Rams hosting all-Colorado NCAA party

Seniors Marlee Reynolds, left, Deedra Foss, center, and Kelsey Snider will lead the 29-2 Rams into the NCAA Tournament on Friday at Moby Arena.

Who says you need a beach to play volleyball? Certainly not the state of Colorado.

Starting Friday, Colorado State University – more than 1,500 miles from the nearest beach – will become the center of the collegiate volleyball universe as CSU, the University of Northern Colorado, Denver University and the University of Colorado will gather for the first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament.

All-Colorado party

No. 9-ranked CSU will host the two-day party that features the state’s four top Division I volleyball programs. CSU will be making its 20th consecutive NCAA appearance and earned the right to host its neighboring rivals by earning the No. 15 overall seed in the 64-team tournament.

“I’m extremely excited to be hosting a sub-regional at Moby Arena,” Rams coach Tom Hilbert said Sunday following a tournament bracket watch party that included players and fans. “I think it’s great news for us and our fans, and it’s a nice tribute to the kind of season our team has had. It’s also a testament to how good volleyball is in the state of Colorado.”

Rams open against Pioneers

Action begins at 4:30 p.m. Friday, with UNC – the Big Sky Conference champion — taking on CU from the Pac-12 Conference. CSU then faces DU, the Summit League champion, at 6:30 p.m. CSU swept both UNC and DU earlier this season, but has not played CU since 2010 and is 3-0 all-time in NCAA matches with the Buffs.

“We have to take care of business and beat a very good Denver team in order to advance to the next match,” Hilbert said. “Denver’s a very, very fast-paced team, and they’ve been on a great streak in the last part of the season. I expect them to be very good and to challenge us.”

Rare opportunity to host NCAA matches

This is the first time CSU has been selected to host NCAA Tournament games since 2009, when the Rams won both matches to advance to the Sweet 16. CSU is 13-2 all-time in NCAA games at Moby.

Tickets already are on sale, with all-session tickets (good for all three matches) $20 for reserved seats and $15 for general admission. Single-session tickets are $15 but are only available on game day at the Moby Arena ticket office. Student tickets are $5. You can order online or by calling 491-7267.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]