Bomb squad helps Rams prepare for Border War

Experience and continuity are typically traits that define CSU’s volleyball team, but the Rams are preparing to face a team on Friday that exemplifies both –– Wyoming.

The team won its last two matches following a three-game losing streak and swept
CSU-Pueblo on Monday, so the Cowgirls should have some more spring in their step Friday.

“Hopefully, with back-to-back wins it gives our team a little more confidence going into a huge match against CSU,” said Wyoming coach Carrie Yerty after the victory. “It does not take our team a lot to get ready against CSU, but I think these matches will give us some more confidence.”

The Cowgirls plan to beat CSU by running a complex, fast offense built to confuse and blow by opponents.

“They run double quick attacks in every rotation,” said CSU coach Tom Hilbert. “They always have a chip on their shoulder, especially when they play us, but always they do.”

In a “double quick,” both the middle and outside attackers will shift from their original positions and make the blockers choose which one to defend.

“You have to be really fast in each movement that you do. I need to pretty much be off the ground before the ball gets to the hitter’s hands,” said senior middle blocker Breion Paige.

Preparing for that type of offense can be difficult for a bigger, more athletic team like CSU, but that’s when the Rams call in the Bomb Squad.

It isn’t a crack team of experts –– it’s just a more affectionate name for the scout team. But they help get results.

“It’s good so that when you go into a game you’re not caught off surprised at how it looks,” said redshirt sophomore setter Deedra Foss.

Assistant coach Matthew Botsford typically handles the setting for the Bomb Squad due to his experience and fluency with many different offenses.

“He can set any offense, which is really the most key component,” Hilbert said.

Sometimes CSU’s starters will play on the Bomb Squad as well in order to get a feel for what the opponent’s offense does and better understand how to defend it.

“When you’re actually simulating them it helps a lot because you see ‘this is how fast it’s really going to be,’ ‘this is how fast I need to get up.’ It makes it more real,” Paige said. “I know what I need to do because I know what they’re going to do.”

The only aspect of Wyoming’s game that CSU can’t really simulate in a practice environment is how much the Cowgirls cheer for each other during a match.

“Sometimes that can take people out of the game. We’re more of a composed team, so when we play teams that are like that it’s a different look for us,” Foss said. “We can kind of do it in practice, but I think we more deal with it in the games.”

Assistant Sports Editor Kyle Grabowski can be reached at sports@collegian.com.