Wrapping up a striking 2022 volleyball season


Collegian | Garrett Mogel

The Colorado State University volleyball team huddles after winning their game against the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Tarheels at Moby Arena Aug. 26. The game resulted in a 25-17 win for CSU.

Karsyn Lane, Sports Director

After delivering an unforgettable and heartfelt three months, the Colorado State University volleyball team closed out its 2022 season with a killer turnout.

The Rams took Moby Arena by storm this season, finishing with a 19-11 overall season record and a 12-6 conference record and placing third in the Mountain West Conference. Compared to this season’s competitors, Colorado State led the Mountain West in hitting percentage with an outstanding .267 with 1,449 total kills. Outside hitter Kennedy Stanford delivered 354 of those kills, dominating the leaderboard.


During a total of 30 matchups, the Rams managed to maintain a five-game winning streak from Sept. 20 to Oct. 6. After getting into the stalwart groove, Colorado State became unstoppable. Notably, the Rams walked away with a couple of unforgettable wins against the state’s biggest rivals right in Moby, from a 3-1 victory against the University of Colorado Boulder Buffaloes Sept. 15 to sweeping the University of Wyoming Cowgirls once — as well as beating them 3-1 this season — and shutting down the United States Air Force Academy 3-1 Nov. 12.

This season was a first-class performance to bid head coach Tom Hilbert farewell, as he will officially retire following the end of the season. Hilbert announced his intention to retire after nearly 39 years of coaching collegiate volleyball, with 26 of those dedicated to Colorado State. He was inducted into the Colorado State University Athletics Hall of Fame in 2006, leaving behind a powerful legacy in Moby Arena.

Hilbert isn’t the only Ram leaving behind a legacy, as there are three senior spotlights this season: Jacqi Van Liefde, Ciera Pritchard and Annie Sullivan. These three Rams contributed in countless ways to the court and achieved season-high stats along the way.

Outside hitter Van Liefde created a dangerous territory, as she delivered a total of 183 attacks this season. She isn’t afraid to bring down a strong swing: a consistent kill that opponents have dared to challenge. Not only did she have a lethal arm on her, but her height made getting beyond the net nearly impossible. On top of her court performance, Van Liefde was awarded the 2021-22 Mencimer Memorial Award. The Mencimer Memorial Award was established in 1976 and is awarded yearly to the most outstanding female student-athlete at CSU.

As for the team setter, Pritchard prioritized supporting her fellow peers this season. With an outstanding 1,044 assist total, she dominated the leaderboard and placed fourth in the Mountain West. Additionally, she accomplished a major milestone by reaching 100 career aces during her time with Colorado State.

Last but not least, Sullivan stood side by side with both seniors protecting the court. Overall, she accomplished 311.5 points, 63 blocks and 749 total attacks.

With a possible need for a rebuilding season and looking for a new head coach, the Colorado State Rams will carry on the team legacy and look to come back even stronger next season. To stay up to date on any information regarding the Rams, tune into their Twitter for daily highlights @csuvolleyball.

Reach Karsyn Lane at sports@collegian.com or on Twitter @karsynlane1.