Oct 212010
Authors: Kyle Grabowski

It worked for the football team against Idaho, and now the Colorado State volleyball team is trying an “orange out” tonight against Wyoming.

The Rams will pay tribute to the school’s Aggie heritage and celebrate an early Halloween by wearing pumpkin- and alfalfa-colored jerseys, and the crowd is encouraged to wear orange as well.

Wyoming has gone 19-4 so far this season with a 4-3 mark within the Mountain West Conference play. The impressive pre-conference mark was buoyed by not playing any teams from traditional “power” conferences.

The Cowgirls opened the season 17-1 by beating Murray State and Stetson, primarily playing at home. But they did lose their one game against a team most fans would recognize when the Boise State Broncos swept them on Sept. 11 in Laramie.

Wyoming is 2-2 on the road in conference this year, defeating Brigham Young and Air Force while losing to Utah and UNLV.

The Cowgirls rank third in the conference in hitting percentage and second in opponent’s hitting percentage. CSU leads the MWC in both categories.

“They’re a pretty good blocking and defending team,” said coach Tom Hilbert.

Wyoming is first in the conference in kills and ranks second in blocks. Sophomore outside hitter Jodi Purdy is ranked fourth in the MWC in kills at 3.39 per set, just above CSU senior Danielle Minch.

“Wyoming is very similar to TCU,” Hilbert said. “They’ve got these smaller run and jump outside hitters with good arms, and they just move the ball around well.”

TCU took the Rams to five sets in their loss at Moby Arena last Thursday. The Horned Frogs registered 10 more kills than CSU and held the Rams to a .233 clip but couldn’t handle CSU’s athleticism in the final set to close the match out.

Wyoming swept TCU in the two school’s Oct. 16 match.

CSU has won its last 24 matches against Wyoming and nine consecutive games this year.

“I expect Friday to be a battle,” Hilbert said. “They bring so much competitiveness and emotion to every match they play. It’s not like we have to get extra-emotional to beat them, but we have to be ready to deal with that.”

Volleyball Beat Reporter Kyle Grabowski can be reached at sports@collegian.com.

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