Oct 162003
 
Authors: Katrice Thomas

The women’s volleyball team will wrap up the first half of

Mountain West Conference season and a trilogy of road games this

weekend as they travel to New Mexico to take on the Lobos Friday

evening. But in case the road trip to Albuquerque wasn’t enough,

the Rams are due back in Colorado Springs Saturday night to play

Air Force. However, the hours on the road don’t seem to be an

obstacle that this team is worried about.

The Rams, who jumped two spots in the national rankings to No.

20, are on a winning streak.

“Rankings really don’t mean a lot, until you’re not ranked

anymore,” outside hitter Dre Downs said. “So we have to keep

winning.”

Winning is something the team has plenty of experience with. It

enters this weekend atop the MWC with a flawless league record

(5-0, 14-4 overall), and its main obstacle is keeping that record

intact. The Lobos and the Falcons stand in the way of that mission,

but the Rams have no intentions of losing any upcoming games.

“We’ve been putting ourselves through tough situations to

prepare for these teams,” said head coach Tom Hilbert. “Both teams

are bringing interesting things to the match up, we just have to be

focused and ready to go.”

The Lobos (3-15) have yet to win a conference matchup and have

lost their last 12 matches. Despite their misfortunes, the Lobos

are starving for a win and they bring a talented senior, Anna

Reines, to the match up. Reines leads the team with 3.31 kills per

game, and hopes to help her team extinguish its hunger by feasting

on the Rams.

Air Force could pose more of a threat, as the Falcons and Rams

battle for in-state bragging rights. History shows that Air Force

(10-8, 1-4) has a slim-to-none chance of winning, as they have a

1-18 all-time record against the Rams. Hilbert and his team won’t

count anyone out, though, at least until they come away from this

weekend with victories.

“All teams are gunning for us, they have nothing to lose,”

Hilbert said. “We are the ones with the target on our back.”

The target continues to grow for the Rams as the season matures,

and as the team continues to do well.

“We expect them to play at their best,” Downs said of the

Falcons. “But we want to make them play on our level, at our

best.”

Expectations for the upcoming matches are high, and pride is the

commodity at stake, but the Rams are ready.

“I always expect teams to play their best, they are going to

bring the heat,” Katie Jo Shirley said. “But we always bring the

heat.”

 

 

 

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