‘White Out’ match kicks off volleyball season

Volleyball_250The sun coming up each morning. Rain just after washing your car. CSU volleyball reaching the NCAA Tournament.

All of these things have become the accepted norm. In the case of CSU, the volleyball team has reached the NCAA Tournament 20 consecutive years – a remarkable record of sustained excellence.

Friday, the Rams begin the quest for 21 in a row when they open the season against Baylor in the first game of the four-team Rams Volleyball Classic. The match, set for 6 p.m. at Moby Arena, is CSU’s annual White Out match, with fans encouraged to wear white CSU-themed gear.

“I love our White Out games because there’s so much energy in the arena,” said CSU coach Tom Hilbert as he enters his 19th season. “It creates an environment for our players that is unlike most other venues in the country, and it’s a great experience for them. It’s also a lot of fun for our fans.”

Students: Get your free shirts

The first 1,000 CSU students to arrive receive free CSU white T-shirts. Students with CSU ID are admitted free of charge. Non-student tickets are available online, at the McGraw Athletic Center ticket office or over the phone (970-491-7267).

The Rams lost several key players off last year’s team, which finished 31-3, won the Mountain West title and advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. Despite those losses, the Rams enter this season ranked 12th in the nation and were the preseason pick to repeat as champions of the Mountain West.

Talented CSU team

Senior setter Adrianna Culbert was named the preseason player of the year in the Mountain West, and senior libero Jaime Colaizzi joined Culbert on the preseason all-conference team. Hilbert said the Rams will utilize a two-setter system this year, and he expects them to become an outstanding defensive team.

“This is one of the most talented defensive and serve-receiving teams I’ve had,” he said. “Everybody’s working hard, and they’re tough kids. Everyone’s committed to being good.”

Hilbert expects a tough test from Baylor, which is led by first-year coach Ryan McGuyre.

The Rams will continue tournament play Saturday, playing UC Davis at 10:30 a.m. and Northern Iowa at 7:30 p.m. Here is the full tournament schedule:

2015 Rams Classic – Schedule


Northern Iowa vs. UC Davis – 3:30 p.m.

Baylor vs. Colorado State – 6 p.m.


UC Davis vs. Colorado State – 10:30 a.m.

Baylor vs. Northern Iowa – 1 p.m.

Northern Iowa vs. Colorado State – 7 p.m.


Baylor vs. Northern Iowa – 1 p.m.