Jan. 9, 2013
By Gary Ozzello
FORT COLLINS, Colo. – Hayley Thompson has seen it before, and she knows what happens when Mountain West competition begins.
“Everything is different,” she explained, “when conference play starts.”
That’s because, Thompson said, teams know one another so well within the league.
Colorado State opens Mountain West play Sunday afternoon, entertaining San Diego State at 2 p.m. in Moby Arena. The game will be televised by CBS Sports Network.
The Rams enter the game with a 4-9 record through the first 13 games – all nonconference – in Coach Ryun Williams’ first year at the helm.
“The teams in the conference know one another so well, it makes it difficult,” Thompson said. “There is more preparation for each team in conference.”
So, then, what will the Rams have to do in the conference opener to succeed against the Aztecs, who won the MW last season and played in the NCAA Tournament. San Diego State finished 25-7 a year ago under veteran coach Beth Burns, including a 12-2 conference record.
“We have to execute and take advantage of their weaknesses,” said Thompson.
Thompson also said the Rams, under Williams and his staff, have learned one very important lesson through the nonconference slate.
“The most important lesson we’ve learned is we have to bring energy for 40 minutes. When we don’t do that, we seem to go into a slump, and it’s hard to dig out of it.”
Thompson said the closest the Rams have come to doing that came in a double-overtime loss to Fordham.
“We have to have full energy for the entire game,” Thompson said.
The former star at Mullen High in suburban Denver has started seven of 11 games to date and as a two-year letterwinner and starter provides leadership to the team. She also had a streak of Ram pride running through her veins.
Her father, Rick, was a standout pitcher for CSU’s baseball team in the late 1970’s.
Thompson said she and her teammates know what is necessary to succeed against SDSU this week.
“A huge key is our defense,” she said. “We have to play defense as a team. San Diego State is quick, athletic, and experienced. We have to play several layers of defense, and then execute on offense.
Tickets to all home events are available in one of the following convenient manners:
•In person: Tickets can be purchased at the McGraw Athletic Center ticket window, which is open Monday-Friday from 8 a.m.-6 p.m.
•On the phone: Fans can call toll free at 1-800-491-RAMS (7267) to purchase tickets to any Rams sporting event.
Online: Tickets can be purchased 24 hours a day, seven days a week at CSURams.com, the official Web site of Rams Athletics.
Note: Prices do not include fees for processing ($1 per ticket) or delivery - $2 print-at-home, $7 mail and $10 will call.