While the University of Colorado-Boulder versus CSU football game garners national attention, another big rivalry will play out between the two schools on a different playing field – one involving a net and hard hitters on both sides.
The CSU women’s volleyball team Tuesday will head to Boulder for a match that will prove to be explosive if history repeats itself.
CSU head coach Tom Hilbert sees the rivalry as strong as any state rivalry.
“I think any two in-state schools, those rivalries are going to be automatically big,” Hilbert said.
Sophomore outside hitter Katherine Whitney is a former Boulder resident who has played with some of the players in Boulder.
“I was never into the rivalry when I was living in Boulder,” Whitney said. “I have no idea what to expect. I hear we have a better crowd (in Moby).”
CSU leads the all-time series 62-48 after beating the Buffaloes at Moby Arena in four games last year. CU won the first game 30-25, then went on to lose the last three games 30-2???? (called her about it), 30-22, 30-20. In 2002 in Boulder, CU won the match in four games, which stopped a CSU five-match winning streak that had been in effect since CU won in three games on Sept. 30, 1998.
Hilbert, entering his eighth year at CSU, has faced CU many times but knows that it will be a tough match.
“It’s more difficult in Boulder,” Hilbert said. “We haven’t won a lot there.”
No. 11 CSU will face a CU team that is unranked, but in the case of rivalries, rankings can often be thrown out the window, especially when playing in enemy territory.
“I don’t think ranking matters, especially with a rivalry like this,” Whitney said. “You still want to beat them. It’s the same kind of fire.”
Hilbert thinks this Buff team will be tough, as always.
“They have quite a good team,” Hilbert said. “It’ll be quite a challenge.”
The Rams were ranked No. 17 when they lost to the Buffs in Boulder in 2002, 17-30, 30-23, 30-27, 30-26.
When asked on her thoughts on the rivalry, freshman middle blocker Mekana Barnes, a Highlands Ranch native, expressed her concern about a team other than her own – and a certain game scheduled for Sept. 4.
“I’m upset because I don’t have tickets (to the football game),” Barnes said.