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Sports / Recreation

Volleyball announces 2009 schedule

May 12, 2009

Sixteen home matches, including six straight to open the season, and a challenging Mountain West slate, highlight the 2009 Colorado State volleyball schedule, announced Friday by Rams Head Coach Tom Hilbert.

The Rams, who enter the 2009 campaign riding a 28-match home winning streak, have been undefeated at Moby Arena in each of the past two seasons and will look for their 15th straight trip to the NCAA tournament.

Season opens Aug. 28 at Moby

Colorado State will open the season by hosting the Asics Classic at Moby Arena from Aug. 28-30. During the three-day tournament, the Rams will host Pepperdine, a team that spent much of the 2008 season in the AVCA Top 25, followed by matches against Oregon State and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

“We’re excited to host the Asics Classic here in Fort Collins,” said Hilbert. “It’s the third year we’ve been a part of it and it’s a really good group of teams to start our season with. We played this tournament in Hawaii in 2007 and at Oregon State last year. Our partnership with Asics always makes this a really good event.”

Colorado State Classic Sept. 4-5

The Rams will then welcome Ohio State, Texas-Arlington and Georgia Southern to Fort Collins for the Colorado State Classic, taking place on Sept. 4-5. CSU will play Ohio State at 7 p.m. on Sept. 4 and then play two matches on Sept. 5.

“Our season-opening tournament is always a good event, and this year should be the same,” said Hilbert. “Ohio State is one of the premier names in the country and it’s exciting they will be here for the tournament.”

Road trip Sept. 9-13

The Rams will make their longest road trip of the season the following week as CSU will head to North Carolina for four matches in five days from Sept. 9-13. The Rams will take on the Duke Blue Devils in Durham, N.C., on Sept. 9, before facing off against North Carolina, Marshall and Tennessee in the Carolina Classic.

“I think that’s an exciting trip for us,” Hilbert said. “Those are all good teams, including two ACC schools, so it should be challenging for us.”

Mountain West conference campaign

Colorado State will begin its 16-match Mountain West conference campaign on Sept. 17 at UNLV, before returning home for three straight matches at Moby Arena. The last match of the three will be an out-of-conference meeting with local rival Northern Colorado on Sept. 30. Thirteen straight conference matches will follow, highlighted by visits from conference-contenders BYU and Utah on Oct. 15 and Oct. 17, respectively. CSU will wrap up Mountain West action on Nov. 21, as CSU hosts UNLV.

For the second consecutive season, the Mountain West will not host a conference tournament, so the Rams will play two matches to prepare for what they hope will be another NCAA tournament appearance. CSU will visit Denver on Nov. 25 and then host New Mexico State on Senior Day on Nov. 28.

Almost all Saturday conference games set to serve at noon or 1 p.m.

One notable change to the schedule this season is that almost all Saturday conference games are set for first serve at noon or 1 p.m.

“It’s something that the coaches in the Mountain West have talked about in the past,” Hilbert said. “It was a way for us to save some money because it reduces some travel costs. I think once fans get used to Saturday afternoon matches, it may actually help our attendance. It’s going to be very family friendly and good for us in that regards. We have such great volleyball support in this community and I expect that to remain the same.”

10th in the country last season for average home attendance

Last season, the Rams ranked 10th in the country in average home attendance (2,388) and had crowds of over 2,500 fans on five occasions. CSU drew a season-high 4,009 fans to Moby Arena on Sept. 13, when the Rams swept No. 8 Florida.

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2009 Colorado State volleyball schedule in PDF format