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