The Colorado State volleyball team puts its six-game winning streak on the line tonight at Moby Arena when Texas Christian comes to town.
The Rams and Horned Frogs come into the match in first- and-second place, respectively, in the Mountain West Conference.
In its last two wins, CSU was the beneficiary of some sloppy play from its opponents, which provided the Rams with easy points. The Rams know that they wonâ€™t be gifted many points tonight.
â€œTheyâ€™re not going to make a lot of errors,â€ said CSU senior Danielle Minch. â€œTheyâ€™re going to be a very good volleyball team and we need to be ready to play good defense and be alert and not make errors. We need to make them earn their points.â€
TCU (12-6, 3-1 MWC) has won its last three matches after losing the conference-opener against San Diego State. The Frogs are second in the MWC in hitting percentage, trailing only CSU, and boast one of the top attackers in the conference in senior Irene Hester, who leads the conference averaging 3.76 kills per set.
The Rams know that they are in for a tough match in which they are going to need to be on their game to win. TCU may not gain a lot of recognition outside of the MWC, but CSU knows that the Frogs are a quality opponent.
â€œThey have put up some really good numbers,â€ said junior Evan Sanders. â€œThey are a really low error team and we know that this isnâ€™t going to be an easy three to win.â€
Coach Tom Hilbert echoed that sentiment, saying that TCU is a team that doesnâ€™t make a lot of mistakes and that they are a very mature team.
CSU (15-2, 5-0) leads the all-time series against TCU 39-15, but the Frogs beat CSU last year, marking the only blemish on the Ramsâ€™ 15-1 conference championship record.
The Rams carry a perfect conference record as they return to the friendly confines of Moby Arena for the start of a four-game home stand. The team is happy to be home after playing five of its last six matches on the road.
The Rams will be back at full strength after dealing with some injury issues in the past week. Dana Cranston missed last Thursdayâ€™s match against Air Force with an elbow injury, but returned two days later to record a career-high 10 kills against UNLV.
Minch, the reigning MWC Player of the Year, missed both the Air Force and UNLV matches with an ankle injury, but she has been deemed fit to play against TCU.
As defending MWC champions, the Rams know that they will face every opponentâ€™s best shot, and they know that this will be the case with TCU.
â€œIf (TCU gets) this win, itâ€™s huge for their program and theyâ€™re going to be gunning for us,â€ Hilbert said. â€œWeâ€™ve got to be ready for a full on battle.â€
Tonightâ€™s match begins at 7:30 p.m.
Volleyball beat reporter Kevin Lytle can be reached at email@example.com.