Aug 272006
 
Authors: JEFF DILLON The Rocky Mountain Collegian

The volleyball team opened the 2006 varsity sports calendar Friday in front of over 3,100 green-clad fans with an explosive four-game loss to the Texas A&M Aggies.

The Rams opening match versus the Aggies proved to be one of the most exciting matches in the 19-year history of the Hilton Classic. The Aggies brought in the fourth-ranked recruiting class in the country, including freshman Sarah Ammerman from Parker, who had 18 kills in her debut.

The Aggies squeezed out a 30-24 victory in game one, and the Rams responded with a 30-27 win in the second. It was the third game, however, that stole the spotlight. The two squads traded kill after kill down the stretch with A&M finally securing a 42-40 win.

It was the longest game, point-wise, in both school’s histories. CSU’s previous record was a 37-35 victory over UNLV in 2005.

“We just kept pushing and pushing,” said senior outside hitter Katherine Whitney. “It’s exciting, and your adrenaline gets going. We were just trying to stay in it.”

The game was clearly a momentum builder for the Aggies, who were able to close the match with a 30-26 victory in the fourth.

“It was an awesome game,” said Texas A&M coach Laurie Corbelli. “It kept going back and forth, we just focused on execution and it worked.”

The excitement of the third game was underlined even more by the large and spirited crowd, including a strong showing from the CSU student section. The Rams players said they noticed the support.

“The crowd fired us up,” said sophomore setter Ashley Fornstrom. “It got us going, and helped us get through that game.”

CSU Head Coach Tom Hilbert was impressed with his team’s efforts against Texas A&M.

“I learned a lot about our team,” said Hilbert. “I don’t think we passed as well as we can, and we can cut our unforced errors down a lot. We just made some bad choices.”

Staff writer Jeff Dillon can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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