Season review: Volleyball celebrates 2012 season
Jan. 25, 2013
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Another year of Colorado State women's volleyball has come and gone, and yet again, there was plenty to celebrate in 2012. After months of hard work on and off the court, the Rams took time to celebrate their accomplishments on Thursday night at their annual banquet, which was held at the Lory Student Center Theatre.
There were plenty of accomplishments to celebrate, including a fourth consecutive Mountain West championship and an 18th straight trip to the NCAA tournament--a stretch that ranks seventh among active streaks nationally.
There were top-25 wins, record-breaking crowds, milestone coaching victories and individual accolades along the way, which were led by the senior class made up of Dana Cranston, Izzy Gaulia, Brieon Paige and Megan Plourde.
"I could spout off facts and numbers about these four women, but you all know what great athletes they are," Head Coach Tom Hilbert said at the banquet. "More than that, they're incredible people, great leaders, friends of mine and they've continued the legacy and tradition we've built here at CSU."
While Hilbert is optimistic about the underclassmen that will need to step up and fill the four vacant holes left by the senior class, he called this `the end of an era.'
"These seniors are irreplaceable," he said. "They've added so much to this program."
Also complimentary was director of athletics Jack Graham, who said that the volleyball program's success on and off the court is an example for the rest of the athletics department.
"The women's volleyball team is our poster child," he said. "We want all of our athletes to achieve at the level that this program has set the bar at. They're prime examples of our mantra: do it all--they're tremendous ambassadors of our great University, they excel in the classroom and without question they deliver results.
"These four seniors are so special. Very few athletes in the United States of America, at the Division I level, ever have this experience. These are extraordinary athletes and extraordinary people."
The night was a time to reflect on the careers of CSU's four seniors and the team's fourth consecutive conference title, but also celebrated the other successes the team has accomplished.
Graham noted that the program's academic progress rate (APR) is a perfect 1,000, and that the team's cumulative GPA is 3.30.
After a silent auction and dinner, the program began with Voice of the Rams Brian Roth as emcee. The live auction then took place, followed by the annual highlight video, created by Greg O'Malia and his staff in the Communications & Creative Services department on campus. Hilbert then shared a self-created story--which has become a tradition at his volleyball banquets--where he turned the four seniors into fictional super heroes dubbed as the Fantastic Four. The night concluded with comments from each of the seniors in attendance, plus senior manager Whitney Seaton, and team awards given out by the coaches.
Bomb Squad Award (scout team MVP): Samantha Peters, second straight season
Debbie Murphy Most Inspirational Player: Izzy Gaulia
Coaches Award (most improved/player who made an immediate impact): Jaime Colaizzi
Team MVP (voted on by players): Dana Cranston
The Rams finished the 2012 season 21-8, advancing to the first round of the NCAA tournament and being ranked as high as No. 24 nationally. The season saw several notable wins, including a sweep over No. 12 Pepperdine. CSU's four seniors are now part of a select group of seven athletes in CSU history to ever win four conference championships in four years.