Moby Arena will serve as the battleground when an age-old battle
is renewed tonight between the Rams and the Cowboys. The 56th year
of the CSU-Wyoming Border War brings a lot of history, but also
brings new elements.
“Wyoming’s a young team this year. I don’t want to overlook
them, though, because I think they are very athletic and they will
have a lot of emotion in their game,” said head coach Tom
The dual rages on at 7 p.m. as CSU hosts the 8-7 Wyoming in this
long-standing, emotional, border battle. The Rams have historically
come out on top, winning 38 times since the commencement of the
annual clash in 1976 and losing only 18 matches.
Wyoming will use new faces on the court and new coaching on the
sidelines in an attempt to arrest the 12-game winning streak the
Rams have waged against the Cowgirls in the past. CSU has dropped
just five games in the fray since 1998.
Freshman standouts for the Cowgirls include middle blockers
Shelby Heggie and Lauren Scott, who have posted intimidating
numbers in both blocking and kills for the team. Freshman libero
Rachael Booth has also stepped up for Wyoming on defense, leading
the team with 4.02 digs per game.
Hilbert has dropped just one match in his tenure as CSU’s head
coach to the brown and yellow – an experience he remembers
“In my first year here we beat them handily in Fort Collins,”
Hilbert said. “Then we went to Wyoming and they smoked us and they
blocked really effectively. We had a really, really hard time
handling that emotionally.”
This indelible encounter has motivated Hilbert and his team to
keep the team practicing hard to stay intense.
“They may be winning on the weekends, but they don’t win in
practice every day. We put them in difficult situations,” Hilbert
said of the team’s preparation for the game.
While Wyoming brings a battalion of new faces to the Border War,
CSU’s crew of seasoned veterans is not new to these trenches. Last
year’s showdown in Laramie was one of the most dynamic games of the
As a sophomore, outside hitter Tess Rogers knocked down a .750
hitting percentage to go down as ninth-best in school history.
Setter Melissa Courtney had eight digs and five service aces, while
middle blocker Bri Frech added six blocks to corral the
“I thought we played one of the best matches of our lives
there,” Hilbert said of the match. “We were just not going to be
The Rams will try to repeat this experience against first-year
Wyoming head coach Pat Stangle, who has not yet faced CSU.
“He is a good coach who comes from a great program,” Hilbert
said. “He will do a good job.”
Time will tell when the teams rumble 7 p.m. tonight at Moby