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Sports / Recreation

Rams face powerful Huskers in Moby opener

August 31, 2011

The 15th-ranked CSU volleyball team faces a big test Friday night, hosting No. 5 Nebraska in the home opener.

Senior Katelyn Steffan, the MVP of the Arkansas Invitational, will lead the Rams on Friday night when they face No. 5 Nebraska.CSU will attempt to break school and Mountain West volleyball attendance records at 7 p.m. Friday when fifth-ranked Nebraska takes on the No. 15 Rams in their home opener at Moby Arena.

“In terms of overall importance, we’ve had bigger matches, but this is certainly the biggest home opener we’ve ever had,” said 15th-year CSU coach Tom Hilbert. “Nebraska is the premier program in this part of the country, and they are always in the hunt for a national championship. This match will be a great test for our team and a great treat for our fans.”

Fast start to the season

The Rams opened the season last weekend by sweeping three matches at the Arkansas Invitational before losing Tuesday in three sets at No. 17 Oklahoma. After losing four starters off last year’s team, which won the MWC title and qualified for the NCAA Tournament for the 16th consecutive season, Hilbert said he’s pleased with this team’s start.

“I’m happy to be 3-1 because we have played some good teams,” he said. “We’re still learning things about this team – things you can only learn by going out and playing good competition. These matches will benefit us in November.”

The Rams have been led by senior opposite hitter Katelyn Steffan, who was MVP of the Arkansas Invitational. Juniors Dana Cranston, Izzy Gaulia and Megan Plourde were named to the all-tournament team.

Success is status quo for Huskers

Nebraska not only has a long history of success – 11 Final Four appearances and three national championships – several Colorado players have played key roles for the Cornhuskers over the years. This year’s team is led by 6-foot-5 Morgan Broekhuis, a sophomore from Colorado Springs.

CSU set school and MWC attendance records last year against Duke when 6,333 fans watched the Rams prevail 3-1. Like that match, the Nebraska match is designated a “white out” game, with fans encouraged to wear white.

Get your tickets early

Tickets for Friday’s match are $10 for adults and $6 for youths. CSU students are admitted free with a valid student ID. Fans are encouraged to purchase tickets today or during the day Friday to avoid long lines immediately prior to the match.

Students: Free food, shirts

Students are invited to arrive early to participate in the “Welcome Students Tailgate Party” presented by Wells Fargo. The first 500 students to arrive will receive free food, and prize giveaways and music will add to the festivities.

The first 500 students to enter Moby will receive a free white T-shirt, courtesy of Russell Athletic. A special student entrance for the match will be located on the northeast side of the arena.

CSU plays two home matches this weekend, facing Albany at 7 p.m. Saturday.

Contact: Tony Phifer
Phone: (970) 491-7712