The Rams are riding a mile high after a huge week of play, and they look to continue their commanding play this weekend as they host the Rams Volleyball Classic, a four-team tournament, at Moby Arena.
Colorado State started off last week losing to No. 16 Oklahoma, their only loss of the season, and bounced back beautifully, beating No. 5 Nebraska on Friday and sweeping Albany Saturday.
Their win Friday night, dubbed the massive match up at Moby, was one of the biggest in school history. The Rams, in front of 6,750 fans (a school and Mountain West attendance record for volleyball), came back from down 0-2 to run off three straight sets and defeat the Cornhuskers.
Junior middle blocker Megan Plourde was the catalyst for the comeback, she recorded six of her nine kills in the match and all of her eight blocks in the final three sets of the match. Her performance was so paramount that she was named MWC Player of the Week, her second such honor in a calendar year.
And while last week was wonderful for the Rams, their attention turns to the Rams Volleyball Classic, which begins tonight at Moby Arena.
Here’s a look at their three opponents over the next three nights:
Rams vs. Nova KBM, Thursday night at 7 p.m. MT at Moby Arena
Nova KBM is a special opponent, they’re the only professional team Colorado State will face all season. Since the team’s founding in 1945, Nova KBM has been the most successful volleyball club in Slovenia as they won four Yugoslavian national championships from 1945-1991. Now, Nova KBM is independent and has won the Slovenian championship 10 times, and the Slovenian Cup 13 times including last year.
Nova KBM is in the middle of making their American tour, which included playing Utah, Utah Valley, Colorado, Regis, Denver, Albany and Wyoming—they’ve won every game on the tour except the game against Albany, CSU’s most recent win.
This is the toughest opponent the Rams (5-1) will face in the Classic, and they must bring their A-game tonight to get a win against the Slovenian Nova KBM.
Rams vs. Wichita State, Friday night at 7 p.m. MT at Moby Arena
Wichita State comes to Fort Collins with a record of 3-3 on the season. The Shockers started their season losing to Arizona (0-3) and Hawaii (1-3) before beating San Francisco (3-2) in the Chevron Rainbow Wahine Invitational. Wichita State then swept Eastern Illinois, lost to Louisville (1-3) and beat Mississippi (3-1) in the Crowne Plaza Cardinal Classic.
The Shockers top player is senior Camri Zwiesler, who leads the team in kills, aces and overall points.
All-time, CSU is 3-0 versus the Shockers, and they look to continue that dominance Friday night.
Rams vs. Northern Colorado, Saturday night at 7 p.m. MT at Moby Arena
The same day the Colorado State football team plays UNC at Sonny Lubick Field at Hughes Stadium, CSU volleyball faces Northern Colorado at Moby. And just like at the football game, this volleyball match will be Colorado State’s annual “Orange Out,” in which the Rams will don their orange jerseys to show respect for their history and Aggie heritage, and they ask fans to wear their orange in the stands as well.
UNC comes into Fort Collins at 4-3, and they’ve already beaten MWC teams in UNLV (3-0) and Air Force (3-1). The Bears’ best player is Kelley Arnold, and she leads UNC in kills (99), while also being the team leader in points per set (4.05).
Colorado State holds the all-time series advantage at 14-6, and the Rams have beaten the Bears in nine straight matches that date back to 1982.
This should be a fun tournament for Rams fans, and exciting to see if they can stay with their winning ways and continue to move up the rankings.
So get out, have some fun and root on the Rams this weekend in Fort Collins!
Rich Kurtzman is a freelance journalist actively seeking a career in journalism. Along with being your CSU Rams Examiner, Kurtzman writes for Blake Street Bulletin, Stadium Journey, Bleacher Report, and Swoosh Nation.
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