Oct 292003
 
Authors: Katrice Thomas

The CSU women’s volleyball team is packing its “A” game and

heading west to play San Diego State University (13-10, 4-4 MWC) on

Thursday and the University of Nevada-Las Vegas (9-12, 2-6) on

Saturday in the last two conference road games of the season.

Parts of California have been exposed to raging fires, but the

flames burning in California won’t be the only thing that’s hot

when the Rams roll into town Thursday night. The 18th-ranked Rams

(18-4, 9-0) may be too hot to handle, but the Aztecs will be

waiting to avenge their loss to the Rams earlier this season in

Fort Collins.

“SDSU didn’t want to cancel, and they didn’t want to go to Las

Vegas,” said head coach Tom Hilbert of the Aztecs’ situation with

the California fires blazing. “But the environmentalist medical

care group said that it was cleared for us to come up there,

although the gyms will be empty since schools are out.”

Whether the gyms are empty or full, the Rams plan to get the job

done.

“This is a very dangerous field trip for us,” Hilbert said of

both UNLV and SDSU. “The teams are going to be a lot better than

when we played them last.”

The Aztec duo of Megan Schauermann, and Aspen Mcpartland are

sure to raise the stakes a little higher for this game. After

beating the Rebels this past weekend, they are looking to surpass

.500-barrier in conference play.

Following the match in San Diego, the Rams will head toward the

lights of Las Vegas on Saturday, where the Rebels will greet the

Rams in their second match-up of the season. The game will be the

third match of the week for the Rebels. Leading UNLV is Leiana

Oswald, who is third in the MWC with 4.06 kills per game. And

recently senior setter Niccki King returned to the line-up after

missing four games. With King in the line-up, the Rebels’ hitting

percentage improved from .018 to .216, and she could pose a threat

for the Rams.

“We’ve just got to stay focused,” said Andreya Downs, the

recently named Mountain West Player of the Week.

The upcoming games are going to test the Rams in their quest to

continue dominance of the Mountain West. Last year the Rams split

the trip, beating UNLV in four games and losing in three to the

Aztecs.

“We have to realize that things are not just going to happen, we

have to make it happen,” Hilbert said. “That is the mark of a

champion.”

Hilbert said a lot of great things could happen this season, the

worst thing that the

Rams can do now is not take the season seriously. But the Rams

probably don’t have to worry much.

As middle blocker Katie Jo Shirley said, the Rams “always bring

the heat.”

 

 

 

 

 

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