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Match notes: Rams begin MW play against Border War rival

CSU begins Mountain West action Wednesday vs. Wyoming.

CSU begins Mountain West action Wednesday vs. Wyoming.

Sept. 16, 2013

Match Notes #5 | Tickets
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SCOUTING THE COWGIRLS

The No. 22 Rams welcome Border War rival Wyoming to Moby Arena on Wednesday night. The Cowgirls come into Wednesday’s contest at 7-3 overall, and 1-1 on the road. This is the first conference match for both Wyoming and Colorado State.

The Rams rank in the top five nationally in several offensive categories, but Wyoming is the No. 1-ranked blocking team in the country with 3.22 per set. Leading the way for Wyoming is junior middle blocker Erin Kirby. With 1.97 blocks per set, Kirby is the nation’s leading blocker. She ranks second on the team with 2.67 kills per set.
 
The Cowgirls are paced on offense by freshman outside hitter Mikaela Ryshytylo, who leads the team with 2.86 kills per set. She is one of six attackers to average at least 2.00 kills per set.
 
Spreading the ball to the Cowgirls’ various attackers is freshman setter Courtney Chacon. Chacon leads the team with 9.94 assists per set, and is second on the team in digs (2.35 per set). The Cowgirls return libero Becky Stewart, an All-Mountain West selection a year ago and the conference’s current digs leader, with 5.08 per set.
 
SERIES VS. WYOMING
The Rams have enjoyed great success against their Border War rival, particularly at home. Overall, CSU leads the all-time series against Wyoming, 55-19, and has posted an impressive 28-8 record in front of its home fans. The Rams have not lost in Fort Collins since Head Coach Tom Hilbert took over as coach in 1997 (16-0), and have won 30 of their last 31 overall meetings against the Cowgirls.

CSU has played Wyoming a total of 33 times as a ranked team. In those matches, CSU is 27-6, including 16-0 at Moby Arena.
 
In five career matches against Wyoming, junior setter Deedra Foss has registered three double-doubles. Foss also recorded a career-high 66 assists in her first career match at Wyoming, on Oct. 8, 2011.

HOW TO FOLLOW:

  • Video: The remainder of CSU’s matches — both home and away — will be streamed free of charge through the Mountain West Network.
  • Audio: KCSU will broadcast both matches this week, as it does for all home matches and select road events. Tune in to 90.5 FM locally or www.KCSUFM.com worldwide to listen to the call.
  • Live Stats: Online statistics will be provided through Gametracker.
  • Twitter: CSU’s athletic department will tweet live updates and results from the CSU Rams Gameday Twitter account: @CSURamsGameday.

 

 

STARTING HOT
With eight straight wins, CSU is off to its best start in more than a decade. The 8-0 record is tied for the fourth-best in program history, last accomplished by the 1986 team. With a pair of wins this week, CSU would improve to 10-0, tied for the third-best in program history. The team’s best-ever start came in 2001, when the squad won its first 20 contests before suffering its initial defeat, to No. 15 Utah on Nov. 3. That year, the Rams completed the season 29-4 and ranked No. 10 in the year’s final poll.

BACK IN THE TOP-25 POLL
After a perfect 8-0 start to the season, the Colorado State Rams are back in the AVCA Division I Coaches Top 25 poll, ranked No. 22 in this week’s poll. It is CSU’s highest ranking since Sept. 26, 2011, when the Rams ranked No. 21.

All-time, just 14 teams have been ranked more frequently than CSU, which has been voted into the top-25 poll 236 times in its history. However, this is the first time CSU has been ranked since the second week of the 2012 season, when the Rams were No. 24 after starting at No. 25 in the 2012 preseason poll. CSU received votes several other weeks throughout the 2012 season, and has steadily climbed the rankings in 2012 — 38th in the preseason poll, 31st in Week 2 and 26th in Week 3 — before cracking the rankings.

Playing as a ranked team, CSU is 409-125 all-time, including 232-28 at Moby Arena. The Rams will look to improve on that mark this week with two critical matches. CSU begins Mountain West action against Border War rival Wyoming (Wednesday at 7 p.m. MT), followed by an Orange Out match vs. the SEC West favorites, Texas A&M. The Aggies defeated then-No. 16 Florida State over the weekend, and currently are the top team in the ‘Receiving Votes’ category (26th). Pepperdine, which CSU defeated on Sept. 7 in Malibu, Calif., is again receiving votes. The Waves dropped out last week, but defeated then-No. 19 Kentucky over the weekend to earn 17 points (31st).

BACK-TO-BACK MW PLAYER OF WEEK HONORS
For the second straight week, a CSU student-athlete was named the Mountain West Women’s Volleyball Player of the Week.

On Monday, the league named right-side hitter Adrianna Culbert this week’s selection after averaging 5.29 kills and 3.00 digs per set on .523 hitting. In a four-set victory at Denver on Sept. 10, she tallied a career-high 23 kills, the most by a MW player this season and most by a CSU athlete since November 2011. Her 23 kills came on .512 hitting, as she committed just two errors on 41 swings. In the match, Culbert also led the team in aces (3) and digs (14) — her third consecutive double-double.

After helping the Rams to a 4-0 week, including the Pepperdine Invitational championship, setter Deedra Foss was named the MW Player of the Week on Sept. 9. The junior from McKenna, Wash., averaged 12.07 assists, 2.60 digs, 0.67 kills, 0.47 aces and 0.47 blocks per set on the week, earning tournament MVP honors. Against UC Santa Barbara, she tallied a double-double with 53 assists, 13 digs, four kills, four blocks and two aces.

REMAINING UNDEFEATED
After three weeks of play, the Rams are off to one of their best-ever starts. Entering the week, just 11 teams remain undefeated. Joining the Rams is American, Buffalo, Jacksonville, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio State, Utah, Washington, Washington State and West Virginia.

CONFERENCE OPENER
CSU opens Mountain West action on Wednesday, and while the Rams lost in their conference opener last season, falling at New Mexico after leading 2-0, Head Coach Tom Hilbert has never lost a conference home opener, going 16-0 at CSU.

HOME COOKING
The Rams have had a tremendous amount of success at Moby Arena, winning nearly 90 percent of their matches under Head Coach Tom Hilbert. Since 1997, Hilbert’s first season in Fort Collins, CSU has gone 230-28 (.891) at home.

Looking back even further, to 1995, CSU has won at least 10 home matches each season, including 15 of 16 in 2012. Its .938 winning percentage tied for sixth in program history, and the best since 2008. The Rams’ only loss in 2012 was a five-set thriller to No. 2 UCLA, the 2011 national champions.

STREAKING AT HOME
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).

After a 4-0 start to the 2013 season, CSU has now won 28 of its last 29 home matches, including 12 straight.

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