Nov 062007
 
Authors: Adam Bohlmeyer

If the rivalry between the University of Wyoming and CSU wasn’t big enough, the 18th-ranked Rams volleyball team has found a reason to make it bigger.

Ashley Fornstrom, the CSU starting setter, grew up in Wyoming, graduating from Cheyenne Central High School.

The junior said that the playing a school from her home state makes the game more important.

“It is a little bit more of a rivalry for me,” she said. “When you grow up in Wyoming, it is the one university you are expected to go to. I get looked down at a lot for not going there. I played in high school against some of the girls they have. I get pumped up because it brings back memories.”

Freshman Jacque Davisson, who grew up in California away from the rivalry, said that UW is a more intense game because of her teammate.

“For me the rivalry is because of Ashley (Fornstrom) and it is a big game for her. She is a big part of our team and that makes it more important that it normally would be.”

Even though the Cowgirls volleyball program isn’t as competitive as other programs CSU has faced, Rams coach Tom Hilbert explained that there is still extra incentive to win.

“It is still big, certainly with them,” he said. “Our players see UW as a team that will always play them tough. Anytime there is something extra in the game, you call it a rivalry. And with Wyoming there is something extra in the game.”

Fornstrom agrees.

“As a team we have a little more of a rivalry with BYU, Utah and this year UNLV,” the second-year player said. “It hurts the rivalry a little bit, but it is still there because of the Border War.”

CSU (17-5, 10-2) has a chance tonight to sweep the regular season series against UW (11-12, 5-9) for the ninth year in a row. The last time the two programs met, the Rams came out on top, winning in three games. However, Hilbert said that the Cowgirls have improved since then.

“They are playing better right now then when we played them earlier,” he said. “We are at home, which should give us some energy and composure, but they are passing better and beating people. It should be a good match.”

Davisson is expecting Wyoming to bring everything it has.

“They are going to come out fired up,” the outside hitter said. “We are leading the conference right now and they don’t have anything to lose. To them, it is about knocking off an 18th-ranked team. It is huge for anyone.”

The match gets underway at 7:00 p.m. in Moby arena.

Volleyball beat reporter Adam Bohlmeyer can be reached at sports@collegian.com

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