A smattering of fans watched three games of volleyball at Moby Arena Saturday rather than the hordes that usually see the Rams at center court.
CSU hosted area Division I teams for a tournament of scrimmages as part of the Ramsâ€™ spring schedule.
The event was the third scrimmage CSU took part in this spring, visiting Colorado Springs and Greeley previously.
â€œIt isnâ€™t about winning these games,â€ CSU coach Tom Hilbert said. â€œWeâ€™re putting pressure on players that donâ€™t normally get it.â€
This spring has primarily been about the development of younger players for CSU. With the departures of Katelyn Steffan and Tori Brummett, the Rams have to replace â…“ of their starting lineup.
Samantha Peters, Kaila Thomas and Kelsey Sneider have been competing in practice to fill those two spots at the left and right side.
â€œTheyâ€™re all really good and stepping it up, itâ€™s going to be close to see who plays in the fall,â€ CSU setter Deedra Foss said.
Peters has the biggest adjustment to make of the group, moving from middle blocker to outside hitter for next season.
â€œThereâ€™s a lot of different tactics and technique in arm swing, but itâ€™s starting to click,â€ she said.
Hilbert sees occasional bright spots from all three players, but knows they all have work to do before they will be ready to start in a real game.
â€œTheyâ€™re better than they were at the beginning of spring,â€ he said. â€œItâ€™s a matter of them learning to be consistent.â€
Deedra Foss experienced a similar transition last spring when she won the starting setter position for the 2011 season. This year sheâ€™s focused on honing her craft.
â€œI know my players better and the tempo coach expects,â€ Foss said. â€œI know the game a lot better, itâ€™s not as new to me.â€
Tempo has been Fossâ€™ primary focus this spring, and playing in live scrimmages like Saturdayâ€™s scrimmage gives her and the rest of the team their best chance to work on it.
Though the games donâ€™t count in any sort of standings, that doesnâ€™t mean that Hilbert doesnâ€™t want his team to try and win. He regularly was animated during timeouts and wouldnâ€™t let his team give less than maximum effort.
â€œItâ€™s great to have him so fired up because if he wasnâ€™t, I think sometimes we would get a little lax,â€ Peters said. â€œItâ€™s nice to have him put to a little fire underneath us.â€
Womenâ€™s Volleyball Beat Reporter Kyle Grabowski can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.