The 17th-ranked CSU Rams volleyball team could hardly write up a better Senior Night script for right side hitter Tonya Mokelki and middle blocker Amanda Fahnestock.
“It was great,” Fahnestock said. “I don’t think I could have asked for a better match. It was fun to play with my teammates. Everyone played really well.”
The Rams (20-5, 12-2) dominated the Air Force Falcons (7-22, 0-15) Monday night in three games for the second time this season (30-18, 30-14, 30-14).
CSU finished undefeated at Moby for the regular season for the first time since 2001 and now leads the all-time series with Air Force 28-1, having never lost to the Falcons under coach Tom Hilbert.
It all started when Fahnestock sang the both the American and Canadian national anthems prior to play at Moby Arena. She sang the latter for Mokelki, a Canadian native.
“It was real nice,” Mokelki said. “It meant a lot to me for Amanda to sing my national anthem.”
CSU opened the match with a 10-0 run and then continued to dominate Air Force in every aspect of the game. The Rams finished with a .382 hitting percentage and eight team blocks compared to the Falcons .054 hitting percentage and five team blocks.
Fahnestock finished with nine kills, three aces, three blocks, a dig and a .467 hitting percentage. Mokelki finished with eight kills, seven digs and two blocks.
Coach Hilbert was pleased with the way the match turned out and was extremely proud of the two seniors.
“This game was really about Tanya and Amanda and letting them have fun, letting them enjoy being in Moby for what could be the last time,” Hilbert said. “It’s an emotional time and I was pleased to see both of them have good matches and just enjoy themselves.”
Outside hitter Jaime Strauss had another double-double to lead everyone with 12 kills, 10 digs, an ace, an assist and a .526 hitting percentage. She admitted it was tough playing with the seniors for the last time at home.
“It’s hard,” Strauss said. “I played with both of them for three years. It’s hard to see them go. We hang out off the court and that’s always hard too.”
Hilbert was just glad that Fahnestock and Mokelki had the chance to play in front of a great fan base.
“When it’s all said and done, Colorado State is a fun place to be a volleyball player at because of the support we get,” he said. “The careers of these players fly by. You do stop and enjoy it once in a while and hopefully they had a good time tonight.”
Volleyball beat reporter Brandon Owens can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.