Sep 302004
 
Authors: Stephanie Lindberg

The only sure thing to bet on Thursday night in Las Vegas was

the CSU women’s volleyball team.

The Rams had good odds going into the UNLV match, riding a

10-game winning streak, and they pulled out a 3-1 win in Sin City.

The Rams moved to 11-1 overall and 3-0 in the Mountain West

Conference, while the Rebels dropped to 7-5 overall and 1-1 in the

MWC.

The Rams played a powerful UNLV defense that came out hitting in

game one, treating the Rams to a 30-20 loss.

Game two saw a flip of power with the Rams coming on strong in a

30-23 win, and the momentum carried over to the rest of the match.

Despite being down 24-20 in game four, CSU made a comeback for a

30-26 win.

Senior outside hitter Becky Sarauer said a combination of things

that caused the Rams to seem a little off balance, especially on

defense.

“It’s a little bit of everything,” Sarauer said. “Travel, the

altitude. It felt a little forced but we found a way to get back

and get a win.”

The Rams seemed surprised by the young talent the Rebels

offered.

“They’re very good,” said CSU head coach Tom Hilbert of UNLV. “I

think they’re better than our team expected. They’re better than I

expected.”

Defense was a shaky point for the Rams, who survived because of

the power of the hitters. Senior middle blockers Bri Frech and

Katie Jo Shirley-Cahoon had 16 and 10 kills, respectively, while

junior right side hitter Dre Downs added 13. Sarauer, who came in

off the bench, was one kill short of her career record with 21 on

the night.

“She saved this game for us,” Hilbert said of Sarauer. “She

added what we needed tonight. I’m disappointed with our defense the

entire night.”

Sarauer attributed her good night to feeling mentally ready.

“I felt really good out there,” Sarauer said. “I didn’t have a

really good scout team. I just knew I had to pick it up if I went

in there.”

Sophomore middle blocker Lauren Miramontes is just one bright

point on a UNLV team that features only one senior in the starting

lineup.

“They have one kid, Miramontes, that is very physical,” said

Hilbert. “They’re a team of the future. They have a lot of young

players.”

Freshman outside hitter Maria Aladjova led the Rebel’s offense

with 20 kills while freshman libero Jada Walker had 27 digs on the

night.

“It was frustrating for sure. They hit anything and everything,”

Sarauer said. “They play very good defense.”

The Rams face San Diego State (0-12, 0-1) in San Diego on

Saturday at 8 p.m.

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