Sept. 2, 2013
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Complete Match Notes #2
NORTHERN COLORADO AT COLORADO STATE
Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2013 | 7 p.m. MT
Moby Arena | Fort Collins, Colo.
SCOUTING THE BEARS
Despite losing its setter and two of its top offensive threats, the Northern Colorado Bears were picked to finish third in the Big Sky preseason poll, and are hopeful for a fourth NCAA tournament appearance in the past five years.
Like the Rams, Northern Colorado also faced Cal Poly and Baylor over the weekend, sweeping the Bears and beating the Mustangs in four sets to begin the year 2-0.
Leading the charge this year will be junior Andrea Spaustat, who is the top returner in several statistical categories, including kills, blocks and points. She was named the Big Sky Conference Championship Tournament MVP last fall after helping No. 4 seed UNC win the tournament championship.
She will be joined by fellow junior middle blocker Brianna Strong. The duo could be one of the most-feared middle-blocking cores in the league, as they combined for 565 kills and 225 blocks a year ago. Spaustat's 123 stuffs was a program record. Also returning for the Bears is senior libero Merideth Johnson, who led the team in digs and aces in 2012.
SERIES VS. NORTHERN COLORADO
The Rams are currently riding a 12-match winning streak against Northern Colorado, last falling to the Bears in 1982. All-time, CSU is 17-6 against Northern Colorado, including an 8-1 mark inside Moby Arena. CSU's last loss in Fort Collins was in 1979.
While the Rams are relatively young, several of them have solid experience against the Bears, including junior setter Deedra Foss, who in 2012 recorded a double-double with 47 assists and 13 digs, in addition to four kills. Jaime Colaizzi made her first career start as a libero in last year's contest against Northern Colorado. She posted 14 digs, which remains a career best for her. That night, CSU secured Head Coach Tom Hilbert's 400th career victory at CSU.
FOLLOWING THE ACTION
Video: All home matches, in addition to road MW contests, can be streamed free of charge through the brand-new Mountain West Network.
Audio: KCSU will broadcast all home matches live from Moby Arena. Tune in to 90.5 FM locally or www.KCSUFM.com 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.
PERFECT IN COLORADO
The Rams won't only be trying to remain perfect on the season Tuesday vs. Northern Colorado. They will also look to maintain their undefeated mark at home against teams from the state of Colorado.
CSU went 4-0 against teams from the state of Colorado in 2012, and all-time the Rams have mastered the state. During Head Coach Tom Hilbert's tenure, CSU is a perfect 39-0 at home against the other Division I teams from the Centennial State -- Air Force, Colorado, Denver and Northern Colorado. CSU's last home loss to a team from Colorado came in 1995 against the Colorado Buffaloes.
In all, CSU has taken 91 of its 111 (.820) all-time matches against teams from its own state, including a 51-5 record (.911) at home.
HOW SWEEP IT IS
CSU will look to improve to 3-0 on the season with a victory Tuesday vs. Northern Colorado. A win in any fashion would be great, however if it can come in straight sets, it would mark the third consecutive season that CSU has won its first nine sets to start the year. Prior to 2011, CSU hadn't accomplished the feat since 1997, and just three times in its history.
GETTING OFF ON THE RIGHT FOOT
With a resounding home-opening win vs. Baylor last Friday, CSU improved to 13-4 under Hilbert in home openers, including winners of six of the last seven. It marked the fourth-straight year that the season opener -- regardless of location -- has come via a sweep.