Oct 232008
Authors: Mattew Pucak

The CSU volleyball team doesn’t like to dwell in the past.

In spite of dropping their first conference game of the season last week, and falling three spots in the rankings to No. 16, the Rams know they can’t look back with regret, they have to focus on the upcoming Border War at Wyoming (tonight, Laramie, 7 p.m.).

“We really want to win the next match, and what we did last week, or last match, doesn’t matter anymore,” said Tom Hilbert, the Rams’ head coach.

With this being the Rams (17-2, 6-1 MWC) only game of the week, Hilbert was glad that his team had time to work on the issues they feel ailed them recently, especially in their loss to UNLV.

“Especially when we get under pressure, we get too predictable, that has always been our problem. We go back to the things we are comfortable with, the things that we always do,” said Hilbert.

To combat the problem, setter Ashley Fornstrom said the Rams are focusing more on getting the ball to the middle and the right for their attack, and not focusing too much on the outside hitter.

This variety could be especially important for the Rams, as senior outside hitter Jamie Strauss is questionable for the match after taking a blow to the head in practice on Wednesday.

The loss to UNLV snapped CSU’s 13-match winning streak, and Fornstrom feels it brought the Rams back down to earth.

“I think that losing to UNLV made us realize that we aren’t invincible and we have to come out every night and play our best, no matter what team we are playing, and no matter what gym we are playing in,” said Fornstrom.

The Rams still expect a challenge from Wyoming, despite the Rams 21-match winning streak over the ‘Pokes and the fact that Wyoming comes in just 3-14 on the season (2-6 in the MWC).

The Cowgirls surprised Utah, currently one game behind CSU in the MWC standings, earlier this season, and Wyoming usually draws a large and vocal crowd to the Arena-Auditorium for the rivalry match.

“They kind of surround you, especially with the students on both ends of the court, so it can be a little intimidating,” said Fornstrom.

Fornstrom is a native of Cheyenne, who spurned the Cowboys for CSU, and she expects a large amount of friends and family to show up to the match to support her, but she also knows that there will be some hecklers as well.

“It is fun to play at Wyoming. I get called a traitor, but I am used to it because they have been doing it since my freshman year,” said the Rams senior.

Volleyball beat writer Matthew Pucak can be reached at sports@collegian.com.

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