CSU volleyball hosts Pepperdine, FIU, New Mexico State in 2012 Rams Volleyball Classic

Moby Arena will host its second volleyball tournament of the season September 7-9 when No. 12 Pepperdine, Florida International University and New Mexico State roll in for the 2012 Rams Volleyball Classic.

CSU has won the event every year since its inception in 2010, but this season’s field may prove the deepest ever.


The Rams encounter No. 12 Pepperdine Friday at 7 p.m. in their toughest home test so far this season.

“The pool of talent they draw from is the best volleyball players in the country,” CSU coach Tom Hilbert said. “They defend, they pass they hit hard, they block, they’re just really good at being a good volleyball team.”

Pepperdine enters the match at 4-1, with its only loss coming on the home floor of No. 10 Dayton.

CSU struggled with bigger, physical teams last weekend in the Shocker Volleyball Classic, losing all three matches. Because of that, the Rams have focused on their own problems in practice this week with an eye on competing better against high level teams.

“We need to work on getting more kills from the outside hitters out of system,” senior outside hitter Dana Cranston said. “That’s our downfall, we’re not being productive in those situations.”

The team will also be looking to build on its win Sunday at home against Oklahoma, where they played with more energy and focus than on the road.

“We were more free, just having fun playing the game,” senior libero Izzy Gaulia said. “I was talking to Dana and I was like ‘Dude we need that win.’ We didn’t let ourselves lose.”

CSU hasn’t lost at Moby since a 3-1 defeat against Wichita State on September 9, 2011, a streak spanning 12 games.

The 2012 Ram Volleyball Classic continues through the rest of the weekend as well. CSU plays Florida International University at 1 p.m. on Saturday and New Mexico State University on Sunday at noon.