Koch: Past favors CSU volleyball going into NCAA Tournament

Zac Koch

Zac Koch
Zac Koch

One more time, Moby.

The Colorado State Rams played their last regular season home match against Wyoming last Wednesday, which they won in four sets. That win marked CSU’s fourteenth win in Moby this season.

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The Rams haven’t lost a match at Moby in three months, and Sunday, they were given a bid to host the first two rounds of the NCAA tournament.

“I couldn’t have asked for a better senior gift,” senior setter Deedra Foss said, “to be able to play in front of the fans at Moby again is awesome, and just knowing that senior night wasn’t our last game here is amazing.”

This will be the first time since 2009 that the Rams get to host NCAA tournament matches, and Friday night they will play Denver in the first round at 6:30 p.m. Ten weeks ago, the DU Pioneers went into Moby and left with a 3-0 loss.

Despite a 27-6 record, the Pioneers are going to have a tough time beating the Rams in Moby. Five of their six losses were on the road, and the Rams are just too good on their home court.

At 4:30 p.m. Friday, the UNC Bears will square off with CU, and the winner of that game will play the winner of CSU-DU. I think as a general consensus, it’s safe to say that it would be really cool to watch the Rams battle the Buffs in the second round of the tourney.

CU and CSU have not played in volleyball since August of 2010, and that match was also in Moby. Any guesses on the outcome of that one?

The Rams swept them 3-0.

Still, if the Rams end up playing UNC in the second round, the past is on their side. One month ago the Rams swept the Bears 3-0 in Greeley. So in both rounds that they will host, CSU is guaranteed to play a team that they swept the last time they matched up.

Now, I’m not saying this solidifies a win or anything, stranger things have happened. But it certainly is a confidence booster; especially for those elite seniors that have a chance at two more matches on their favorite court before graduation. But they’re only focused on one match right now.

“Our first and main focus right now is beating DU. We can’t look past that,” Foss said, “They are a good team, they are going to be tough to play. They have good players.”

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If history repeats itself in these first two matches with a couple of sweeps, the Rams will head to Minneapolis for the Sweet 16, again repeating history. In 2009 when they hosted, they also went to Minneapolis as one of the final 16. There, they lost to Minnesota.

This year, they will likely see the Texas Longhorns in Minneapolis instead. The No. 2 Longhorns post a 23-2 record, and have yet to lose an away game or a game at a neutral site.

So if that time comes, CSU will be hoping to break the patterns of the past and move into the elite eight. For now, they’re just relishing their diminishing minutes in Moby Arena practicing for DU.

Thanks for keeping track with Zac.

Collegian Assistant Sports Editor Zac Koch can be reached at sports@collegian.com and on Twitter @zactkoch