After getting off to their worst start in recent memory, tonight the CSU women’s volleyball team will have a chance for redemption.
The women enter the Coors Classic tournament after beginning the season with three straight losses.
The team is trying to stay positive about their rough start.
“I think we are pretty up beat about it,” senior Jamie Strauss said. “We faced good teams and didn’t lose by more than four points to two of them. We played really good, but just needed some things shored up.”
Assistant coach Jesse Mahoney agreed with Strauss.
“We had three tough matches and played well enough to win in all three,” he said. “We understand that the season is a building process. It is good to play matches like this early to get you ready for conference.”
CSU’s first four opponents of the season are all currently ranked among the top 30 teams in the nation.
Mahoney explained that playing such tough competition has helped prepare the team for the Coors Classic.
“Playing on the road against top level competition certainly put us under stress, but we are better because of it,” he said.
The Rams begin the tournament tonight against 13 ranked Ohio State (3-0, 0-0) who are coming off of an impressive performance in the Active Ankle challenge. The Buckeyes are lead by senior Danielle Meyer who was named MVP of the tournament after averaging six points per game.
Ohio State Head Coach Jim Stone is not taking the Rams’ poor record as a sign of weakness.
“This early in the season and records don’t mean anything yet,” the 26-year Ohio State coach said. “We didn’t play the competition they (CSU) played. They are a very good team.”
Mahoney is expecting a tough game from the Buckeyes.
“They are one of the premier programs in the country,” he said. “They are always a good physical team, but I think we match up well with them.”
Ohio State brings a young team to the tournament, starting three freshmen.
Middle blocker Tessa Nelson is excited to play the national powerhouse, especially at home in Moby Arena.
“It is huge, especially with all the promoting that has been done for this game,” the red shirt sophomore said. “It is really a good test to see if we got better from last weekend.”
To get fans pumped for the first game, the team has called a “green out.”
Mahoney said that playing at home will give the Rams a big advantage throughout the tournament.
“We will play anyone in Moby,” he said. “We feel like we can beat anyone at home.”
Volleyball beat reporter Adam Bohlmeyer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org