Hughes spends day in the life of a student

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Feb 282008
 
Authors: Calvin Setar

In an effort to reconnect with the student population at CSU, Blanche Hughes, vice president of Student Affairs, spent Wednesday night with a student in a dorm room in Edwards Hall.

“I got the idea from a magazine article I read about the vice president of Student Affairs at Indiana University,” Hughes said. “He used to spend one night a year, until he retired, in the dorm rooms getting to know some of the students.”

It wasn’t just any old dorm night though, as Michael Katz, the Residence Life coordinator for Edwards, organized special activities for the event, including dinner for Hughes in the cafeteria, a couple of movies on a large projector in the basement, and a slumber party complete with popcorn and snow cones for anyone who wanted to join.

“Since I started here at CSU, I’ve worked on a number of projects with Blanche, and she was always talking about how she wanted to really create a connection with the students here, so we came up with this idea and started planning a couple months ago,” Katz said.

Hughes, who has spent 20 years as a CSU faculty member, said a close relationship with students is crucial for her job as vice president of Student Affairs.

“For people like me who are in student affairs, it’s vitally important to have a good idea of what student life is like,” Hughes said. “I don’t want the students to look at administrators as untouchable.

“When I was younger I worked as a resident advisor and residence director, and I honestly think there’s nothing cooler than the dorms. Being here really gets me in touch with my roots.”

Agricultural science major Leah Thomas, who Hughes spent the night with, was a little nervous about the idea at first, but finally accepted the proposal.

“I live in a single and my (resident assistant) came to me and asked me if I’d be interested and I said yes,” Thomas said.

The next day, Hughes extolled the receptiveness of the students and the hard work put in by her staff.

“It was just great. A really fun, wonderful experience,” she said. “It’s been a long time for me since I lived in a dorm, and just watching my staff and how they interact with the students really renewed my appreciation for their effort to try and build a community in the residence halls.”

Hughes said the best part of the evening was just hanging out and talking with Thomas and her friends in their room, away from everyone else.

“After the first movie I went upstairs, and they were all just hanging out in the room, so I sat down and we ended up talking for about an hour and a half,” Hughes said. “That was the most important thing, to really connect with those students on a personal level.”

Hughes said if students are receptive to the idea, it might become an annual event.

“If it was alright with the students and staff, then I’d love to do it even more than once a year. It was so much fun, I’d even like to bring my son with me next time,” she said.

Staff writer Calvin Setar can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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CSU Opera’s ‘Falstaff’ opens

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Feb 282008
 
Authors: Edie Adams

The CSU Opera Theatre will open tonight with Giuseppe Verdi’s “Falstaff,” an operatic adaptation of Shakespeare’s “The Merry Wives of Windsor”. The performance promises many laughs and a good time for anyone with any musical background.

“Falstaff” tells the story of a boisterous and irresistible con man intent on wooing two married noblewomen at the same time. His ploy inevitably fails, however, and both women give him some hilarious comeuppance.

Todd Queen, the director of this performance, chose to set the opera in Shakespearian England, to be as close as possible to the original story. The costumes were made and the stage assembled just this past week.

Todd Resseguie, a freshman vocal music education major, sings in the chorus and plays a servant in Falstaff’s house in various scenes.

“We get to run around and act crazy,” said Resseguie. “It’s going to be hilarious.”

Some parts in the show require that the background singers do normal everyday activities, which all have to line up and be performed at precise moments during the scene. The choreography for the chorus was a lot of hard work and frustration, but it will be worth it, Resseguie said.

The talented cast of singers was selected in early November, and rehearsals began in January. Although this production has a double cast, the lead part of Falstaff will be played by guest vocalist Bradley Thompson in both sets.

Thompson has received praise from the Rocky Mountain News and others for his performances in the past and has won several vocal competitions. While he is not performing, he is a professor at Metropolitan State College of Denver, teaching courses for voice and opera studies. He has performed with professional opera companies, including Opera Colorado, and is well known for his versatility in his voice as well as his acting.

The opera will open tonight at 7:30 in the University Center for the Arts and will be performed again Saturday at the same time. There will also be two performances next weekend.

Staff writer Edie Adams can be reached verve@collegian.

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Poetry at CSU

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Feb 272008
 
Authors: Griffin Faust

The Creative Writing Program at CSU is welcoming poet Chris Arigo and nonfiction writer and poet Jacqueline Lyons tonight for this installment of the Spring 2008 Reading Series.

The event is scheduled to take place at 7:30 p.m. today in the Hatton Gallery in the Visual Arts Building. The poetry reading is free to the public. A reception with refreshments and book signing will follow the reading.

Arigo and Lyons are both graduates of the M.F.A. program at CSU and have continued their education elsewhere since.

Arigo obtained his masters from CSU in 2000 and currently teaches at University of Nevada – Las Vegas while he works toward a Ph.D.This poet’s first collection book is titled “Lit Interim” which was published in 2003.

About one year ago Arigo published “In the Archives,” a poetry collection that explores the process of accumulating knowledge.

Currently, Arigo is working on a new publication which he expects to read from tonight, in combination with already published poems. Arigo struggles with categorizing his poetry.

“Ultimately all poetry is nature poetry,” he said.

Arigo will be sharing the stage with his wife, CSU master’s graduate Jacqueline Lyons.

Originally from outside Eau Claire, Wis., Lyons now lives in Las Vegas, Nev. with Arigo after accomplishing a Ph.D. at University of Utah – Salt Lake City, Utah.

Her latest book release is titled “The Way They Say Yes Here” and is largely influenced by her experiences and relationships in southern Africa. Lyons hasn’t decided what she will be reading tonight yet, but at least some of her poetry will be from her new works.

Both authors agreed that much of their recent writing has developed from spending time in the Mojave Desert; poems about the mythos of the West and desert.

“Poetry has a lot to do with responding to the places you’ve been, locations and its people,” Lyons said.

Staff writer Griffin Faust can be reached at verve@collegian.com.

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Go ahead, listen to your stomach

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Feb 272008
 
Authors: Maggie Canty

Eating is no laughing matter.

In a society that is bombarded with nutrition facts, diet fads, weight loss tricks and health nuts, it seems normal to care about what you eat.

But when does caring become obsession, and obsession become disorder?

This week is National Eating Disorder Awareness Week, dedicated to the knowledge and prevention of what has become an all-too-common obsession with food.

With studies showing that this is an area that affects all races, sexes and ages, according to the National Eating Disorders Association, it’s time we take a closer look at how we view “healthy” eating.

At its most basic level, food is fuel. It keeps our hearts pumping, our legs moving and our minds from wandering during class – sometimes.

But somewhere along the way, Americans have lost sight of food’s simple purpose.

We’ve become obsessed with nutrition labels, calories and grams of fat.

We’ve learned to fear carbs, consider fast food evil and avoid “comfort” foods at all costs.

But how much of this is good, and how much are we letting our diets control our lives?

Hunger is a basic instinct we’re born with.

When we were young, we ate what we wanted when we wanted it, and stopped when we were full.

We let our bodies guide our meals, and didn’t give food another thought. Until we got hungry again.

And what’s surprising about this is that far fewer young children have weight problems than adults.

Like they know something we don’t. Somewhere during our socialization, we stopped listening to our stomachs and started relying on our heads to decide what and when to eat.

Everything from what a balanced meal should contain to when it is appropriate to eat pancakes is guided by some rule or regulation we’ve been taught to abide by.

And therein lies the problem. Americans have been obsessed with knowing fat grams and calorie contents for ages, relying on a label or particular diet trend to know what to eat.

We restrict ourselves to foods that fit to our societal standards, whether we like them or not.

And yet we keep getting fatter. Simultaneously, all this emphasis on food has created a breeding ground for disordered eating, affecting 24 million Americans, 10 to 15 percent of which are men, according to the National Eating Disorder Association.

And CSU is no exception.

“Disordered eating and eating disorders are absolutely an issue here,” said Chris Baucman, a registered dietician specializing in eating disorders at Heartshorn Health Center.

“They’re a concern for both men and women, especially on a college campus.”

So we’re either overweight or starving ourselves. Something obviously isn’t working.

Maybe the problem isn’t that we don’t pay enough attention to what we eat, but that we no longer base what we’re eating on how it makes us feel, or what we actually want.

Our bodies no longer dictate when, where or how much we eat. Our minds do.

But it’s not too late to change. This week, try and consciously let your body make your decisions surrounding food, not a label or diet. Eat what you’re craving, when you’re craving it.

It’s called intuitive eating. And it’s wonderful.

If we learn to listen to our stomach’s gentle signals, we will never get too hungry or too full. And if that means we’re eating scrambled eggs at 9 p.m. and pizza for breakfast, that’s OK.

If you’re giving your stomach what it wants, you’ll feel more satisfied, and be less likely to overindulge on “restricted” foods.

The ultimate goal is to stop letting your mind do your stomach’s job.

I’m sure you’ll realize your body knows more than you think.

Entertainment Editor Maggie Canty can be reached at verve@collegian.com.

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Goldenfrapp provides relaxing record

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Feb 272008
 
Authors: Nick Scheidies

Intro: After finding success in the realm of synth-pop and dance with their last two albums, British duo Goldfrapp have taken their traditionally electronic music in a surprisingly folksy direction with “Seventh Tree.” But can they trade synthesizers for acoustic guitars, pianos and actual drum kits without losing their Midas touch?

Pros: In short, yes, they can. Change instruments though they may, Goldfrapp still features the engaging – if more demur than ever – voice of lead singer Alison Goldfrapp. She chirps and croons ethereally over the warmly ambient and decidedly down tempo arrangements of “Seventh Tree,” which manage to be soothing and yet unerringly catchy.

Cons: There’s nothing wrong with making a relaxing record, but the 10 tracks on “Seventh Tree” are all almost identical in length, sound and tempo. The album is simply begging for a little variety.

Meanwhile, the lyrics are often incoherent and when you can actually understand them they usually underwhelm, though there are exceptions.

Definitive Track: For instance, the imminently likeable “Happiness” features a bopping piano, a persistent backbeat and an infectious chorus along with cheery backup vocals. But the true brilliance of the song rests in the way these gleeful sonic trappings disguise its sinister lyrical content: “we can see your troubled soul / give us all your money / we’ll make it better.”

Conclusion: On “Caravan Girl” Goldfrapp expresses a desire to “run away and bring it all back.” In many ways, the duo has achieved just that. With “Seventh Tree,” they’ve abandoned their comfortable niche, in favor of a more intimate aesthetic. But in doing so, Goldfrapp has brought a transcendent, haunting beauty to their music.

Staff writer Nick Scheidies can be reached at verve@collegian.com.

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Black, Def provide imperfect charm

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Feb 272008
 
Authors: Jeff Schwartz

“Be Kind Rewind” is a comedic fantasy from the mind of Michel Gondry, a director whose previous credits include “The Science of Sleep” and “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.”

The film has gotten flack from some critics for either not being as good as “Eternal Sunshine,” or for not premising the story in reality.

Well, of course “Be Kind Rewind” isn’t as good as “Eternal Sunshine” – one of the best films of the last decade.

And as for the lack of realism, all of Gondry’s films contain elements of science fiction, fantasy or just plain whimsy; going to a Michel Gondry film and expecting realism is a little like going to a Michael Bay film and expecting a story or complex characters.

“Be Kind Rewind” is experienced best when the viewer simply surrenders to Gondry’s vision and to the enthusiastic abandon of his actors’ performances.

Be Kind Rewind is the name of a video store (as in VHS, not DVD) in Passaic, New Jersey, owned by Mr. Fletcher (Danny Glover) and staffed by Mike (Mos Def).

The store doesn’t have many customers, except Jerry (Jack Black), Mike’s friend, who comes around mostly to tell Mike about his conspiracy theories involving the power plant behind the store.

Disaster strikes when Jerry’s attempt to sabotage the power plant leaves him “magnetized,” which causes him to accidentally erase all the tapes in the video store.

Jerry, though, has a plan: He and Mike will remake (or “swede” as he calls it) the films themselves. At first Mike is incredulous, but after their first swede (of “Ghostbusters”) is a success, he comes around to Jerry’s idea, and soon the duo is sweding everything from “Rush Hour 2” to “2001: A Space Odyssey.”

The biggest laughs in “Be Kind Rewind” are the scenes where Jerry and Mike remake the films with little except a camcorder and some rudimentary, yet inventive, special effects.

There is a hilarious scene where Jerry insists on shooting a night scene even though there isn’t time to wait until it gets dark.

Their solution is to use the “negative” effect on the camcorder, and then Xerox pictures of their faces that they can wear as masks so that their faces will be visible to the audience.

What sells “Be Kind Rewind” is the characters’ sincerity and their belief in the value of their films. Jack Black in particular is perfect as Jerry, a manic man-child whose enthusiasmfor remaking movies is infectious.

“Be Kind Rewind” isn’t perfect, but its lack of perfection is also a part of its appeal. The important thing about the films Jerry and Mike swede is that they are imbued with heart, and the same is true of “Be Kind Rewind.”

Staff writer Jeff Schwartz can be reached at verve@collegian.com.

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Fort Collins artists record themselves

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Feb 272008
 
Authors: Tim Maddocks

HOME RECORDING

Early last fall, the founders of the newly formed Fort Collins Music Association gathered at a local coffee shop.

Armed with coffee, laptops and MySpace, they searched for a definitive number of Fort Collins bands and after hours of searching they discovered too many bands to count.

Greta Cornet, FCMA co-founder, said that they found between 2,000 and 3,000 bands or solo musicians in Fort Collins alone.

They found that about 1,500 of those MySpace pages had posted songs for fans to hear, proving that the art of home recording has become a definite trend.

What’s more; many bands are doing a pretty damn good job.

Cornet, who has played in the band 12 Cents for Marvin for the last 11 years, is familiar with the evolution of the continually changing Fort Collins music scene.

“When MySpace started booming, it seemed like people were able to go back to more do-it-yourself type stuff,” Cornet said.

“Because you can post your own music on there, because Pro-tools is so user friendly. You can start promoting your band or if you’re not even quite a band yet you can promote yourself and start recruiting a band. It’s a virtual online press kit.”

ANYONE CAN DO IT

As to whether the popularity of MySpace or the technological advances in recording came first, Cornet said it’s akin to “the chicken and the egg.”

“All that kind of technology came out at the same time,” she said.

“It used to be analog and reel-to-reel. It was complicated to get it going, splicing your tapes doing all those types of things. And now you know with the digital age it’s really user friendly. If I can do it, anyone can do it.”

While a number of professional-grade studios exist in Fort Collins, it costs a good deal of money for bands to cut a record. Rates usually range from $40 to $50 an hour.

“In the studio if you’re paying by the hour and you crack a note or you miss a note or something it’s like, ‘crap I just cost us $40.'” Cornet said.

Home recording equipment can be costly but in the long run it’s cheaper.

Cornet’s band, 12 Cents for Marvin, recorded their last three albums at their own home-studio when they discovered it would save money.

Options for recording vary, but for a band to get a song on MySpace, it doesn’t take much money or experience.

Free recording software downloads are available online and with digital software as the industry standard, four-track and eight-track recorders are more affordable than ever.

B.J. Buttice, a 24-year-old home-studio owner and CSU art grad, has been recording his bands since his freshman year in college.

His band Smile and Shoeshine – now on an extended hiatus – also recorded at the nationally renowned Blasting Room Studios here in Fort Collins.

But Buttice prefers his own recordings.

“Unless you got a lot of money or a lot of clout, you’re not gonna get a good recording out of a professional studio.” Buttice said,

Recording yourself, he said, is easier than it may seem.

“It’s important for people to be encouraged to try it,” Buttice said.

“You can’t spend your whole life waiting, and it’s not as hard as it seems. You don’t need to spend a lot of money. Buy a 4-track. Buy a hand-held tape recorder.”

DEAD PIGEON STUDIOS

In early 2004, Buttice, with the grace of “good luck and good friends”, moved his home-recording gear from the basement of his house into an abandoned nightclub, once known as The Matrixx.

The Matrixx, known for its DJ’s and raves, was abandoned in 2000 after complications from losing its liquor license.

“When we first came in, there were a ton of dead pigeons everywhere,” Buttice said. “It was gross and amazing.”

Thus the name Dead Pigeon Studios was coined.

These days, the pigeons have been replaced with drums, guitars, amps strewn amid boom stands and microphone cords.

An old piano sits in the corner. The high-rise ceiling drips cobwebs.

Dust and cigarette ashes paint a thin coat on the floor.

Spread out from the collection of various musical equipment, closer to the walls, is a basketball hoop, skate board ramps and rails.

But the space, so ample, doesn’t come close to being filled.

Buttice’s first recording experience was with a reel-to-reel four-track back in high school, but he has since taken to digitally recording with Cubase recording software, a multi-track platform.

He has slowly bought and inherited from friends his cache of recording equipment.

His recording work station forms a sort of circle with the array of musical equipment.

Next to his computer desk sits a banquet table holding two mixing boards with a total of 20 working inputs.

Around the same time Buttice moved into The Matrixx, he formed his band, Sour Boy, Bitter Girl and started recording prolifically.

Not long after the folk-rock group released its first album, “Dead Pigeon Warehouse.” More albums are in the works as he has three albums worth of music on his hard drive.

He has also taken to recording a handful of friends, most recently Signor Farini and the Marmadook Weatheralls and The Black Apples.

“Thus far I’ve been paid in beer and sandwiches, which is nice,” Buttice said.

“But I’d like to make some money in the future.”

However, that future of Dead Pigeon Studios will be held elsewhere as developers plan to bulldoze the dance club to make room for a parking lot.”The idea is,” Buttice said, “that wherever it is I record, it will be called Dead Pigeon Studios.”

THE ONE-MAN-BAND

Recording doesn’t necessarily mean recording bands.

Six years ago Toby Hendricks, now 25, started throwing synth lines and drum loops on to a Tascam four-track. When he started rapping over his beats Hendricks became known as the act Otem Rellik.

Otem Rellik’s electro-symphonic hip-hop never would have come to fruition without Hendricks’ tireless studio experimentation.

Hendricks’ only musical background came from playing the trumpet in junior high.

He said that recording his music is how he creates his music.

“I don’t know anything about music, I don’t know theory; I don’t know notes. I don’t know anything,” Hendricks said. “Most of my music is made up of really simple notes. I learned how to play music as I learned how to record.”

Inspired by his favorite hip-hop artists, Hendricks started recording in his bedroom on a digital four-track recorder.

He experimented with the program Cakewalk SONAR and for the last two years he has used Cubase software.

Hendricks has released 10 albums over the last five years and he has over 30 unreleased songs on his hard drive.

His studio is now in a small room in the basement of his house, filled with dozens of electronic kid’s toys, over 20 keyboards, and hundreds of vinyl records.

Hendricks said, “A lot of what I buy for my music is pretty cheap – little Casios – things that make sounds from thrift shops.”

ALL YOU NEED IS A ROOM

On Matt Sage’s 18th birthday his parents bought him a digital Tascam eight-track recorder.

The high school drummer started learning guitar lines note by note in his parents’ basement and slowly started building a collection of rhythmic-based rock songs.

Those early recordings set the foundation of what would become Castles, one of Fort Collins’ most innovative rock acts.Sage, a CSU sophomore English major, uses the same digital eight-track today.

While his peers use computer software to record, Sage’s music retains an earthy-type quality for his band’s eclectic song writing.

“It started as ‘I got to get four songs so I can get a MySpace,'” Sage said.

But it has grown much bigger since his early recording. Castles has released one album named “Keepers” and is currently working on their second, “New West America.”

With Sage’s eight-track, all he said he needs is a room.

Sage said, “Every time I move into a new place before I set up anything else I set up my recording room.”

His studio has moved from his parents’ basement to the kitchen in his first “tiny” apartment to his bedroom in Oregon, where he spent six months last year.

It’s now in the upstairs living room of his house near campus.

The walls of the room are lined with “rolls and rolls of padding that we got out of a dumpster.” The drums sit in the corner, synthesizer and amps line the walls and his Tascam eight-track monitors it all.

With over 2,000 musical acts in Fort Collins, there’s a myriad of recording set-ups each taking on the personality of the musician.

“It doesn’t matter how you record. It matters how you want to record,” Buttice said.

“It’s your guitar. It’s your art. Make it sound how you want it to sound.

“That’s how you get sounds that don’t sound like what you hear on the radio.”

Staff writer Tim Maddox can be reached at verve@collegian.com.

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Cowboys use size in comeback win over Rams

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Feb 272008
 
Authors: Mattew Pucak

If a game ever proved the adage that it isn’t about how you start, it is how you finish, this may have been it.

CSU jumped to 17-point and 13-point leads early in the first and second half, but the Wyoming Cowboys dominated the end of each half, eventually pulling away for a 77-67 win at Moby Arena Wednesday night.

The loss was the 14th consecutive for the Rams (6-20, 0-12), the longest single-season losing streak in CSU history (two longer streaks bridged two seasons), and the losing is certainly taking its toll on the Rams.

“I shed a few tears (in the locker room), and everyone I know will tell you that I am the least emotional guy ever,” Rams senior center Stuart Creason said.

The frustration from the Rams stems from the fact that they seemingly had the Cowboys (10-16, 3-10) on the ropes at multiple occasions, but long stretches without baskets, mostly coinciding with Creason sitting out with foul trouble, doomed the Rams.

The Cowboys took advantage of the Rams’ lack of size other than Creason, pounding the ball inside, getting a career-high 21 points from forward Joseph Taylor and a near career-high 17 points from Tyson Johnson. Taylor fired up the Cowboys with three huge dunks in the first half, including a one-handed tomahawk over Creason that was SportsCenter’s top play of the night.

“The team that is the aggressor wins, and tonight the aggressor was Wyoming,” CSU head coach Tim Miles said .

The Rams jumped out to a 31-14 lead in the first,keyed by 12 points from Creason, but then watched as the Cowboys closed the half on a 14-1 run to pull to within four at 32-28.

CSU responded by opening the second half on a 9-0 run and held a 47-38 lead with 11:32 remaining in the game.

“Stu (Creason) was our go-to man in the first, and not having him in the second was big,” said guard Marcus Walker, who scored 14 points. “We have got to all be ready just in case (of foul trouble). We can’t put it all on one person.”

Wyoming used a 12-0 run to gain the lead with 8:17 remaining and bullied the Rams inside as they pulled away.

CSU struggled to get shots to drop from the field and the free-throw line during the stretch, while Wyoming closed the game out from the charity stripe.

The Rams, who return to the court Saturday night at San Diego State, know they can’t focus on the streak if they want to have the season end on a good note.

“We know we have to play hard every possession and worry about the result after we’re through,” said Walker.

Sports writer Matthew Pucak can be reached at sports@collegian.com.

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‘Dome of Doom’ does the job on Rams

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Feb 272008
 
Authors: Matt L. Stephens

LARAMIE – CSU just never had a chance. From Wyoming’s 9-2 run to start the game to its 10-4 run to start the second half, the Cowgirls has all of the momentum in their 68-46 victory over the Rams Wednesday night at Arena-Auditorium.

With the loss, CSU extended program records for the most losses in one season with 24 and the most consecutive losses with 17.

The Rams playbook was almost an exact duplicate from Sunday’s loss at the Air Force Academy, which stood the problem throughout. Wyoming (23-4, 11-3) is the 24th ranked team in the country and for a good reason, they know how to scout their opponent and every player knows how to execute when called upon.

“I think (Wyoming) watched our film too much,” CSU’s Amaka Uzomah said. “They did stop our high-low game and that’s when our guards were able to penetrate and make something out of it . In the second half we weren’t able to get the calls-we never do-so at the end I started to penetrate, I thought ‘what the heck?’ Lets see if I can make something out of this.'”

Uzomah finished with 8 points and 11 rebounds; six of her points came in the final 3:24.

CSU head coach Jen Warden said that she was proud of her girls for never quitting, even after Wyoming’s starters played for 35 minutes.

The Rams’ (2-24, 0-13) loss guarantees them the ninth seed in the Mountain West conference championship on March 1. This is the lowest seed CSU has ever received in the tournament.

Earning player of the game honors for CSU was sophomore forward Juanise Cornell, who finished the game with 12 points, 6 rebounds, 1 steal and 1 assist.

“The way we were playing tonight really helped us (post players) capitalize on our post moves.” Cornell said “They were chasing Sara (Hunter), they were chasing Brit(ney Minor), they were chasing all of our guards so that helped us get the ball down low . we had all of our guards just run in circles to help give our forwards and advantage.”

Next up for CSU is San Diego State on Saturday afternoon at 2.

Hopefully for the Rams, a new month will bring a new style of basketball to Fort Collins.

Sports writer Matt L. Stephens can be reached at sports@collegian.com.

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New coach brings experience to team

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Feb 272008
 
Authors: Adam Bohlmeyer

Less than a week after its first tournament of the season, the CSU women’s water polo club team is already talking about winning a division championship.

After completing the tournament with two wins and two losses, new head coach David Grovdahl said that he learned a lot about his team.

“We were happy with the outcome and we got to find out where we are as a team,” said Grovdahl, who is in his first year coaching at CSU. “The big thing for us is that we now know we have the ability to compete for a championship in our division.”

Jill White, a senior, gives credit for the team’s newly found success to Grovdahl.

“We are a lot better than we have been in the past,” the team captain said. “There is a lot to improve on, we just have to get down to the nitty gritty.”

Grovdahl brings an element of experience that the Rams have been lacking the past few seasons, playing water polo for nine years and coaching for another nine.

White added that Grovdahl’s coaching style has had a major effect on the team.

“The system he is running is really helping us out,” she said. “Everything he does has a purpose. It is a step-by-step process, building up to actual playing.”

Senior Dayo Bodelson agreed, saying that an experienced leader has made a world of difference. In the past, the club team had been coached by students.

“With our new coach we are just better prepared; it is the best we have ever played,” Bodelson said. “Having someone who is more than a student to lead the team has helped out a lot.”

Grovdahl gives most of the credit for the team’s strides to the balance of experience.

“It is a very stable team,” he said. “We have five seniors and up-and-coming players that have just been excellent.”

Although White can see how much the polo team has improved, she still sees room for a lot of growth, specifically staying in games against tough competition.

“We can stay with teams in the first half,” she said. “The third quarter is our biggest problem, but I really think we can get past that. When we are in close games with competition that has beaten us in the past, we get over excited and give them an advantage.”

Even though the Rams have yet to reach the midpoint in their season, it doesn’t stop White from dreaming big. She said that this year’s team has something that other teams have lacked.

“If we end up going to nationals we could put up a good fight,” White said. “There is a just a connection within the team and I think we could do really well.”

Sports writer Adam Bohlmeyer can be reached at sports@collegian.com.

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