Oct 132005
Authors: Paul Baker

The Rams have a bye this weekend in Mountain West Conference play, but that doesn't mean they won't be in action. CSU will host the Red Raiders of Texas Tech this Saturday, the teams haven't meet since they played in 1985 with the Rams winning in four games.

Texas Tech is coming off a loss to No. 1 ranked Nebraska in three games 30-16, 30-18, 30-22. Nebraska dominated the Red Raiders showing why they garnered the No. 1 spot, out hitting Tech .310 to .089. Tech was led by junior outside hitter Philister Sang, who shouldered the offense against the Cornhuskers with 12 kills.

Sang has led the team all year in kills per game with 4.57, while Tech's middle is led by senior Brianna Flores with 1.06 blocks per game. As a team, the Red Raiders are hitting .195 with 14.42 kills, and 13.93 digs per game.

Texas Tech is coached by Nancy Todd, who in her third year at the helm for the Red Raiders has a career record of 30-41. So far this year the Red Raiders are 9-8 and 3-5 in the Big 12.

"Tech is a Big 12 team," senior Tess Rogers said. "We have to keep proving our conference to everyone, and it helps when we tough teams outside of our conference."

The Rams are coming off one of their toughest weekends so far as they took on conference foes No. 16 BYU and Utah.

"We're much more battle tested after that weekend," head coach Tom Hilbert said. "It really helped show us some things we need to work on."

The Rams are putting up some great numbers so far this season. Senior middle blocker Dre Downs last weekend became the 12th player in school history to record double figure blocks in multiple matches. Downs has tallied at least seven blocks in every conference match this season, and is averaging a league best 1.76 blocks per game. She also needs just one more kill to become the 17th player in school history to record 1000 kills for their career.

A big part of CSU's offense comes from their outside hitters Rogers and senior Casey Bauer. They have combined to each record double figure kills in 13 of 14 matches this season. Bauer leads the team and is second in the Mountain West Conference with 4.00 kills per game, while Rogers is averaging 3.76 a game.

"We still need to work on cutting our errors down," junior libero Katherine Whitney said. "We have a great offense, if we can eliminate some of those mistakes it can only help us."

The match is set for 1 p.m. at Moby Arena

"Every single match is important to us, we can't afford to have a bad one," Hilbert said. "This will help us establish a solid RPI which will help us get into the tournament."

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