The young CSU volleyball players and their loyal fans will get a chance to make some big noise starting Sept. 8 when the annual Rams Volleyball Classic begins at Moby Arena.
The Rams take on talented Wichita State tonight at 7 before squaring off with third-ranked Texas at 7 p.m. Friday in the annual White Out match.
The Rams (4-2) come into the tournament reeling from back-to-back loses to Pittsburgh and Cal-Santa Barbara last weekend. The twin losses knocked the Rams out of the Top 25, but veteran coach Tom Hilbert said his young team, which features eight key newcomers, learned some valuable lessons.
“I think we learned that serving and passing really set the tone,” he said. “If you don’t handle those things against good teams it’s really difficulty to win. And I also hope we’ve learned how to get out of some of the tough situations we faced on the road.”
Hoping for some Moby magic
Getting back to Moby, where the Rams have gone 272-31 (.898) during Hilbert’s 20 seasons, should help the Rams.
“I was hoping we would be undefeated coming into these matches because we feel somewhat invincible in Moby,” Hilbert said. “That would have really helped us.”
Wichita State (3-2) owns a win over then-No. 18 Creighton, and returns several players from a team that advanced to the second round of the 2015 NCAA Tournament.
Tall order in Texas
And then there’s Texas. The Longhorns just might be the best team to ever visit Moby. They are 5-1, including a loss to defending national champion Nebraska, and have several outstanding players returning from a 2015 team that played the Huskers in the national title game.
“Texas will be a cool team for fans to watch because all of their players are 5-star, blue-chip recruits, and they are in position to get to the Final Four every year,” he said. “Winning and losing this weekend isn’t as important as showcasing the sport and showcasing the Rams. I like the fact that this community has embraced us and our willingness to take on the best teams in the country.
“We are young but I like this team. It’s a talented team with great kids, and I think we’re going to be a very good team. Right now we’re learning, we’re having fun, and we’re improving.”
Tickets are available online, at the McGraw Athletic Center ticket office, at the door or by calling (970) 491-7267.