Oct 192011
Authors: Kyle Grabowski

When the CSU volleyball team heads to Boise, Idaho to battle Boise State University Thursday, it will travel to a city none of the Rams have ever been to before.

That is, except for coach Tom Hilbert.

Hilbert coached at the University of Idaho from 1989-97 before he started at CSU.

“I’m familiar because I’ve played in this gym, none of these guys have,” he said. “That might be good; it might make it exciting and new.”

Boise State has only played four matches on its home floor, with its only win coming against Weber State University in September.

“I don’t think it really complicates it for us because we’ve played in pretty much every environment there is,” redshirt freshman setter Deedra Foss said. “It’ll be cool to play somewhere new for once. That’ll make it interesting.”

CSU is 3-0 all time against Boise State, including the team’s 3-0 win to welcome the Broncos to the Mountain West.

The Rams arrived at the halfway point of the MW season at 6-1 in the conference, 13-4 overall.

“The team that lost (the first game) has a preparation advantage,” Hilbert said. “They know what they need to do to make a different outcome. You have to play them better because they’re going to play you better, especially when you’re on the road.”

Boise State is currently 12-10 overall, posting a 3-4 record in conference. The Broncos have not played since a 3-1 loss at home to Seattle Oct. 4.

In the teams’ first meeting CSU blocked very well, recording 10 total blocks and neutralized the Broncos’ “fast offense.”

“We blocked them really well and shut them down and slowed them down,’” Foss said.

In a “fast” offense, “three go,” so the team has to block the right side hitters (the “three”) and then be accountable for the middles and complete other side of the net (the “go”).

Despite sitting atop the MW, Hilbert wants his team to improve on the defensive side of the ball.

“We need to improve in a couple of our ‘problem rotations’ and bring more energy on the road,” he said.

Three out of CSU’s four losses have come on the road, two of which were considered “bad losses” to the University of Denver and the University of Wyoming.

“We always need to remain focused and calm in the passing lanes, push tempo in our setting, and as attackers make sure we’re transitioning and really getting up and after balls,” senior opposite hitter Katelyn Steffan said.

Volleyball Beat Reporter Kyle Grabowski can be reached at sports@collegian.com.

Boise State

  • 12-10 overall, 3-4 MWC
  • 1-3 at home
  • Team hitting percentage: .217 (5th in conference)

Kills per set: 12.66 (6th in conference)

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