matches against teams that were obviously faltering,

the Rams took the opportunity to try new things.

“In these games we try using those games to try out our new

plays,” Mokelki said.

The Rams’ dominance was equivalent on Saturday night, as they

downed the Lobos in three games by scores of 30-15, 30-25 and

30-21.

The Lobos, who beat Wyoming on Friday night, came into Fort

Collins looking for an upset against the Rams. After showing signs

of life in the second game, the Lobos were left licking their

wounds.

“I’m very pleased with a lot of things tonight,” Hilbert said.

“We competed when we needed to, especially at the end of game two

and during times in game three. We are doing some very, very good

things right now.”

The Lobos offense was sputtering, making 7.5 blocks but only

hitting .082 with 24 kills. The Rams hit .305 with 59 kills and had

three players with 10 or more kills. Senior middle blocker Bri

Frech led the Rams with 13 kills while junior right side hitter Dre

Downs and Sarauer both had 10. Junior middle blocker Chelsea

Sondrup led the Lobos with eight kills and five blocks. Senior

libero Adah Burke had nine digs.

“Dre Downs is unbelievably good right now,” Hilbert said. “She

and Melissa (Courtney) are working well together. Also Bri and

Melissa are connecting and Bri was very good.”

The Rams will look ahead to a homecoming week match against UNLV

(5-4) on Thursday night at 7 p.m. at Moby Arena.

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