April 8, 2014
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FORT COLLINS, Colo. – Already in its third week of full-team spring practices, Head Coach Tom Hilbert and the Rams volleyball team will host BYU for a pair of scrimmages Saturday at Moby Arena. The Rams and Cougars will compete at 10 a.m., and again after lunch, beginning approximately at 1 p.m. The scrimmages are open to the public. Admission and parking is free.
“Playing against live competition reveals things about your team you might not otherwise know,” said Hilbert, whose team has been training in small groups since Jan. 23 and as a full team since March 24. “I think it’s great that we’ll get to compete against a team like BYU, and even better that we get to do it at Moby.”
BYU, a former conference opponent, finished the 2013 season ranked 13th nationally, advancing to its second consecutive NCAA Sweet 16.
“BYU is a really good team,” Hilbert said. “They will challenge us, and hopefully make us better. It will be great to play a team of that caliber.”
The Cougars return all but one starter from last year’s squad, and add 2012 All-American Jennifer Hamson, who redshirted in 2013 to focus on basketball.
The Rams began their spring competition schedule last weekend, facing Denver and Wichita State in Colby, Kan. Later this spring, CSU will scrimmage in Kearney, Neb., as well as a weekend of sand training. The NCAA allows for teams to participate in spring competitions as long as they travel via ground transportation, and sites are within 500 miles of campus.
CSU is coming off its fifth consecutive Mountain West championship, and will return five of its six starters, plus libero Jaime Colaizzi, this fall. Until Hilbert’s incoming singing class arrives to Fort Collins, however, the Rams have limited depth.
“A lot of times in spring ball we’re trying out different lineups,” Hilbert said. “This is a chance for us to put people in different positions or rotations, or for us to work on something we can’t do during the fall. Fans may see something unusual, but it’s just part of us figuring out how we can be at our best.”
In addition to winning conference, 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. The 2014 competition schedule will be released later this spring.
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