Aug 12, 2013
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FORT COLLINS, Colo. — The Colorado State Rams got back on the court Monday for the first time during the 2013 fall volleyball camp, and overall, Head Coach Tom Hilbert was pleased with the team’s intensity.
“The intensity today was there, overall,” Hilbert said. “We have a lot of work to do, and there are a lot of questions we need to answer, but I liked some things that I saw out of our first practice today.”
After graduating four seniors from last year’s squad which went 21-8 and won a fourth straight Mountain West championship, one of the biggest question marks is in the primary outside hitter spot.
“Outside hitting is like being a street fighter,” Hilbert said. “You have to bring it every day, which can be exhausting, but that’s what we need to see every day.”
As to who will fill the left-side spot, Hilbert will look toward these next two weeks of two-a-days to find out.
“Marlee (Reynolds) looked pretty good today,” he said. “We know Dri Culbert is going to play somewhere because she’s one of our best serve-receivers, but it could be Michelle (Lawrence), it could be Kaila Thomas, it could be Cayla Broadwater. There are a lot of people; we’ll even try Bestie (defensive specialist Kaitlind Bestgen).
As for other positions, Hilbert feels comfortable with senior Samantha Peters leading the middles, Jaime Colaizzi at libero and Deedra Foss setting.
“Deej is solid,” Hilbert said of the 2012 All-MW selection. “You could see that today in the drills, which is important, because with a young group of hitters like we have, it’s important to have a veteran setting them.”
Foss, like the entire team, was excited to get back on the court.
“We’ve all been so anxious to get back into the swing of things,” Foss said. “There will be a lot of competition over these next couple weeks, but we’re excited to be back and get things going.”
After reporting Sunday and spending the day meeting with officials across the athletics department, the team went through a series of flexibility, jump and conditioning tests Monday morning.
Also on Monday, the AVCA released the AVCA Division I Coaches 2013 Preseason Poll, with the Rams earning 15 points, good for 38th nationally. CSU has now been ranked or receiving votes in the preseason poll all 18 seasons under Hilbert. Other teams receiving votes include 2013 opponents Pepperdine, Texas A&M and San Diego State. A full release can be read here.
The team will continue two-a-day workouts Tuesday. The team’s annual media/booster dinner for NETwork members will take place Thursday at Moby Arena. Fans are invited to the end of practice (4:30-5), followed by dinner and a Q&A with the team.