Well on their way to yet another trip to the NCAA tournament, the 17th-ranked CSU volleyball team is trying to do something that would gain itself a huge advantage.
The Rams (20-5, 12-2) have put in a bid to be a host site for the first round of the NCAA volleyball tournament.
Although CSU hasn’t received conformation that they will be a host, Katelin Batten can already see the benefits of playing at home.
“We would love that, and I know the seniors would love having another chance to play in Moby,” the sophomore libero said. “It is comfortable when we get to play in front of our fans and create that atmosphere.”
Coach Tom Hilbert said that it would be unlikely that CSU will be picked, but acknowledged his excitement about the possibility.
“We turned our bid in and hopefully things will work out our way,” he said. “We have hosted many times in the past and it is wonderful for everybody. They get to see good volleyball and teams that are really keyed up.”
The chances for Moby Arena to be a first round host will be greatly increased if another team within 300 miles of CSU qualifies for the NCAA tournament. With the University of Colorado and the University of Northern Colorado struggling this season, the Rams best hope has become the University of Denver.
The Pioneers, who are the second seed in the Sunbelt Conference, will likely have to win their conference tournament to advance.
Before it starts thinking about the NCAA tournament, CSU is looking to win its conference title first.
With only two conference matches remaining this season, the Rams are tied with the University of Nevada-Las Vegas for the top spot in the Mountain West.
Outside hitter Tessa Nelson said that the team is focused more on themselves then the Rebels.
“We are keeping track of who they are playing but it is really out of our control,” the sophomore said. “We just have to win the games we have coming up in conference and hope that someone can knock them off.”
Hilbert agreed, adding that the Rams hold will determine their own fate.
“We know we have to win out regardless,” he said. “If someone slips up then that helps us, but it doesn’t determine our destiny. We determine our destiny.”
CSU will have a chance to take one step closer to the regular season conference title as they face Texas Christian University tonight in Fort Worth.
The Rams swept the horned frogs in three games during the pair’s first meeting earlier this season. TCU has been inconsistent since that point, going 11-9 in its last 20 matches.
Hilbert still gives the Frogs credit and expects a to receive a fight
“They have had one of the best second halves of any team we have faced,” he said. “We have to be alert and ready to play.”
Volleyball beat reporter Adam Bohlmeyer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Battle of the freshmen
TCU- Christy Hudson OH
192 kills, 2.02 kpg, .321 pct., 56 blocks
CSU- Danielle Minch OH
172 kills, 2.29 kpg, .183 pct, 38 blocks