Volleyball wins 7th MWC championship

 Uncategorized  Comments Off on Volleyball wins 7th MWC championship
Dec 212009
 
Authors: Joel Hafnor

CSU volleyball came from behind Saturday evening in Provo, Utah and in the process claimed conference supremacy by defeating the BYU Cougars in a five-set thriller (21-25, 25-23, 20-25, 27-25, 15-12).

Saturday’s victory gives CSU (22-4, 14-1 MWC) and head coach Tom Hilbert their 7th regular season Mountain West Conference championship.

“This is a special group,” Hilbert said. “This is a season I’m going to remember for a long time.”

Hilbert has now guided the Rams to 11 MWC titles, including post-season conference tournaments. The MWC discontinued its postseason volleyball tournament following the 2007 season.

The Rams found themselves trailing two sets to one, and faced a BYU match-point in the fourth set before ultimately rallying to win.

“We knew what we wanted the outcome to be,” said sophomore outside hitter Kate Steffan. “And we fought for it.”

Outside hitter Danielle Minch led the team with 21 kills, one of five Rams recording double digit scoring nights.

BYU stuck with us the whole time,” Minch said. “We stayed composed in our passing game at the end. I think that was the most important part of the match.”

After winning the fourth set, the Rams secured the match in set five behind junior Jacque Davisson’s timely kills.

“Jacque got two huge kills for us at the end of the fifth set to win,” Hilbert said. “She’s just money, she’s done a great job for us this year.

With just one conference loss, and having clinched the conference title, Hilbert said this group has gone above and beyond his expectations.

“We didn’t have the burden of expectation this year,” Hilbert said. “I certainly didn’t think we’d only have one loss at this stage in the season. Everything about this group just seemed to be right.”

CSU volleyball’s slogan for 2008 was the “Big Year.” Yet it is the 2009 team that will ultimately be remembered as conference champs, something the team failed to accomplish a year ago.

“It’s awesome to know that we have a team that is so good with each other,” Minch said. “We have a lot of trust in one another.”

With the conference title now secure, Hilbert hopes to rest his players in the final two weeks before the beginning of the 64-team NCAA Tournament.

“Rest is going to be critical,” Hilbert said. “Short practices and rest.”

The Rams have yet to advance past the second round of the NCAA Tournament since ’03, and have never advanced past the Sweet 16 in program history.

The Rams finish the regular season with home matches against UNLV on Nov. 21 and New Mexico State on Nov. 28. Though a conference championship is now secure, the Rams have an opportunity to win their 15th MWC match of the season should they defeat the Runnin’ Rebels on Saturday, which would mark the most conference wins in school history.

Volleyball Beat Reporter Joel Hafnor can be contacted at sports@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 1:15 pm

The Weekly Blitz – Wounded Warrior Project sets football precedent

 Uncategorized  Comments Off on The Weekly Blitz – Wounded Warrior Project sets football precedent
Dec 212009
 
Authors: Matt Stephens

When I turned on the Florida vs. South Carolina game on Saturday afternoon I wasn’t sure if my eyes were deceiving me due to playing too much Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 since its Tuesday release.

Sure enough, what I saw was correct.

The Gamecocks were wearing jerseys with stripes of “digital camo” across their shoulders in honor of Veterans Day. Across the backs of their jerseys in place of the players’ names were the words “Duty,” “Honor,” “Courage,” “Commitment,” “Integrity,” “Country” and “Service.”

These jerseys, also worn by the University of Maryland in their Saturday loss to Virginia Tech and designed by Under Armour, were part of the “Wounded Warrior Project,” designed to raise the public’s awareness and aid for the men and women in the U.S. Armed Forces that have been injured in the line of duty.

I found this as a perfect salute to those who serve but then the question is raised, “Why don’t other schools do the same?”

I know the easy answer is that Under Armour is a direct sponsor of the

Wounded Warrior Project so only schools who are also sponsored by them could do this, but that doesn’t mean other universities couldn’t pay at least some tribute to the military during their games that take place close to Veterans Day.

It doesn’t have to be anything huge like a new jersey for the game; it could be something small like a patch or a sticker on the helmet.

This isn’t just something a few schools should do, with the exception of the service academies (who are exempt for obvious reasons), It should be an NCAA requirement for all universities — FBS through Division III — to properly pay respect to those who keep us safe.

We are the champions

Never again will I reference the “Big Three” of CSU volleyball in a column.

Not because they weren’t great players, but because that’s all in the past. On Saturday night in a very hostile Smith Fieldhouse in Provo, Utah, the Rams captured their 12th conference championship of all-time (seventh of the 11 year old Mountain West Conference).

Coming into this season, the expectations outside of the CSU community were relatively low (if being picked to finish second in the MWC is low). There wasn’t all this pressure and marketing hype put on by the CSU Athletic Department about the “Big Year,” it was just back to hard-nosed Ram volleyball, and this team has thrived on that.

There’s no question in my mind that Danielle Minch should be the unanimous pick for MWC Player of the Year. She is a player who had flown under the radar last season, and ever since the Rams’ trip to the Carolina Classic in September, she has been more valuable to this team than NBC’s “30 Rock” to Alec Baldwin’s career, and that’s saying something.

The next step for this team: make an NCAA Tournament run. As long as senior libero Katelin Batten wears that protective mask for her broken nose, I think the Rams will do just fine due to the intimidation factor a player looking like Jason Voorhees brings to a team — just don’t light them on fire.

A pleasant surprise

I’d be ashamed if I finished this week’s Blitz without mentioning the CSU women’s basketball early success. While I stated in an earlier column that I expected this team to be much improved from a season ago — thanks in large part to the coaching job of Kristen Holt — I didn’t expect them to look this good this early.

They’ve played two regular season games against teams who run completely different style of offenses and won both. In the season opener against Montana, a team that is more methodical when bringing the ball up the court, CSU was able to make a nice second half run and come away with an eight-point victory.

Against Wichita State on Sunday, a Shocker squad who likes to press on defense and quickly move the ball up the floor, the Rams overcame an early nine-point deficit to win by 25.

All of that being done against what was, quite frankly, a dirty and rough WSU team who had fun sending the CSU women hard to the wood when they knew the game was out of hand. The Rams stood strong, didn’t back down and came out victorious. That shows heart.

It’s the first time since 2003 the women’s hoops has started the season 2-0. I’m telling ya, things are looking up.

Sports Editor Matt L. Stephens can be contacted at sports@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 1:13 pm

Former Ram player makes impact in NFL

 Uncategorized  Comments Off on Former Ram player makes impact in NFL
Dec 212009
 
Authors: Collegian Staff Report

After being promoted from the practice squad to the active roster on Saturday, former CSU tight end Kory Sperry made an immediate impact during his first career NFL game for the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.

Sperry had three receptions for 31 yards and a touchdown in the Dolphins’ 25-23 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Landshark Stadium in Miami.

“I just kind of thought to myself, ‘Hey, this is your opportunity,’ and just go out there and prove to them you can play … So I just basically was like, ‘Just don’t mess up and have your debut be a complete disaster,’” Sperry told MiamiDolphins.com.

As a senior at CSU, Sperry had 38 receptions for 492 yards and six scores. He was also on the preseason watch list for the Mackey Award, given annually to the best tight end in college football.

Sperry originally signed as an undrafted free agent with the San Diego Chargers before being released on Sept. 5.

 Posted by at 1:11 pm

Rams take second in Travelers Tip-Off Tournament in Oregon

 Uncategorized  Comments Off on Rams take second in Travelers Tip-Off Tournament in Oregon
Dec 212009
 
Authors: Adam Bohlmeyer

Three games and two victories. Although it’s not a perfect beginning, CSU Rams basketball said it’s a start they can build on.

The Rams exited this weekend’s Travelers Tip-Off Tournament in Eugene, Ore., with a 2-1 record, which makes head coach Tim Miles optimistic.

“I saw progress, and I’m proud of the guys,” the third-year head coach said. “It was a tough battle against Oregon, and we were only a few mistakes away from making it a close game. We are disappointed, but we are showing progress.”

The Rams’ only loss during the tournament came against host school Oregon, losing 68-55 Sunday night in the tournament championship.

Forward Andy Ogide put forth a commendable effort in the loss, posting 17 points and six rebounds.

The junior said although he’s not pleased with the one loss, he felt good about the team’s overall performance.

“Oregon is a good team, and we played them pretty tough,” Ogide said. “We’ll keep getting better. We played three different types of teams this weekend, and that will benefit us as the season goes on.”

Ogide had an impressive weekend for the Rams, totaling 49 points and 19 rebounds in three games — good enough for a spot on the all-tournament team alongside CSU point guard Dorian Green. Green, a true freshman, posted 36 points, 17 rebounds and 10 assists during the weekend.

CSU started the tournament off in style by picking up their first win of the season, defeating the UC-Davis Aggies 91-73 Friday night.

Ogide was big once again for the Rams, pouring in 24 points and seven rebounds. Green was solid in his first college game, earning 16 points, six rebounds, five assists and three steals in his team-high 34 minutes of play. Junior Andre McFarland added 20 points for the Rams, including six three-pointer buckets.

CSU kept to their winning ways Saturday night with an impressive defensive performance propelling them to a 57-40 win over Winston-Salem State. McFarland led the Rams’ offensive effort, adding 13 points, nine coming from behind the arc.

Even though CSU currently has a winning record, Miles said he still sees a lot of things the team needs to improve on quickly.

The Rams have had strong starts in Miles two previous seasons with the team, only to fall apart going into conference play.

“We need to handle the ball better,” Miles said. “We need to play better defense, and we need to be more consistent on offense.”

The Rams will have a few days to work on these areas before heading east to face Indiana State on Friday.

Ogide said that what the Rams need to do most right now is practice.

“We see what we are doing in practice is working,” he said. “We feel we can keep building and get better.”

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

 Posted by at 1:09 pm

Women’s basketball has first 2-0 start in 6 years

 Uncategorized  Comments Off on Women’s basketball has first 2-0 start in 6 years
Dec 212009
 
Authors: Kyle Grabowski

The CSU women’s basketball team improved to 2-0 for the first time since the 2003-04 season by beating Wichita State 85-60 on Sunday afternoon.

The Rams scoring output matched the highest of head coach Kristen Holt’s tenure and was the highest since they also scored 85 in a win against UNLV in February.

“I felt like we had more scoring power, it was just (whether or not) we handled their pressure,” Holt said after the game. “I think we really just hurt them inside and figured out what they were doing in the first half.”

Sophomore Kim Mestdagh again led the Rams in scoring with a career-high 21 points. She hit the mark with 6:55 left in the second half on a three-pointer from the wing.

With 6:17 left, Mestdagh turned the ball over and picked up her fifth foul, exiting to a standing ovation from the crowd of 945.

“It was kind of a bummer, coach told me not to foul,” Mestdagh said, “I was like, OK I’m not gonna foul, and then I fouled and was like ‘dang it.’ I was happy the team did well.”

Junior Bonnie Barbee and sophomore Megan Heimstra both scored 17 for the Rams, while Heimstra also added three blocks and nine rebounds.

After hitting a layup with 2:08 left in the game, Barbee hit the ground hard and stayed down, clutching her neck. Zoi Simmons entered the game for Barbee as she left the court under her own power.

One of the biggest plays of the game came in the second half. Coming out of a media time out with 11:31 left, Mestdagh streaked down the court and hit a layup after a perfect football pass from Barbee.

“That got me going; I was so excited about that,” Mestdagh said about the play.

After the shot, she was fouled hard by Wichita State’s Morgan Boyd, who was assessed a flagrant foul. CSU lead by 11 at the half and opened the second with a 7-0 run to put a stranglehold on their lead.

The Shockers led from the opening tip until a Simmons three-pointer tied the game at 21 with 8:57 left in the first half. Wichita State’s pressure affected the Rams early as they built an early nine-point lead, but CSU responded with two free throws by Mestdagh to cut it to seven, who then assisted on a jump shot by Erin Cooke to bring the Rams within five.

“We’re 2-0, we feel great,” Heimstra said of the team’s performance. “We stuck with it, we never gave up even when we were down, we stuck with it and we’re pretty pumped.”

The Rams are off until Wednesday when they’ll play their first road game of the season at Denver inside Magness Arena.

Women’s basketball beat reporter Kyle Grabowski can be reached at sports@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 1:07 pm

Ramtalk

 Uncategorized  Comments Off on Ramtalk
Dec 172009
 
Authors: Compiled by Heidi Reitmeier

To the kid I saw ride his skateboard into the grass then shortly after realize it was not a mountain board: Smooth.

It’s embarrassing when you’re sitting across from a cute boy and you sneakily try to take a picture of him, and the flash is on.

Contrary to popular belief, CSU is not a democracy, it is a Franktatorship.

To the guy trying to capture squirrels in a cardboard box: Don’t you have anything better to do?

To the guy ranting about religion holding a toddler in his arms: Thank you for ensuring that future generations of CSU students will have crazies to dodge on the Plaza.

New idea: Heineken mini keg backpack = Large Heineken Camelback?

 Posted by at 11:19 am

Locals donate to student with cancer

 Uncategorized  Comments Off on Locals donate to student with cancer
Dec 172009
 
Authors: Kirsten Silveira

On his 34th birthday — four days before his health insurance package took effect — Jason Bush was diagnosed with testicular cancer.

CSU’s graduate student health insurance would not cover the rapid series of tests and a surgery to try and remove the cancer, leaving Bush with extensive debt.

Not only did the insurance fail to provide coverage for the tests and surgery when he needed them, it also failed to provide coverage for any cancer-related tests after Aug. 24 because his ailment was considered a pre-existing condition.

“It’s a fatal disease, (when I found out I wasn’t covered) it made me very angry and frustrated,” Bush said. “I felt like I’d been misled. But I just didn’t read the fine print.”

CSU graduate students must either purchase the university’s insurance plan, provided by Summit America Insurance Service, or have a current plan that offers comparable coverage.

While this example may appear to be yet another example of the behemoth insurance industry taking advantage of its consumers, Steve Blom, executive director of CSU’s Health Network,said health care providers are legally inclined to follow the strict outlines of each individual contract.

“Insurance jargon makes (Bush’s cancer) a preexisting condition,” Blom said.

Luckily, Bush was able to receive financial aid from the Colorado Indignant Care Program, a state health insurance program that pays for a percentage of any of his hospital expenses but excludes cancer specific treatment.
“It helps defray a chunk of the expenses,” Bush said.

On Aug. 19, Bush started feeling intense abdominal pains and wrote them off in lieu of his birthday. But his mother, a nurse, convinced him to go to Hartshorn Health Center.

While he was lying on the table waiting for the doctor, Bush remembered a lump on his testes he had discovered over the summer.

After telling the doctor, he underwent tests and was diagnosed with Stage three A testicular cancer, which can be found in the male sex organs and may spread to the lungs or the lymph nodes.

Within 24 hours of being diagnosed, Bush had undergone surgery to remove the cancer that had rapidly spread through his body. He said he’d always been “healthy and active” but had known about the lump while he was working on his graduate thesis in Mexico and chose to avoid the signs.

To help cope with the financial “burden” and physical exhaustion during his chemotherapy, Bush said CSU Anthropology Department faculty members and his fellow graduate students not only accompanied him to his doctor appointments, but also started the Jason Bush Fund.

The fund raises money to cushion the costs of his treatments through benefits and online donations and has raised more than $20,000 to date, Bush said. The funds raised will help to cover the bills that are not absorbed by the CICP, and in the end, he estimates he will have to personally pay for between $30,000 and $50,000.

The Jason Bush Fund will be hosting a benefit this Saturday at Avogadro’s Number on Mason Street. The event will include a silent auction, food and performance from local bands.

Bush said he could not imagine being a cancer victim and not have the support network he was blessed with to help him manage this huge change in his life.

“I’d imagine one of the scariest things would be to not have, financial part aside, people to just cook you soup,” Bush said.

Just a week after finishing his last dose of chemotherapy, Bush said he is beginning to feel better every day and getting back into his “normal routine” by working on his thesis. He said the entire experience of learning about his cancer and the “emotional rollercoaster” of cancer treatment has humbled him.

“This could have been largely avoidable. The thing about being young is, you take for granted invincibility,” he said, later adding that he would encourage young people to not discredit the physical signs of a problem and consider the possibilities.

“Because I sure as hell didn’t until I was forced to.”

Senior Reporter Kirsten Silveira can be reached at news@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 11:14 am

CSU to screen climate change documentary

 Uncategorized  Comments Off on CSU to screen climate change documentary
Dec 172009
 
Authors: Aaron Hedge

CSU will offer the first exclusive screening for a documentary examining the stories of low-elevation communities that are being squeezed out of their areas by the climate change crisis on Sunday in the Lory Student Center Theater.

The movie “Climate Refugees,” which was executively produced by Patrick McConathy, who was named this year as the chair of the CSU System Board of Governors, is a compilation of interviews with affected refugees and climate change experts about the environmental challenges facing the communities.

It also presents a call to action for large American cities to offer themselves as retreats for the displaced communities.

“This film brings an urgent message to all of us that our world is changing rapidly,” said Diana Wall, director of CSU’s School of Global Environmental Sustainability, in a press release.

It will be screened at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Copenhagen in December.

Tickets for the event are sold out, but there is overflow capacity for people who show up without a ticket, said Kimberly Sorensen, a CSU spokesperson.

The movie will be followed up with a discussion session where attendees can pose questions to a panel made up of climate change experts.

Development Editor Aaron Hedge can be reached at news@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 11:05 am

CSU to dole out 700 H1N1 vaccinations

 Uncategorized  Comments Off on CSU to dole out 700 H1N1 vaccinations
Dec 172009
 
Authors: Matt Minich

CSU will distribute about 700 doses of the H1N1 vaccine to students and faculty who are considered to fall into high-risk categories for the virus on Saturday.

Volunteers will distribute doses of the vaccine between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. in the Lory Student Center North Ballroom, said Lisa Duggan, the director of vaccinations at Hartshorn Health Center. She said they are intended only for those members of the CSU community who fall into the following high-risk categories:

Pregnant Women

Parents, caregivers of children younger than 6 months old

Children between the ages of 6 months to 4 years (who are children of student or faculty)

Anyone between the ages of 5 and 64 years with qualifying medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes and immuno-deficiencies, and

Providers of medical care.

Those students and faculty members falling into these categories can register to receive the vaccine at http://flu.colostate.edu. Duggan said there are 720 time slots and “still plenty of room.”

“It takes about a second to get the shot,” she said.

Hartshorn has already distributed more than 150 vaccines to those falling into these categories in the past weeks but has been unable to immunize the entire at-risk population because of the sluggish flow of vaccines from manufacturers to caregivers, Duggan said.

“Initially it’s been very slow and very, very limited supply,” she said.

With the new influx of vaccines, Hartshorn Health Center hopes to immunize the bulk of the at-risk population, allowing it to shift its priorities to the student population as a whole.

Hartshorn is still “anxiously awaiting” the volume of vaccines that would be required to inoculate the student population as a whole and is unsure as to when the medicine will be available.

According to http://larimerflu.org, Larimer County will also be also hosting a vaccination clinic for high-risk groups at The Ranch in Loveland from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Registration is available on the Web site.

News Editor Jim Sojourner contributed to this report.

Senior Reporter Matt Minich can be reached at news@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 11:04 am

Penley looks for post at University of Dallas

 Uncategorized  Comments Off on Penley looks for post at University of Dallas
Dec 172009
 
Authors: Aaron Hedge

Former CSU President Larry Penley is looking to take post at the helm of the University of Dallas, which touts itself as one of the nation’s leading catholic universities, the UD student newspaper reported Thursday.

Penley, who is one of three top finalists for the position of UD president, resigned from CSU under scrutiny from student leaders and state lawmakers for what some said were problematic financial shifts and reporting practices a year ago.

Since leaving CSU, the former CSU leader applied at the University of Idaho but lost to another applicant. He is now employed at a private consulting firm called Hayes Group International.

When he left CSU, Penley said he was looking for leadership positions at other universities but didn’t provide specifics.

UD didn’t return calls from the Collegian Thursday evening.

Development Editor Aaron Hedge can be reached at news@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 11:01 am