When Brigham Young University comes to play the CSU volleyball team tonight at 7, most people see a major rivalry between two Mountain West powerhouses. CSU senior Amanda Fahnestock sees a team that she almost played for.
Fahnestock, a middle blocker/outside hitter, nearly attended BYU before settling on Utah State and then transferring to CSU as a sophomore. The Idaho native said that her family history made her consider becoming a Cougar.
“Both my parents attended (BYU), and a lot of my family has been there,” she said. “My dad played volleyball and my mom played basketball. I started going to summer camps at BYU when I was little, so it had been one of my top choices.”
Fahnestock was recruited by BYU and CSU before deciding to play for Utah State her freshman year. Now that she is a Ram, the 6-footer couldn’t be happier with the decision.
“I think they are a good team, but I am definitely glad I am on this side of the court,” Fahnestock said with a smile on her face.
CSU coach Tom Hilbert agreed, explaining he is happy to have a player with Fahnestock’s qualities.
“She is a great kid and adds a lot to our team in terms of character,” he said. “She is versatile and knows that she can play any positions. She really plays a major role on this team.”
The Rams welcome BYU to Moby in what could be Fahnestock and fellow senior Tonya Mokelki’s last game against the rival Cougars.
Fahnestock said that she has no trouble getting excited for these games, adding that she is feeling a lot of different things.
“For me it is a range of emotions,” she said. “It is a good feeling for me to be across the net playing BYU. It gives me a lot of motivation to play really well against them because I know a lot of their players and have even gone over seas with a lot of them.”
Mokelki, who has played BYU eight times in her college career, is looking forward to beating the Cougars for the second time this season.
“It is one of the games I get most pumped for,” said the outside hitter. “I think it is something that has been instilled in me.”
Mokelki considers BYU the Rams’ biggest rival and has enjoyed playing against them as many times as she has. If this is the last opportunity she has to defeat BYU, the Canadian native knows how she wants it to happen.
“As scary as it is, it is fun to go to a game five,” she said. “Everyone is excited and on the edge of their seat. Those are the games that make volleyball the sport it is. It would be ok to beat them in 3 though.”
Volleyball beat reporter Adam Bohlmeyer can be reached at email@example.com.