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Looking back on CSU hall of famers decorating Moby Arena walls

Colorado+State+University+2006+Hall+of+Fame+Inductee+and+volleyball+player+Angela+Knopf+poses+for+a+portrait+outside+of+Canvas+Stadium%2C+April+9.
Collegian | Aria Paul
Colorado State University 2006 Hall of Fame inductee and volleyball player Angela Knopf poses for a portrait outside of Canvas Stadium April 9. “My favorite time at CSU was the people I got to meet and the girls I got to play with,” Knopf said. “From my teammates to my coaches to the training staff, you can’t create a better community than the Fort Collins community.”

If the walls could talk at Moby Arena, they would talk about the athletes, the audiences and the coaches who have passed through since the arena first opened in 1966.

Before spectators walk into Moby, pictures of athletes line the wall, and they’re some of the best who have come through Colorado State athletics. Many of them have gone on to play at an international level on Olympic teams and have been named All-Americans. 

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“My greatest honor was being named to the CSU Hall of Fame and having my jersey retired.” –Sherri Danielson Fenn, CSU hall of famer

The reason No. 12 is now retired is volleyball player Sherri Danielson Fenn, who played for CSU 1982-85 and is the first woman athlete inducted into the Colorado State Athletics Hall of Fame.

Fenn grew up surrounded by sports because her brothers tried several sports, like softball, basketball, gymnastics, cheerleading, track and field and volleyball. 

“(My brothers and I have) been involved with sports my whole life, so you kind of went from one thing to the next,” Fenn said. 

Fenn’s original dream was to be a biology major and then go straight into CSU’s veterinary program. She became a biology major but left school to play professionally in San Diego, California, for the next four and a half years, returning to school to graduate. 

“Life, as we all know, takes different turns than we expect, and volleyball really took off in my life,” Fenn said. 

Fenn is still involved with volleyball, now coaching at the Balboa Bay Volleyball Club.

“I’m just as competitive coaching as I was when I was playing,” Fenn said. “But it’s almost a better feeling when you can teach someone else to do (it) and see them excel and light bulbs go on and see them become successful.” 

During her career, Fenn was chosen as an alternate for the U.S. Olympic team and named an All-American.

“My greatest honor was being named to the CSU Hall of Fame and having my jersey retired,” Fenn said. “I am so proud and humbled by being recognized along with the many great CSU athletes and coaches and to have my jersey hang in Moby gym.”

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One of Fenn’s teammates, who played 1984-87, is Angie Duryea.

Similar to Fenn, Duryea grew up playing multiple sports like basketball and softball, which was her primary sport, but she was recruited for volleyball.

“I almost didn’t come to CSU because I thought, ‘That’s out of my league; I will never play,’” Duryea said.

Duryea was leaning toward playing for Northern Colorado because they would have also allowed her to play softball. However, she chose CSU, which launched the beginning of her career.

Duryea also played for the Chicago Breeze, a major league volleyball team, and the Yugo East-West all-star event team, which is where eight teams from all over the country play against each other. Following this, Duryea traveled to France for a year before coming back to finish school.

“It was just fun, (and) I got to do what I loved to do: meet phenomenal people (and) get to see a lot of different places, and I got to test myself,” Duryea said. “(I got to) run the extra stairs, lift the extra weights. … I liked to do the things nobody saw you do.”

Duryea was named a second-team All-American in 1987 and was officially inducted into the CSU Athletics Hall of Fame in 2001.

Five years later, Angela Knopf was also inducted into the Hall of Fame for volleyball, but that was not the only highlight of her career.

Knopf grew up playing basketball, but her friend invited her to an open gym and introduced her to the world of volleyball. 

“I showed up in all my basketball garb,” Knopf said. “And at the end of the open gym, they sat me down, and they said, ‘OK, now you owe $2,000,’ realizing it had been a club tryout instead of open gym.”

In her fifth year at CSU, she had planned to be a walk-on for the basketball team but then was offered a spot on the U.S. Olympic team for volleyball. 

“I decided to take that opportunity instead,” Knopf said. “I was really happy to be able to be on the USA team.”

Unfortunately, during Knopf’s time on the Olympic team, she became sick, which resulted in her losing a third of her blood. She was not able to finish her time on the team and left to focus on her health. 

Knopf then became the volleyball coach and math teacher at Fossil Ridge High School but left after her first year to play professionally in California for seven years.

“There’s a saying that says, ‘The two most important days of your life are the day you were born and then the day you find out why,'” Knopf said. “Obviously, I was born — I’m here — and so the second day was when I realized how much I had a heart and a passion to reach young women and men.” 

Knopf then began her journey as a coach and started her tutoring business, High5 Tutoring.

She was inducted into the CSU Athletics Hall of Fame in 2006 and earned first-team All-American titles her junior and senior years.

“We were able to do things no teams have done before because we had that bond, and we had that hard work, and we had the ability just to play above our potential,” Knopf said. 

These three women now attend alumni events and see how the volleyball program continues to progress.

“When (I) step foot in Moby gym, I can tell you it just is the best feeling, and it feels like coming home,” Fenn said.

Reach Sophie Webb at sports@collegian.com or on Twitter @sophgwebb.

Interested in more sports content? Sign up for Ram Report here for weekly CSU sports updates!

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