Dec 082009
 
Authors: Joel Hafnor

The 2009 CSU volleyball season will go down as one of the most decorated in program history.

The team’s fifteen conference victories were the most in school history and helped the Rams to their 7th regular season Mountain West Conference title. Head coach Tom Hilbert passed a coaching milestone with his 500th victory in a win over Air Force on Nov. 5. Five Rams were included in the All-MWC team at season’s end, including Hilbert, who won his 7th MWC Coach of the Year honor.

Perhaps no accolade earned this year was more deserving than that of junior Danielle Minch, who captured the MWC Player of the Year honors.

Minch, a native of Sterling, Colo., led conference play with 3.80 kills per set, and tallied more than ten kills in 20 of 28 matches this year.

“It’s really exciting for me,” Minch said. “We have a lot of good players on our team, I’m glad to be contributing to that.”

Minch made her presence known during the Rams’ crucial road trip to Utah and BYU in November, tallying two consecutive games with more than twenty kills and helping the Rams secure the conference championship.

“Cutting down on errors has been huge for me,” Minch continued. “It’s been about being more mature and realizing my role on the team.”

That role has elevated this season into the team’s unquestioned go-to player in times of need.

“I’m confident that I’m going to do my best to get the job done when the team needs me,” Minch said of being the go-to player. “I like to be that person.”

Other Rams included on the all-conference squad include senior Tessa Nelson, who was selected to the all-conference team a year ago, along with sophomore setter Evan Sanders, redshirt freshman Megan Plourde, and senior Katelin Batten, who earned Libero of the Year for the first time in her career.

The Rams will begin their NCAA road at home as Moby Arena was selected as one of the sixteen first and second round sites. The Rams will face Middle Tennessee State at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, and will face the either the University of Washington or Northern Colorado in the round of 32, should they advance.

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