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Sports / Recreation

Rams making 16th consecutive NCAA appearance

November 30, 2010
By Tony Phifer

The 16th-ranked CSU volleyball team faces Cal State Fullerton on Friday in Stanford, Calif., in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The Rams are making their 16th consecutive trip to the NCAA's and their 22nd overall.

CSU seniors (from left) Danielle Minch, Jacque Davisson, Audrey Hemmings and Emily Koenning celebrated a second-consecutive MWC championship Wednesday following a match with Utah. The Rams now turn their attention to Friday's first-round NCAA Tournament match against Cal State Fullerton.

The Colorado State Rams, who have established one of the most successful volleyball programs in the country, continued their proud tradition this weekend when they earned their 16th consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament.

On deck: Clash with the Titans

The 16th-ranked Rams, who won their eighth Mountain West Conference title in the 12-year history of the league, will be making their 22nd appearance in the NCAA Tournament’s 30-year existence. The Rams open play at 5:30 p.m. Friday against No. 24 Cal State Fullerton at Maples Pavilion in Stanford, Calif.

Second-ranked Stanford, the first-round tournament host, plays Albany in the second match of the day. Winners meet at 8 p.m. Saturday, with the winner of that match advancing to the Dayton Regional semifinals the following week.

Looking for more in 2010

The Rams will be looking to build upon the success they enjoyed last year when they won their first two matches to advance to the regional semifinals. Many of the players from that team, including senior outside hitters Danielle Minch and Jacque Davisson and junior setter Evan Sanders, have anchored the 2010 team for coach Tom Hilbert.

Two-time MWC player of the year Danielle Minch will lead the Rams into the NCAA Tournament.

 Minch, Sanders Plourde honored

Minch on Tuesday was named MWC player of the year for the second consecutive season. Sanders, a junior repeat selection at setter, and Megan Plourde, a sophomore repeater at middle blocker, joined Minch on the all-conference team. Minch is the third CSU player to earn back-to-back MWC player-of-the-year honors, joining Angela Knopf (2000-01) and Melissa Courtney (2003-04).

First time for Fullerton

While the Rams bring a wealth of postseason experience into the tournament, Cal State Fullerton is making the school’s first-ever NCAA appearance. The Titans (25-6) won the Big West Conference title for the first time and have won nine consecutive matches. They are led by senior middle blocker Erin Saddler.

Fans can listen, watch

The match will be carried live on KCSU (91.5 FM), with Andy Bashoven providing play-by-play. Live streaming audio is available for free. The NCAA is providing live video, or fans can follow the action online with Gametracker.