Breaking ground at Moby Arena has proven difficult so far this
season for visiting volleyball teams.
The Rams have maintained a hostile home environment wrought with
intimidating victories and record-breaking landmarks. Tonight they
look to use this advantage to turn back Denver as they face the
Pioneers in a non-conference dual.
“For the most part we’re familiar with the types of things they
do, but we feel like we’ve got to serve and pass well here because
it is our home court,” said head coach Tom Hilbert. “We have to
track what they are doing offensively and we should be in good
Although tonight marks the first time the Rams have faced Denver
in seasonal play, the Pioneers are not a complete enigma.
“We don’t have very recent film on them and that’s a bit of a
concern,” Hilbert said. “But we play them a lot. We play them in
The Pioneers possess a very balanced offensive attack, boasting
five players with more than 150 kills. The Rams have been preparing
particularly for sophomore outside hitter Lisa Hunter who was the
Sun Belt Conference Freshman of the Year in 2003. Hunter was
leading the team with 4.36 kills per game before being sidelined
with a hand injury in late September.
“We know she’s a very good player, but she hasn’t played for the
month of October, so we don’t know if she is going to play or not,”
Hilbert said. “We are preparing as if she is.”
The Pioneers also bring with them a right-side hitting freshman
phenomenon in Amanda Millard, who leads the team with 186 total
Denver ventures into tonight’s match with a 10-10 record
overall. The Pioneers are 4-5 in SBC play. The Pioneers are trying
to re-establish themselves after a devastating five-match loss
against Florida International, snapping a two-game winning
In contrast, No. 9 ranked CSU is coming off of a fortuitous
weekend where it dominated the road trip to New Mexico and Air
Force. The Rams swept the Lobos on Friday night and beat the
Falcons in four games on Saturday in Colorado Springs. Their record
now stands at 16-2 overall and 8-1 in Mountain West Conference
Over the weekend, senior setter Melissa Courtney picked up her
4,000th career assist – a path traversed by only three other CSU
setters. Junior outside hitter Tess Rogers also eclipsed a major
career apex, with 20 kills against Air Force to surpass the
1,000-kill mark. She joins only 13 other Rams with that
In preparation for tonight’s game, the Rams are not planning on
making any ground-shaking changes.
“We are constantly trying to add stuff to our offense and maybe
do some new things, but the lineups are going to be basically the
same,” Hilbert said.
The match will take place at 7 p.m. today at Moby Arena.