Kelsie Kartchner was named all-tournament but Utah fell to CSU in the tourney's title bout, 3-0.
Nov. 20, 2004
FORT COLLINS, Colo. - The Utah volleyball's bid for a second Mountain West Conference trophy fell short as it dropped a 3-0 decision to Colorado State in the Mountain West Conference tournament title match this afternoon.
Game scores were 18-30, 16-30 and 18-30. The Utes fall to 23-5 for the year while CSU improves to 24-4 overall.
"I think CSU is playing good volleyball right now," head coach Beth Launiere said. "It wasn't that we were unprepared, CSU just played very well.
"Every player was ready and I think we did the best we could out there. We're not playing our best right now and came up against a team that is playing extremely well."
Nothing went right for the Utes who hit a paltry .099 (35 kills and 24 errors on 111 attempts) and were outblocked 9-1 by their rivals. CSU hit an unstoppable .381 (50-10-105), capturing the title by hitting a smooth .417 in the final game.
Leading the way for Utah was Danielle Leichliter and her 11 kills. Sommerfeldt was behind Leichliter with seven. The offense went through Tracy Neumeier and Kartchner. Neumeier had 20 assists and Kartchner 14.
The Rams' Tess Rogers hit a swift .591 in racking up a match-best 14 kills. Melissa Courtney had 37 assists while the defense was led by Katie Jo Shirley-Cahoon (six blocks) and Kristen Karlik (15 digs).
Tightly contested games turned into a 12-point game one lead, a 13-point game two cushion and a 10-point game three lead.
The Utes got off to a sluggish start in games one and two as CSU held the Utes to the lowest single-game totals for the season. CSU hit .368 over the first two games, holding the Utes to a meager .111. The No. 2 seed hit .394 in game one while Utah never hit better than .138 in either of the opening stanzas.
Game three saw the Utes hit a game-low .081 and CSU rode its .417 hitting percentage to the win. The Rams opened up another huge lead, going up 17-27 as it cruised to the three-game victory.
"We need to get in the gym and regain more confidence in our execution," Launiere said of the final regular season matches and the impending NCAA tournament. "I think we're getting there. Our goal was to improve each day at the (MWC) tournament and I believe that we did.
"Wednesday (against Hawaii) starts a new season for us. We're excited about it."