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The Curse is Over!

October 11, 2019

I hadn’t attended a CSU Volleyball match in 5 years.

Until tonight.

I have nothing against the sport. In fact, I think its a fantastic spectator sport that highlights some really incredible skills and athleticism in a very confined court.

I stopped attending because I believed I was a jinx to the home team. I went several losing matches in a row, some against vastly inferior teams. It had to be me.

I attended tonight because an old high school friend of mine happened to be passing through. Lee Feinswog is the founder and publisher of VolleyballMag.com, the top volleyball web-site in the nation. And with the help of the CSU Athletic Department and some fantastic local support, he was going to do more than just attend a match. He was going to get to watch the match with former national championship coach Terry Pettit, who build Nebraska into a powerhouse. And spend time with coaches from both programs and key players.

But I was worried about the jinx.

So worried that I prepared CSU’s TV play-by-play announcer Matt Wozniak just in case the Rams lost. I told him that if they did lose that he was to say nothing but nice things about the Rams and blame it on the Ivy Curse.

And I am pleased to report that this 2019 Ram Volleyball squad has ended the curse as they rolled to a 3-0 victory over the visitors from Fresno State. The Bulldogs played a solid match but in the end, CSU had a little too much defensive skill and attacking firepower.

What really excited me is that I finally got to see CSU setter Katie Oleksak live. Two-time MWC Player of the Year and well on her way to a third. She is extraordinary. I have watched a ton of CSU Volleyball broadcasts so I am more than aware of her prowess but she is even better in person. She serves, she sets, she digs, she blocks, she kills. She does it with the control and smoothness of a basketball point guard.

Alone Katie is worth the price of admission but she is joined by a group of fantastic players such as Breana Runnels, Kirstie Hillyer, and Pauline Hogaard-Jensen. The team chemistry is fantastic. The balance on the court is unmatched in the MWC. This Ram team is skilled and they are relentless.

And of course they are coached by the amazing Tom Hilbert.

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