Nov. 1, 2012
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FORT COLLINS, Colo. – Colorado State’s Border War rivalry with neighboring Wyoming is not limited to the football field. The long-time rivals meet on the volleyball court Friday night in Laramie to open the weekend’s Border War matchups.
Earlier this season, Head Coach Tom Hilbert’s squad swept Wyoming, 3-0, but Hilbert knows Friday’s match won’t be easy for his club.
Though the Rams have won 29 of their past 30 matches in the Border War series, the team’s last venture north was fruitless. After trailing 0-2, Wyoming came back to beat the Rams a year ago, CSU’s first loss in the series since 1997.
“When we play Wyoming, the rankings, the conference standings and everything else all go out the window,” Hilbert said. “The emotion involved in this match is unlike any other conference match.”
Friday night, Colorado State figures to have added support. About 60 fans, plus members of the school’s cheer squad, will be riding the bus and attending the match.
Colorado State enters Friday night’s match tied for second in the Mountain West standings with San Diego State, a half-game behind first-place UNLV. CSU is 14-7 overall, and 7-3 in conference play. Wyoming is 17-9, 4-6.
Hilbert said Wyoming has made great strides the past several years, and knows his team is in for a battle.
“Wyoming has done a great job improving their volleyball program over the last four years,” he said. “We will have to be ready to go, that’s for sure.”
The Rams face a Wyoming team similar in some ways to themselves. Both Colorado State and Wyoming rank in the top 15 nationally in blocking. The Rams are led by senior Megan Plourde, currently eighth in the nation in blocks per set.
The Rams have six conference matching remaining as the team chases an 18th consecutive NCAA tournament berth and fourth straight Mountain West championship.
Friday’s match begins at 7 p.m. in the UniWyo Sports Complex. Following the Border War contest, the Rams return home for a pair of critical Mountain West matches. CSU plays host to UNLV Thursday, Nov. 8 at 7 p.m., before facing San Diego State two days later at 1 p.m.