March 24, 2014
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FORT COLLINS, Colo. – The defending Mountain West champion Colorado State volleyball team opened its spring practice schedule on Tuesday, beginning a six-week training program that will extend into May.
In addition to daily practices, the Rams will compete in four weekend competitions, beginning Saturday, April 5, in Colby, Kan. The following weekend, CSU will host former conference rival BYU in a pair of scrimmages at Moby Arena.
The Cougars finished the 2013 season ranked 13th nationally, advancing to their second consecutive NCAA Sweet 16. The scrimmages on April 12 are free to the public. More details, including start times, will be available in the coming weeks.
“We feel that we have a spring schedule that will challenge us and make us better,” Head Coach Tom Hilbert said. “BYU is really good. They were very talented last year, and they return the majority of their players, plus add an All-American that they didn’t have last season. People are talking about them being an Elite Eight or Final Four-type team. It will be great to play a team of that caliber, and learn how to get better."
CSU will also compete this spring in Kearney, Neb., and in a sand scrimmage. The NCAA allows teams to participate in spring competitions as long as they travel via ground transportation, and sites are within 500 miles of campus.
Hilbert’s Rams have conducted small-group and weight training since Jan. 23, but this week marked the official start to the spring season. The team had a goal-setting meeting on Monday, and got on the court for the first time as an entire team Tuesday.
The Rams, who are coming off of their fifth consecutive Mountain West championship, return five of their six starters, plus libero Jaime Colaizzi. CSU is one of two teams nationally to win their conference title in each of the past five seasons. In addition to winning the league, the Rams set a program record for winning percentage (.933, 28-2), won their first 27 matches to the season and ranked as high as No. 9 nationally in 2013.
"It's exciting for the players to get on the court again," Hilbert said. "In the spring, sometimes players are playing a different position or we're trying out different tempos. It's a great chance for us to get a lot of reps and for players to expand their versatility."
Spring Competition Schedule
|Saturday, April 5||Colby, Kan.||CSU, Denver, Wichita State|
|Saturday, April 12||Fort Collins, Colo.||CSU, BYU (two scrimmages)|
|Saturday, April 26||Kearney, Neb.||TBD|
|Saturday, May 3||TBD||TBD (sand scrimmage)|
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