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Match notes: Rams to host Baylor Friday in season opener

Aug 29, 2013

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The 2013 volleyball season will kick off Friday for both the Rams and Bears. Baylor, of the Big 12, is coming off of a 20-12 season in 2012, and was picked to finish sixth in the competitive Big 12. Senior Zoe Adom, a 6-0 outside hitter from Euless, Texas, was an All-Big 12 first-team selection in 2012, leading the Bears with 2.74 kills per set and a .227 hitting percentage.

Along with Adom, Baylor also returns libero Hope Ogden, who anchored Baylor’s defense with a team-best 3.03 digs per set. She also recorded 50 assists, most among returning players. Sophomore middle blocker Adrien Richburg averaged 1.04 blocks per set as a freshman in 2012. Interesting, Richburg is the cousin to CSU football’s Weston Richburg, who is a preseason candidate for the Rimington Trophy.

Baylor will also rely on its newcomers. The Bears’ 2013 recruiting class was ranked No. 19 by www.PrepVolleyball.com.

Friday will mark the second-ever meeting between CSU and Baylor. The first was a memorable one, as the Rams defeated the Bears during the first round of the 2001 NCAA tournament. With the four-set win, which was played at Moby Arena, CSU advanced to the second round, where it defeated Colorado in what Hilbert called the No. 3 moment of his career in his recent top-10 moment countdown.

Cal Poly enters 2013 looking to improve upon last year’s 4-26 mark under first-year head coach Sam Crosson. The Mustangs return five starters from last year’s squad, including senior outside hitter Chelsea Hardin, who led at returnees with 2.18 kills per set.

Along with Hardin, Cal Poly has two of its top defensive players back on the court. Libero Steffi Sooter led the Mustangs with 3.17 digs per set while outside hitter Megan McConnell averaged a team-best 0.76 blocks per set. Both players are seniors in 2013. In 2012, the Mustangs out-dug their opponents, averaging 15.0 digs per set as a team.

The Rams and Mustangs have met seven times prior to Saturday, with CSU leading the series 5-2. The Rams have won the last four meetings, including the most recent, in 2009. CSU is 2-1 at home, winning in 1999 and 2009 after falling to No. 15 Cal Poly in 1988.

Video: All home matches, in addition to road MW contests, can be streamed free of charge through the brand-new Mountain West Network. Visit the volleyball schedule page on www.CSURams.com for a link.
Audio: KCSU will broadcast all home matches live from Moby Arena. Tune in to 90.5 FM locally or online worldwide to listen to the call.
Live Stats: Online statistics for all home matches will be provided through Gametracker.
Twitter: CSU’s athletic department will tweet live updates and results from the CSU Rams Gameday Twitter account: @CSURamsGameday.

On Friday, CSU will look to continue its success of starting the season in the ‘Win’ column. CSU has won its home opener 12 out of 16 times under Hilbert, including five of its last six. Taking that a step further, the Rams have won their first three matches of the season — regardless of the location — each of the last two years, sweeping all three matches both times.

Friday’s match is being labeled as a Green Out, with fans encouraged to wear green apparel to the match. As part of the university’s Welcome Back Week, which has included activities all week ranging from poster signings to a pep rally to athletic events, Wells Fargo will be sponsoring a BBQ for students prior to Friday’s match. The BBQ will be held in the grassy area just north of Moby Arena, and will offer free food for students while supplies lasts, beginning at 4 p.m.

Between September 1998 and November 2000, CSU won an impressive 44 consecutive home matches, a Moby Arena record. Since then, the Rams have pieced together streaks of 21, 20 and 16, which spanned a calendar year through the beginning of the 2012 season (fifth-longest in program history).

Entering 2013, CSU has won 24 of its last 25 home matches, including eight straight.




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