Nov. 12, 2006
For the second straight match, the Colorado State Rams played a five-game match on the road, but this time, the results did not turn out in the Rams favor, as they fell to UNLV 30-24, 22-30, 25-30, 30-28, 15-13.
Freshman libero Katelin Batten recorded more than 20 digs in a match for the second-straight time, notching a career-high 25. Junior right side hitter Tonya Mokelki tied her career high with 21 kills, while sophomore middle blocker Mekana Barnes notched a career-high 20 kills, marking the first time since 2005 the Rams had two players with 20 or more kills in the same match (Northern Iowa, Sept. 3, 2005). Sophomore outside hitter Jaime Strauss also tied her career high with 19 kills and both senior outside hitter Katherine Whitney and junior middle blocker Amanda Fahnestock notched 11 kills. Whitney added 18 digs, while Strauss had 17 and Mokelki tied her career high with 14 digs. Barnes led the Rams with five blocks, including two solo stops.
"UNLV competed better than we did at the end," said Head Coach Tom Hilbert. "We needed to be more aggressive in certain situations and we're still a little young for those situations. You always learn the right kinds of things from matches like these."
UNLV was led by junior middle blocker Lauren Miramontes with 18 kills, while junior outside hitters Maria Aladjova and Brittani Lumsden each had 15 and senior Michelle Banks added 12. Six Rebels were in double figures in digs as they tallied 101 and were led by junior libero Jada Walker with 23. Miramontes and freshman middle blocker Samantha Noland each had five blocks.
UNLV won the first point of the match, then the Rams scored the next three, including two kills by Mokelki. The Rebels tied the game with the next two points, but the Rams took a 4-3 lead off a Mokelki kill. UNLV scored the next five points of the match to lead 8-4 when Hilbert called a timeout. Mokelki tallied her fourth kill of the match for the Rams fifth point, then UNLV scored two straight to take its largest lead at 10-5. The Rams rallied to score three of the next four to make the score 11-8, but UNLV answered with two straight for the 13-8 lead. CSU scored five of the next six to trail by just one, 14-13. UNLV scored three of four to lead 17-15 and the teams traded points to 19-17 when two Ram errors gave UNLV the 21-17 lead. Barnes and Mokelki notched consecutive kills, but UNLV answered with three straight for the 24-19 advantage and CSU called its final timeout. Out of the break, the Rams scored three of four for the 26-22 score, then UNLV again answered with three of four to lead 29-23. Nelson got a CSU kill, but it was not enough as Miramontes scored from the middle for the 30-24 UNLV win. Mokelki led the Rams with seven kills in the game.
The Rams scored the first two points of game two with kills by Strauss and Mokelki, then UNLV scored the next two for a 2-2 tie. After a Barnes kill, UNLV scored five straight -- with four CSU errors for the 7-3 advantage. The Rams scored the next two, then UNLV scored three of four to lead 10-6. Each team scored two points in a row to make the score 12-8, then CSU scored three straight to close within one, 12-11 when UNLV called a timeout. Barnes tallied two kills and Mokelki one to give the Rams a two-point cushion, when UNLV scored its 13th point. The Rams then scored eight straight with four kills by Strauss in the mix to take a nine-point lead, 22-13. Aladjova got a kill for the Rebels, Strauss answered with another put down, Miramontes ended a rally for UNLV and then Fahnestock tallied back-to-back kills for a 10-point lead, 25-15. Banks had consecutive kills for UNLV, but Strauss tallied another kill and Whitney and Fahnestock combined for a block to lead 27-17. UNLV scored four straight to pull within six, 27-21, but the Rams went on to win 30-22. Strauss notched seven kills, hit .429 (7-1-14) and had eight digs in game two.
Mokelki stayed hot, getting the first kill after the long break, then Barnes served an ace to lead 2-0. The teams then traded points to 4-3. The Rams scored two straight, then Miramontes got another kill and Barnes and Whitney combined for a block to lead 7-4. UNLV scored three of four for the 8-7 advantage. Tied at 10-10, the Rebels scored six of the next eight points, with three kills by Miramontes to lead 16-12, but the Rams rallied. Barnes had back-to-back kills, then a solo block to make the score 16-15. After a Lumsden kill for UNLV, the Rams scored five straight., with three kills by Mokelki included to take the 20-17 lead. The Rebels scored three of the next four to make it a one-point game, 21-20, then the teams traded points for 22-21. Two UNLV errors gave the Rams a three-point lead at 24-21 and the teams traded kills for a 25-23 score when Barnes put down two in a row for a 27-23 lead and the Rams went on to win 30-25. Mokelki notched six kills and five digs, while Strauss added five kills.
After UNLV scored the first two points of game four, Barnes scored two straight -- one by kill and one by ace serve -- to tie the score at 2-2. The score was ties at 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 before UNLV scored three straight to lead 10-7 and CSU called a timeout. Whatever Hilbert said during the timeout worked, as the Rams produced four straight points out of the break to take the lead at 11-10 and forced the Rebels into a 60-second break. The score was tied at each point from 11 to 15 as the teams continued to play side-out volleyball. UNLV then tallied two blocks and a kill to take the 18-15 lead. CSU scored three of the next four to close within one, 19-18 and UNLV scored three of the next four to increase the score to 22-19. The teams traded points to 24-21, when Mokelki notched her 20th kill and then Fornstrom and Nelson combined for a block to close within one again, 24-23. The teams traded points to 27-26 when Hilbert called his final timeout. UNLV scored two straight for a 29-26 lead, when Barnes tallied a kill and Whitney had an ace for 29-28 on the scoreboard and the Rebels called their final timeout. Aladjova got a kill to force a game five. Barnes had six kills, while Whitney added four for the Rams.
Game five was everything a fan could hope for with 13 ties and seven lead changes. No team took larger than a one-point lead until the final two points, as UNLV won 15-13. Fahnestock had three kills in the final frame to lead the Rams.
Colorado State closes out the regular season, hosting BYU on Friday and conference leading Utah on Saturday. Both matches are scheduled for 7:00 p.m. with Saturday serving as senior night.