Dec 112008
 
Authors: Stephen Meyers

Four of the best volleyball programs in the country will be in Fort Collins this weekend, as CSU is hosting an NCAA volleyball regional at Moby Arena for the first time in program history.

No. 2 ranked Stanford, No. 6 Hawaii, No. 11 Florida and No. 17 Purdue are the teams playing tonight and Saturday for the right to travel to Omaha, Neb. for the Final Four.

Hawaii and Purdue will play each other tonight at 5 p.m., followed by Stanford and Florida at 7 p.m. The regional championship game is 7 p.m. on Saturday.

Stanford, seeded No. 2 in the tournament, comes to Moby as the Pac-10 champions and last season finished runner-up to Penn State. The Cardinal swept Albany and Long Beach State in the first two rounds.

Hawaii won the WAC, is seeded No. 7 in the tournament and swept Belmont and USC in the first two rounds. Five of the Rainbow Wahine earned American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) All-West Region honors. Aneli Cubi-Otineru, Jaime Houston and Dani Mafua were named to the West Region team, while Kanani Danielson and Amber Kaufman earned honorable mentions.

Seeded No. 15, the Florida Gators return to Moby for the second time this season after defeating CSU last Saturday in the second round. The SEC champs include two freshmen players from Colorado: Kristy Jaeckel (Heritage) and Cindy Bathelt (Pine Creek).

Purdue finished fourth in the Big Ten, but garnered a No. 10 seed in the tournament. The Boilermakers defeated Louisville and Middle Tennessee in the first two rounds.

Reserved tickets are sold out, though adult general admission tickets are available for $12. CSU students/seniors (60+) tickets are $8 and youth are $4.

Tickets are available on CSURams.com, at the athletic ticket office or by calling (800) 491-RAMS. All-session packages include all three games.

Seniors Mekana Barnes and Ashley Fornstrom were named all-west region by the AVCA this week. It marks the third consecutive season Barnes was named all-region. She led the MWC in blocks per set, while ranking second in kills and third in hitting percentage and points per set.

This is Fornstrom’s second time named All-Region. Fornstrom led the conference in assists per set and total assists, while adding on to her all-time mark for the MWC in the category.

Volleyball Beat Writer Stephen Meyers can be reached at sports@collegian.com.

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