CSU volleyball ranks among top-25 before conference opener

In a release from the AVCA Division I Coach’s Top 25 on Monday, Colorado State volleyball ranks among the best.

At the start of the season, CSU was ranked to finish second in the Mountain West, as well as receiving a national rank of 39th in the preseason poll. From a quick glance at statistics, records and percentages, CSU has taken their team from a rebuilding year to a year made for history in the making.

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The Rams have climbed to No.22 in the nation, as well as ranking in the top five in offense.

Middle blocker Cayla Broadwater goes up for a spike during practice in Moby on Monday afternoon. The Rams are preparing for this Wednesday's border war against Wyoming.
Middle blocker Cayla Broadwater goes up for a spike during practice in Moby on Monday afternoon. The Rams are preparing for this Wednesday’s border war against Wyoming.among the best in the nation. The Rams have dropped from No.39 to No.22 in just four weeks.

This is the highest ranking for the Rams since Sept. 26, 2011.

As a ranked team, CSU is 409-125 all-time, including 232-28 at Moby Arena. With two crucial matches this week, the Rams look to continue their uphill climb toward the Mountain West title.

There are only two days left before MW play begins,CSU continues to tighten up their loose ends after a perfect 8-0 start.

In the Boarder War rivalry, CSU had great success. Overall, CSU leads the series against Wyoming, 55-19, with a 28-8 record at home. The Rams have not lost in Moby since Head Coach Tom Hilbert took over as coach in 1997 (16-0).

“I think this season continues to show improvement for us,” Adrianna Culbert said. “I am pumped for the Border War and to be ranked so high.”

Culbert lead the team in kills against Denver University and Missouri State last week. With 37 kills in the last two games, she will be a threat for CSU against Wyoming.

One of the Rams’ strengths comes from the versatility Deedra Foss (setter) has to work with. On any given night, she has the opportunity to place the ball in the hands of  senior Samantha Peters, junior Marlee Reynolds, junior Kelsey Snider and freshman Kaila Thomas.

“The great thing for us coming to Wyoming is our offense,” Culbert said. “We are all hitting strong and that is something we hope to use. You never really know who will step up for us this season.”

Off the hands of Foss, Rams hitters have been consistently placing the ball from net to court.  Although CSU has taken on strong opponents on the block, Wyoming middle hitter Erin Kirby will push the Rams offense in another tightly anticipated match.

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A returning veteran for the Cowgirls, and the nation’s leading blocker, junior Erin Kirby dominates the Wyoming offense in the middle. On the attack, she has 1.97 blocks per set with 2.67 per set.

“We are really looking to improve our blocks and stop the Wyoming offense,” Foss said. “We have the height to get over the net and defend, we are just solidifying those fundamentals in practice.”

Wyoming is the No.1 blocking team in the country with 3.22 per set.

We are just trying to get better,” Wyoming Head Coach Chad Callihan said. “CSU is one of the top teams in the country. We know we have a good challenge against us on Wednesday.”

The Rams will go for their ninth win of the season against the Cowgirls on Wednesday. The game is scheduled to start at 7p.m. in Moby Arena. This is not a game to miss.

“Border Wars are fun and it really gets the crows going,” Foss said. “We are going to come out strong and continue to defeat strong opponents.”