Aug 132007
 
Authors: Adam Bohlmeyer

Being a college freshman can be challenging, but being a freshman competing for a starting spot on one of the Mountain West Conference’s top volleyball teams is a challenge on whole new level.

Jackie Davisson is doing just that.

The Valencia High School (Placentia, Calif.) graduate is entering into her first year of college while simultaneously competing for a starting spot on the CSU volleyball team.

Davisson is looking at both the good and bad sides of adjusting to college volleyball as she enters her second week of practice.

“I get along with the girls well, but the techniques are all new,” said the freshman. “It is a hard, but good thing to be going through.”

Coach Tom Hilbert is impressed with Davisson and the rest of his first-year players as they prepare to open their season this weekend in Honolulu, Hawaii, at the Asics Challenge.

“They are very good, goal-oriented players,” the eighth year coach said. “All of them are better than what we expected.”

Junior setter Ashley Fornstrom said having so many freshmen gives the team a new feel.

“We have seven freshmen and seven upper classmen, so that gives us a different dynamic,” she said. “They are all doing well and going above and beyond.”

Davisson is already setting goals for herself this season and explained that CSU is the right place to accomplish them.

“Personally, I would just like to improve as a volleyball player, but even more as an athlete,” she said. “That is what this school does. You can feel it when you are coming in. Everyone says to relax and focus and there is a lot of support from the other girls.”

Davisson also has set big goals for her team.

“We want to win the Mountain West and make it the NCAA tournament,” she said. “In the tournament, we want to make it past the second round and get some recognition from people outside of Colorado.”

Hilbert has big expectations for the freshmen, especially for Davisson. Even though he has questions about starting a first-year player, the 17-year college coach is considering the possibility.

“It is scary to expect a freshman to start,” Hilbert said. “You are just setting yourself up for problems. We knew what we were getting with Jackie (Davisson) and she is doing what I expected. She is a good all around player who adds a great deal of intensity and spirit on the court, which is great for us.”

After winning the conference tournament championship last year, the Rams have been picked to finish second in this year’s preseason media poll.

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