Oct 262004
 
Authors: Stephanie Lindberg

Despite facing an opponent the players weren’t sure about, the

Rams volleyball team had little trouble in defeating the Denver

Pioneers in three games Tuesday night, 30-20, 30-21 and 30-20.

“We got an old tape from them,” said junior outside hitter Casey

Bauer. “We didn’t know if they were doing anything different and

they were.”

After being out-blocked in the first game 6.5 to 4, the No. 9

Rams (17-2, 8-1 Mountain West Conference) were more consistent with

blocking in games two and three, finishing the night with 15 blocks

compared to DU’s 8.5.

This display of blocking helped limit the Pioneers (10-11. 4-5

Sun Belt Conference) to a meager .093 hitting percentage. Senior

setter Melissa Courtney, who had a season-high six blocks,

including one solo stop, was grateful for the win.

“I think our blocking was definitely better (after game one),”

Courtney said. “(The game) definitely was good for us. It gave us

an extra W, which is nice.”

Junior outside hitter Tess Rogers led the Rams’ attack with 14

kills. Bauer added 11 kills and tied a career high with two solo

blocks. Senior middle blockers Katie Jo Shirley-Cahoon and Bri

Frech both had nine kills.

“This was a good match for us because we stayed consistent and

we were experimenting a little,” said CSU head coach Tom Hilbert.

“I felt like Casey (Bauer) played a great game tonight. She and

Katie Jo just weren’t hitting out of bounds.”

The passing game was on task and Courtney recorded 46 assists

and 10 digs in her sixth double-double of the year.

“Our team continues to pass well,” Hilbert said. “We’re passing

so well that we can side out against a team like DU.”

Game one seemed to lack energy as it was mostly back-and-forth

until the Rams started to pull away at 19-11.

“I think we were playing with lower energy in game one,” Hilbert

said.

While DU junior right-side hitter Amanda Millard recorded eight

kills through the first two games, the Rams tried to silence her in

game three. Millard finished with a team best 13 kills, hitting

.219 for the match. Freshman middle blocker Kim Muller had six

kills and just one error on the night.

Sophomore setter Shannon Parker earned accolades from Hilbert

even though the hitters were not killing with her sets.

“I think they do have pretty good setting,” Hilbert said. “She

(Parker) really is quite good.”

CSU turned up the heat in game three, scoring the first five

points of the match, giving up one point and running the score up

to 11-2.

“(We wanted to) have fun and find that spark,” Courtney said.

“Finding that spark even when we’re not playing a BYU or a

Utah.”

That spark might be needed this weekend as the Rams host San

Diego State (3-18, 3-5) and UNLV (11-7, 5-3) at home at 7 p.m. in

Moby Arena Friday and Saturday nights, respectively.

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