March 2, 2011
By Leah Sakdol
Athletic Media Relations
FORT COLLINS, Colo. – Fans of CSU’s nationally recognized volleyball program are used to flocking to Moby Arena to cheer on the Rams during the fall season. In 2011, however, the Rams are giving the Moby faithful a reason to pack the house during the spring exhibition season.
That’s because Head Coach Tom Hilbert and the Rams have scheduled an exhibition match against Tianjin Bridgestone, one of the top teams in Chinese professional volleyball. The match, which is scheduled for April 26 at 7 p.m., will be played under international rules and counts as one of four competition dates allowed by the NCAA during the off season.
General-admission tickets are just $5 for adults and $2 for youth (17 and under), while all full-time CSU students will receive free admission with a valid student I.D. card.
The Tianjin Bridgestone team is the only Chinese team to have won seven league championships. More recently, the team has won nearly all of its domestic tournament championships and has represented China in the Asia Volleyball Club (AVC) team championships, winning three national titles. The Tianjin club has led the way as volleyball has become one of the most popular sports in China.
Head Coach Wang Baoquan, who has also coached the Chinese national team since 2008, will lead the team on its tour, which also includes stops at Nebraska, Illinois, Concordia and UC Irvine. The club is made up of 12 players with an average age of 21, and the American tour will begin immediately following the team’s playing season in China.
Colorado State, ranked 17th in the final national polls of 2010, is coming off a season in which the program captured its second straight Mountain West Conference championships and competed in the NCAA tournament for the 16th consecutive season.