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In the first year of Kristen Holt’s coaching tenure last season, Colorado State finished with a losing record of 10-21, a six-game improvement over two seasons ago. The Rams are looking to take another step forward this season. The task will be difficult, however, as the Rams are returning just one starter from last year’s squad and enter the season with no seniors. The Rams will look to their six returning players to help the new players transition into the program.

Holt said she expects the Rams to use their athletic ability to clear the hurdle of inexperience. The second-year coach plans to transition the team into a more up-tempo styled offense.

So far, the tempo change has worked, as the Rams have started the season 5-2, led by guard and forward Kim Mestdagh. The lone returning starter from last year, Mestdagh is averaging 19 points and five rebounds in the first seven games and has already added a Conference Player of the Week award to her résumé.

She said she is focused on helping the team reach its goals.

“This season, I want to evolve into one of the leaders on the court,” Mestdagh said. “I want to be more consistent and help my team to reach our goals.”

The sophomore said she credits increased confidence in her shot for her increased performance. The Rams have two other players scoring in double digits. Junior guard Bonnie Barbee is averaging 13.4 points, and sophomore forward Meghan Heimstra has tallied 10.3 points. Sophomore forward Chatilla van Grinsven, from the Netherlands, averages nearly nine points per game.

Bubba Brown