Oct 212004
 
Authors: Laura Epple

Rams and Lobos and Falcons, oh my!

This week CSU faces two conference matches on the road. The team

travels to Albuquerque, N.M., tonight to face the Lobos in the

teams’ second Mountain West Conference clash of the year.

The Rams will then hoof it back to Colorado to try to clip the

wings of the Air Force Falcons at Cadet East Gymnasium Saturday in

another conference match.

Historically, the Rams have enjoyed success in traversing this

route. They have swept the series in the last six excursions. CSU

has won 37 straight matches against the two teams, dominating the

Falcons the past 21 battles and caging the Lobos in the past 16

meetings.

Lobos fans will be howling at the moon tonight in a packed house

as New Mexico holds its annual Jam Johnson festivities. This will

mark the 50th time the two teams have faced each other in this

long-standing m�l�e. Fans will pay just $1 to get in

and will receive free decals at the event, promising a charged

environment to challenge the Rams.

The Lobos are 7-11 overall and 1-6 in MWC matches. They suffered

a clean sweep as CSU foiled its ambush attempt when the Lobos

visited Moby Arena in September.

“We have to step out on the court and take care of the ball

while it is on our side of the net,” said Lobos head coach Kelley

McKee of New Mexico’s strategy against CSU. “We need to serve the

crap out of the ball at those girls.”

Key Lobos to watch during the match include junior middle

blocker Chelsea Sondrup, the all-time Lobos leader in blocking

assists. She will try to obstruct the attempts of CSU’s

milestone-chasing combination of outside hitters, junior Tess

Rogers and senior Becky Sarauer. They are both within range of

eclipsing the 1,000-kill mark this weekend, a feat previously

accomplished by only 13 other CSU players. Rogers is at 979 and

Sarauer has 977 kills. Senior middle blocker Katie Jo

Shirley-Cahoon is also approaching this venerated achievement, with

926 kills.

Lobo instinct on the part of senior Adah Burke will also be

vital for survival of the New Mexico pack. She is ranked as the top

libero in the MWC and will be integral in defending the court from

the potent CSU onslaught.

On offense, junior outside hitter Nicole Ryan will spearhead the

Lobos attack; she is leading Lobos and is ranked ninth in the MWC

with 3.22 kills per game.

After departing from the Lobo den, the Rams will head to

Colorado Springs to aim high at the Air Force Academy. The Falcons

are 4-13 overall and are winless in conference play (0-7) through

this first half of the season.

The cadets sport an offensive arsenal led by their middle

blocker duo, freshman Brooke Akers and senior Kristin Hamlett. They

also have a potent weapon in junior setter Carly Siefken and senior

libero Jenalee Burke, who leads the team in digs.

The Rams will try to improve their historically perfect record

at the academy to 9-0 in their upcoming clash with the cadets.

This weekend’s matches will surpass the halfway point of the MWC

season. So far, the No. 9 Rams are 14-2 overall and 6-1 in

conference action. The only two losses came from No. 14 Utah in

last week’s upset match at Moby Arena and an early season defeat

from No. 2 Minnesota.

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