Sep 272010
 
Authors: Kyle Grabowski

After getting its feet wet in Mountain West Conference play in Utah, the CSU volleyball team jumps back out of league action for a showdown against Northern Colorado in Greeley at 7 p.m.

The Rams (11-2, 2-0 MWC) won both conference matches in the Beehive State against Brigham Young and Utah over the weekend after dropping their first home match of the season to Long Beach State on Sept. 17.

“I think it was a good weekend for us,” said junior setter Evan Sanders. “We knew heading out there that it would be one of our tougher road weekends. We had some rough patches but came together as a team.”

CSU defeated Utah 3-0 on Sunday after a tough five-set win in Provo, Utah against BYU on Friday.

“I felt very good after Sunday’s match,” said head coach Tom Hilbert. “It’s two conference wins on the road. And whenever you get two conference wins on the road, you’re doing something good.”

The Bears (12-3, 3-0 Big Sky) are off to a hot start this season, including a perfect 7-0 mark at home.

“They’ve really become a good team, and we know they’re going to challenge us,” Sanders said. “It’s just as important for us to win this game as it is for any other match.”

Sophomore outside hitter Kelly Arnold leads UNC with 206 kills this season. She was named MVP of the 2010 Hampton Inn & Suites Northern Colorado Classic and made the 2010 San Diego State Aztec Invitational All-Tournament team.

UNC has won seven straight matches, including 11 out of its last 12, entering tonight’s bout.

“We know that they’re a tough team,” said senior outside hitter Danielle Minch. “So we focus more on how we’re going to play against them than what they’ve been doing.”

The Bears’ win against Sacramento State last Thursday was their 11th straight at home, the team’s longest such streak since 2005.

“They’re good. We know they’re good. They almost beat us last year,” Hilbert said. “I doubt our team will have a problem focusing for this match.”

Plourde named Player of the Week

Rams sophomore middle blocker Megan Plourde was named the MWC Co-Player of the Week on Monday. She is the first Ram to receive a conference accolade this season.

Plourde tallied 26 kills over the weekend, including a career-high 16 kills and 11 blocks against BYU.

Volleyball beat reporter Kyle Grabowski can be reached at sports@collegian.com.

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