Shaking off a rowdy and hostile crowd as well as several injuries, the CSU volleyball team swept Wyoming for its 22nd consecutive victory over the Cowgirls Friday night.
It was also senior setter and Wyoming native Ashley Fornstrom’s last visit to the UniWyo Sports Complex in Laramie; something that did not hit her until after the win.
“It means a lot,” said Fornstrom. “I wasn’t recruited here. I wasn’t even looked at here and then for me to go to a school that is quite frankly better at volleyball and come here and show them why I came to CSU is special. It didn’t hit me until on the radio they said ‘Ashley plays her last game in Laramie Wyo., I hadn’t even thought about it.”
Fornstrom finished with 37 assists to add to her growing MWC career record.
The Rams were forced to display some team depth as they played without senior Jaime Strauss for the entire game as well as losing Katelyn Steffan and Crystin Rodrick to injuries during the game.
Strauss did not even dress as she sustained an injury to her head during practice this week. Steffan tweaked her knee in set one and Rodrick was injured in set three after colliding with teammate Jacque Davisson while diving for the ball.
“Jaime has a lot of prescence out there on the court. We notice when she’s not there,” said junior libero Katelin Batten. “Our younger players did a great job stepping up and really competed and played well and played consistent. We had a couple injuries throughout the match and we just brought in more people and just showed the depth of our team.”
Filling in for Strauss was sophomore Danielle Minch, who led the team with 13 kills.
“I thought this was one of Dani Minch’s best matches,” said head coach Tom Hilbert. “We know she can play at that level, she just doesn’t do it consistently. The thing I liked about her tonight though was that she was consistent. She made a few errors, but came back and did some positive things.”
Minch was just excited to get out on the court and play.
“It’s always exciting to get out on the court,” said Minch. “Their students were really loud and when serving they’re right behind you, but it was fun.”
Playing more than she has all season was freshman Evan Sanders who played outside-hitter rather than her usual setter position. She recorded two kills and one assist.
“I knew we had depth before we started because there is so much competition for starting positions, but I don’t think it really showed until tonight,” said Fornstrom. “To know that our future setter (Sanders) can come in and play right side and do an awesome job at it – that’s shows a lot about our team.”
CSU (18-2, 8-1 MWC) will have a week off until their next match vs. Air Force on Nov. 1. It’s a week Hilbert wants to use to get healthy.
“I’m glad we’ve got seven days until our next match,” said Hilbert. “We will work on some back to basic things and we need to get Jaime back.”
The match concludes the Border War for the 2008 season, matches Hilbert said are always fun.
“There’s a rivalry and I think both teams bring a lot of competitiveness to the game,” said Hilbert. “I love that attitude that they have and those players fight like crazy. That makes these fun.”