Oct 222007
 
Authors: Brandon Owens

The 18th-ranked Rams volleyball team has now had one of its players win the Mountain West Conference Volleyball Player of the Week five out of nine times this year. Setter Ashley Fornstrom earned the award for last week’s performances on Monday.

Fornstrom averaged 14.14 assists, 3.14 digs, 1.86 blocks and 0.57 kills per game in seven games over two matches. It is the third time in her career Fornstrom has won the award.

“It’s a good honor,” Fornstrom said. “It shows that you had a good weekend and it’s nice to be recognized, but overall, it’s our team that won the two matches.”

The junior had her second ever triple-double against Utah on Saturday with 52 assists, 14 digs and 10 total blocks. Fornstrom was shocked when she first found out about the triple-double after CSU’s four-game victory.

“I wasn’t expecting it at all,” she said. “I had no idea that it had happened, but it’s kind of cool.”

Saturday was the first time this year that a player earned a triple-double in four games. On Thursday against BYU, Fornstrom had 47 assists, eight digs, three blocks and two aces.

Coach Tom Hilbert said the following about the Rams’ setter: “In certain matches, she gets hot blocking, and (Saturday) was one of them,” he said. “She is the best blocking setter in our conference without a doubt.”

With the award, Fornstrom joined middle blocker Mekana Barnes, who has earned the honor three times this year, and outside hitter Jaime Strauss. All three are juniors.

“It means we have a pretty good junior class,” Hilbert said. “It shows that those kids have put together some consistent performances, especially over the course of a weekend.”

The Rams moved up three more spots in the most recent Division I coaches poll released Monday, from No. 21 to No. 18 with their wins over BYU and Utah.

As conference player of the week, Fornstrom had a lot to do with that her team’s success and says that it’s no time for the Rams to rest.

“We are winning some big matches, so we’re getting rewarded for it.

“It’s nice to be recognized in the nation as one of the top teams in the country,” she said. “It also kind of puts a sign on your back. Everybody is going to want to beat you and knock you down.”

Volleyball beat reporter Brandon Owens can be reached at sports@collegian.com.

Rank School W-L

1 Nebraska 19-0

2 Penn State 18-2

3 Stanford 19-1

4 Wash. 19-1

5 Texas 14-3

6 USC 17-3

7 UCLA 16-4

8 Wisconsin 17-2

9 Cal 16-4

10 Florida 18-1

11 Hawai’i 16-4

12 San Diego 16-5

13 N.M. State 19-3

14 Duke 16-4

15 Kansas St. 15-6

16 Oregon 15-6

17 Dayton 21-1

18 CSU 15-4

19 Ohio 17-4

20 Michigan 17-5

21 Oklahoma 16-5

22 Minnesota 12-8

23 St. John’s 22-3

24 Cal Poly 13-7

25 Louisville 15-4

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