Match notes: Rams to host Boise State, Air Force

Oct. 17, 2012

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Colorado State Rams vs. Boise State Broncos

Thursday, Oct. 18 at 7 p.m. MT

Scouting Boise State

The Rams will host the Broncos at Moby Arena, where Colorado State has been nearly unbeateable. The Broncos come into the match at 11-10 (3-3 MW), but are riding a three-match winning streak, including home victories over the weekend against San Diego State and Nevada.

As a team, Boise State distributes the ball as well as any team in the country, ranking second in the Mountain West in assists per set (13.01) and No. 42 nationally. The Broncos utilize two strong setters: junior Casey Rose (6.46) and redshirt-freshman Sarah Baugh (5.23).

With the great distribution coming from the setters, Boise State’s offense is near the top of every offensive statistical category for the conference. The Broncos rank third in hitting percentage (.235) and second in kills (13.79). Boise State also uses great balance and ranks third with 1.24 service aces per set.

The Broncos are led by senior outside hitter Liz Harden, who leads the team with 3.68 kills and 3.95 points per set, putting her at third and fifth in the conference, respectively. Sophomore Brittany Reardon provides some much-needed fire power for the Broncos in the middle. Reardon ranks fourth in the confernece with a .323 hitting percentage, while also leading the team with 0.91 blocks per set.

In the back, senior libero Kersi Whitney has provided great leadership on and off the court. Whitney leads the team with 4.35 digs per set, third in conference, and also leads the team with 0.24 service aces per set.

Series vs. the Broncos

Colorado State and Boise State will play for just the fifth time in history. The Rams have won the four previous matches against the Broncos, including two sweeps last year when Boise State joined the Mountain West. In fact, Colorado State has yet to lose a set against the Broncos.

In last year’s two matches, CSU hit a combined .378 and held Boise State under .100 hitting in both matches.

Dig Pink

October is breast cancer awareness month, and to show its support, CSU is encouraging fans to wear pink on Thursday. The team will be wearing pink accessories, and pink ribbons will be handed out to fans as they enter the arena.

Colorado State Rams vs. Air Force Falcons

Friday, Oct. 19 at 7 p.m. MT

Scouting Air Force

Air Force begins the week at 8-12 on the year and 2-4 in conference action. The Falcons have shown a lot of improvement this year, already winning eight matches after only winning seven total in their previous two seasons under Head Coach Matt McShane.

Air Force has been strong at home, beating Denver and Fresno State, but are yet to win on the road this year. After leading the team in kills a year ago, junior outside hitter Cami Richan again returns to lead the Falcons this year. Richan is averaging 3.21 kills and 3.42 points per set.

Sophomore setter Hillary Keltner sets the pace offensively and defensively for Air Force. Keltner is fourth in the Mountain West with 9.66 assists per set and leads the team with a .313 hitting percentage, while also tallying 2.64 digs per set.

Defensively, senior Maiya Perich is as hard as any to get the ball past. Perich is second in the confernece with 4.64 digs per set. On top of her strong defense, Perich also presents a challenge to opposing teams with her tough serving, averaging 0.22 service aces per set, best on the team.

As a team, the Falcons average 12.12 kills per set and 13.91 digs per set.

Series vs. the Falcons

Colorado State has enjoyed great success against Air Force, leading the all-time series 37-1. Since losing their first meeting back in 1982, the Rams have now won 37 straight over the Falcons. The Rams have not lost a set to Air Force since 2005, making it 15 straight sweeps over the Falcons.

Additionally, the Rams have never lost at home, posting a 19-0 record against Air Force, sweeping every match.

How to follow:

Video: CSU offers a live video stream for all home matches. For more information, or to subscribe for this service, visit:
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Live Stats: Online statistics will be provided through Gametracker. A link for live stats can be accessed through the volleyball schedule page.
Twitter: As always, CSU’s athletic department will tweet live updates and results from the CSU Rams Gameday Twitter account: @CSURamsGameday.

Top of the Mountain

In 13 seasons with the Mountain West, CSU has led the charge, winning nine regular-season conference championships, in addition to five MW tournament titles in 10 seasons. No other current MW team has taken home a regular-season conference title. Utah won or shared three crowns during its 12 seasons with the conference, while BYU won or shared a pair of championships. CSU has finished first in the regular-season standings each of the last three years, and is currently making a push for a fourth straight.

200th match

CSU recently played its 200th all-time Mountain West match, defeating UNLV in straight sets. The Rams have won 85 percent of their MW matches (170-30, .850 winning percentage), far greater than any current or former opponent. Entering the week, they hold impressive numbers both at home (93-7, .930 winning percentage) and on the road (77-23, .776).

Home cooking

The Rams’ incredible success at Moby Arena is nothing new to those who follow the program. Since Head Coach Tom Hilbert arrived in 1997, CSU has gone an impeccable 221-28 (.888) on its home court. The Rams won 11 of their 12 home matches in 2011, ranking ninth in school history for home winning percentage (.917), and are 10-1 so far in 2012.

40 straight against conference opponents

Overall, CSU is riding an 11-match home winning streak against conference teams, which dates back to CSU’s loss to Utah on Nov. 24, 2010. The Rams’ most recent home loss to a current member of the Mountain West, however, was all the way back on Nov. 4, 2005, when UNLV defeated CSU. The streak spans 40 matches.

Win No. 10

With its win vs. Wyoming on Oct. 5, CSU improved to 10-1 at home this season. As a program, the Rams have won at least 10 home matches each year dating all the way back to the 1995 season. The Rams still have five remaining home matches on their schedule entering the week, meaning they can finish as high as sixth in school history, with a .938 home winning percentage (their record would be 15-1). It would also mark the 10th time in program history that the Rams have dropped one or fewer home matches.

Streaking at home

Between 1998 and 2000, CSU won an incredible 44 consecutive home matches. Since then, the Rams have pieced together streaks of 21, 20 and 16, which spanned a calendar year before the Rams fell to No. 2 UCLA on Sept. 15. The streak was the fifth-longest in program history. In all, the Rams have won 19 of their last 20 home matches.

Perfect in Colorado

The Rams swept Denver on Aug. 25, and despite a loss to the Pioneers in 2011, they have mastered the state of Colorado. During Head Coach Tom Hilbert’s tenure, CSU is a perfect 38-0 at home against the other Division I teams from the Centennial State—Air Force, Colorado, Denver and Northern Colorado. CSU’s last home loss to a team from Colorado came in 1995 against the Colorado Buffaloes.

In all, CSU has taken 88 of its 108 (.815) all-time matches against teams from its own state, including a 50-5 record (.909) at home.