Nov 122008
 
Authors: Matthew Pucak

After dropping their last match to TCU and falling behind Utah in the Mountain West Conference standings, CSU volleyball needs to get back on track.

Fortunately, there is no better place for the Rams to find their winning ways than at Moby Arena, where the team has won 26 straight matches.

With only four conference games remaining, the Rams know that there is only one way to guarantee a conference crown, and it will begin tonight against San Diego State, (7 p.m.), the first of the Rams final four conference games.

“I feel that right now what we have to do to win the conference is very defined for us; we have to win all of the rest of our matches,” said Tom Hilbert, CSU head coach.

A key to winning, senior Jamie Strauss said, would be the Rams ability to deal with the TCU loss.

“I think that you have to (move on) at this point, you can’t sit around and dwell on it. With how many games we have left, you just have to put it behind you,” Strauss said. “We have an opportunity to win conference, so let’s focus on that.”

In addition to their winning streak at Moby, the Rams have an impressive 13 consecutive wins over SDSU recently, including a 3-0 sweep of the Aztecs earlier this season.

Still, Hilbert said he doesn’t think it will be easy, as they are a team with talent and motivation.

“San Diego State is a typical Southern California team, in that they aren’t as big as us, but they are all competitors that play some defense, hit high and jump well,” Hilbert said.

“They know that they aren’t making the tournament, and they have nothing to lose. Their coach (Mark Warner) is retiring after the season and they are probably playing for him, so they are a dangerous match.”

Hilbert hinted at some lineup tinkering after TCU, by perhaps moving reserve sophomore outside hitter Danielle Minch into the starting lineup. She will remain on the bench, but Hilbert said she would see plenty of action.

This will be the penultimate regular season match for three Rams seniors, Mekana Barnes, Ashley Fornstrom and Jamie Strauss, and all three are looking forward to closing the last two seasons at Moby without a blemish.

“I think that with last year playing undefeated at home, I would like to close being undefeated at home in the regular season, and see where that takes us,” Strauss said. “I think that this is an accomplishment not many teams (can claim).”

Recruiting

Wednesday was the early signing day for both CSU basketball teams and the volleyball team, and all were welcoming new players.

CSU volleyball head coach Tom Hilbert announced that his program had signed Tori Brummett and Lisa Parlich to National Letters of Intent.

Brummlett is a 6-4 middle blocker from Redlands, Calif., and Parlich is a 6-2 middle blocker from Delavan, Wisc.

The Colorado State men’s basketball program signed three players, Pierce Hornung, Greg Smith and Trevor Williams.

Hornung is a 6-5 small forward from Ralston Valley High School in Aurora, Co., Smith, a 6-6 forward from Omaha, Neb., and Williams is a 6-11 center from Lutheran High School in Denver.

Chantel Kennedy,/a 5-7 guard for Wesleyan School in Norcross, Ga., was the only signee for the women’s basketball squad.

CSU can’t release information or comment on recruits until their Letters of Intent have been received, so there will likely be more news in the following days. For information on these recruits, or for any additional recruiting news, visit collegiansports.com.

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

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