After battling among themselves through preseason camp and practices, the No. 17 ranked Colorado State volleyball team is anxious to finally look across the net and see someone wearing a different color.
While coach Tom Hilbert feels that the Rams have worked hard, he said that his team was a little flat in practice on Wednesday, but that he feels this weekend’s tournament should be exactly what his team needs.
“We need to play somebody,” Hilbert said. “We have been playing ourselves every day, and we are lacking in enthusiasm a little right now. What we need is a benchmark to know where we stand, and playing someone else should help us.”
The lack of enthusiasm might seem like a big concern, but Hilbert says it is a yearly tradition.
“Every year at this time I say the same thing. It gets tough for them to focus for a two hours practice,” said Hilbert.
Senior outside hitter Jamie Strauss echoed her coach’s statement.
“It is nice to see something different,” she said. “Every day, scrimmaging against yourself, it gets hard to measure yourself. You know what to expect from everyone.”
Like everyone else at CSU, the start of school has forced the Rams to go to class, meaning that they have something other than volleyball on their minds.
“Going back to class really slows things down. Instead of volleyball all day, now it is lifting in the morning, then class, then practice. It breaks up the day and helps slow it down,” said senior setter Ashley Fornstrom.
Though the Rams are just one day away from opening the season, Hilbert is still evaluating his team to decide the best lineup. He specifically mentioned the outside hitter position as one of interest.
“We have three people up for two spots at outside hitter. We have Jamie Strauss, Jacque Davisson, and Danielle Minch all there. They all have different skill sets and talents, and what it comes down to is finding the best way to use them all to their potential,” said Hilbert.
The Rams open their season with a home match against Arkansas Friday as part of the annual Hilton Classic tournament. Match time is set for 7:30 p.m.
Volleyball beat writer Matthew Pucak can be reached at email@example.com.