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Coming off back-to-back victories over ranked opponents, the University of Colorado women’s tennis team finds itself as the No. 54 ranked squad in the nation, announced Monday by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA). Of the 75 schools ranked in the weekly poll, only Ohio State made a bigger debut in the rankings as the Buckeyes went unranked a week ago to No. 52 Monday afternoon. OSU upset then-No. 27 Tennessee, 4-3 last week in Columbus.
The Buffaloes (6-3) winners of three-straight matches upset then-No. 54 Wichita State, 4-2 on Sunday, and last Friday, defeated in-state rival and then-No. 57 Denver, 4-3. The pair of wins over ranked opponents is the first time a head coach Nicole Kenneally-team has knocked off ranked foes consecutively since 2010. CU defeated No. 63 Utah in a match played at Berkeley, Calif., and No. 65 BYU, a week later at the Rocky Mountain Tennis Center. Both scores were 4-3.
It’s also the first time the Buffaloes defeated ranked opponents at home since 2007 knocking off No. 12 William & Mary and No. 43 Oklahoma State, both by 4-3 tallies. Of the 11 schools in the Pac-12 that sponsor women’s tennis, only Oregon is not ranked this week. CU at No. 54, joins UCLA (No. 2), Stanford (No. 4), USC (No. 6), Cal (No. 14), Washington (No. 24), Arizona State (No. 29), Utah (No. 44), Washington State (No. 51), and Arizona (No. 60). Last April, CU spent two matches as the No. 75 ranked team after upsetting No. 59 Oregon at the South Campus Courts. Prior to last April, the Buffs were nationally ranked in April 2010 as No. 68 when they were a member of the Big 12 Conference.
That season, CU was ranked as high as No. 51. CU takes to the road for four consecutive matches traveling to New Mexico this Friday (Feb. 28), then taking on Ball State (Mar. 2) in a match played in Albuquerque. CU opens Pac-12 Conference play at Washington State (Mar. 7) and at Oregon (Mar. 9). The conference home opener is March 14 against USC and UCLA on March 16. Both home matches are to be played at the South Campus Courts, weather permitting. -COLORADO-
Andrew Green | Assistant Director Sports Information Department of Intercollegiate Athletics | University of Colorado Boulder | 357 UCB | Fieldhouse Annex 50
DELAND, Fla. – In its first game of its inaugural season, the University of Colorado lacrosse team started setting records early, grabbing a 12-4 win over Stetson here Thursday.
“Going into the game we were really excited,” CU head coach Ann Elliott said. “We had a really good walkthrough this morning. I knew the girls were going to come out with a lot of energy and excitement with it being our first game. We were really happy with the way they came out, not just the excitement and energy, but really the focus they had and the determination to really play together and stick to our game plan.”
That determination was evident from the beginning of the game to the closing minutes. Colorado edged Stetson in nearly every category. The Buffaloes outshot the Hatters 25 to 15, scooped up three more ground balls (15 to 12) and grabbed two more draw controls (10 to eight). The Buffs defense also stepped up, preventing the Hatters from scoring on any of their three free position shot attempts. (CU was four of seven from the 8 meter.)
In the program debut, Cali Castagnola led the Buffs with four goals off five shots. Johnna Fusco was the top point-getter, with six points off three goals and three assists. Maddie Hunt was strong on the defensive end of the field, causing three turnovers and grabbing two groundballs. In just under 53 minutes, goalie Paige Soenksen grabbed four saves and allowed just three goals.
With one game under their belt, the Buffs are 1-0, while Stetson falls to 0-3 on the season with previous losses to No. 3 Syracuse and Mountain Pacific Sports Federation competitor Oregon.
The Buffs attacked early and often, with Castagnola earning CU’s first ever hat trick by the first period’s midpoint to give the squad a solid 3-0 lead.
“Cali stepped up for sure early in the game,” Elliott said. “I think they were all a result of our offense playing together, working hard together to give each other opportunities, and Cali was able to take advantage early on. I think it really set the tone for the team. It was exciting for us.”
Grabbing an assist on the Buffs’ third goal, Katie Macleay was at it again, scoring exactly five minutes later to push CU’s lead to 4-0. Johnna Fusco continued to push the lead in the final eight minutes before the break, first scoring off a free position shot. Just 15 seconds before halftime, Fusco scored again to give the Buffs a 6-0 lead by halftime.
Macleay’s pace wasn’t slowed by the intermission, getting her third point of the game less than two minutes into the second half.
Colorado had built a dominating 7-0 lead, but Stetson aimed to climb back. During a nearly 20 minute span, CU and Stetson traded off on four goals. The Hatter duo of Mary Kate Sullivan and Samantha Akl proved to be a strong force. Akl first assisted O’Sullivan six minutes into the half. Castagnola, assisted by Fusco, responded, but Stetson was ready for another. Akl assisted Lindsay Summers this time, cutting the Buffs’ lead to six once more.
Amanda Salvadore and Marie Moore both scored their first goals as Buffs with under 10 minutes remaining. O’Sullivan and Akl combined once more, and Stetson’s Julia Lozano scored the Hatter’s final goal, but it wouldn’t be enough to diminish the Buffs’ lead and slow their tempo. Elliott said she was impressed with the way her team handled the Hatter attack and how they took back control on the offensive end.
In the final four minutes, Macleay and Fusco became the second and third Buffs to join the young hat trick club, putting the game away at 12-4.
The Buffs’ first road trip continues against another Florida team, Jacksonville. CU faces the Dolphins, who have received votes in both the IWLCA preseason and first week polls, on Saturday, Feb. 15 at 10 a.m. MT.
“Jacksonville – they’re a great team,” Elliott said. “They play hard all over the field: offensively, defensively and in transition. It’s going to be a great challenge for us, and we’re really excited for the opportunity to play them and see what we can do.”
MARLEE HORN | Assistant Sports Information Director
Aiello won her 10th singles match of the fall, a team high, defeating Katie Brozovich of Bowling Green, 6-0, 6-4. It was also Aiello’s seventh straight win. Manzi Tenorio bounced back with a pair of wins over the last two days at the WMU Invite after starting on the short-end during the month of September, where she dropped a few matches. The senior from Cali, Colombia, also defeated a Bowling Green opponent, Brittany Plaszewski in three sets, 6-4, 3-6, 1-0 (3). The singles field consists of 10 round robin draws of four players each, with each player playing a round of singles on each day.
The doubles field, however, will consist of a bracketed draw of 16, with two rounds of doubles over the last two days. All matches will be played at West Hills Athletic Club, a 10-court indoor facility operated by the University. The scoring at the WMU Super Challenge will be done using an experimental format. Singles matches will be played with tiebreakers at 5-5 and a third-set super tiebreaker if necessary, and doubles matches will be played to six games, also with a tiebreaker at 5-5. CU also won a doubles match on the day as junior Julyette Steur and freshman Nuria Ormeño Ruiz defeated Western Michigan’s team of Ashby/Sujashvili, 6-4. The final day of the WMU Invite will conclude Sunday with singles play.
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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – University of Colorado junior Julyette Steur and sophomore Alex Aiello each won their respective singles bracket championships at the three-day University of New Mexico Invitational Sunday morning.
The weekend event also had teams from New Mexico, Northern Arizona, Grand Canyon, Texas-El Paso, and Texas Tech.
With the pair of title wins, the Buffaloes also tacked on another pair of victories to claim third place finishes by freshman Nuria Ormeño Ruiz and Winde Janssens, also played during the morning session.
The four wins on the day improved CU’s three-day Lobo Invite singles record to 13-5.
“I’m really happy of the level competition we played against on the third day,” said CU head coach Nicole Kenneally. “We had solid performances and it was a great effort by Alex and Julyette for winning their flights. Overall, it was a solid three days of competition and a good weekend in all CU sports. Congratulations to the cross country team’s success, as well as volleyball and soccer.”
Steur won her third straight match as she defeated Priscilla Annoual of Grand Canyon, 6-2, 7-5 to win the Cherry Singles Bracket. Steur improves to 5-1 this season.
In the third place match, freshman Nuria Ormeño Ruiz rallied from a set down to edge Davina Meza (Texas-El Paso) 2-6, 6-3, 6-2. Ormeño Ruiz won her eighth match of her initial season with the Buffs and for the second time, successfully won a match when pushed to three sets.
In the Silver Singles Bracket, Aiello was also pushed to three sets defeating New Mexico’s Emily Oliver, 7-5, 4-6, 6-4. Aiello won her fifth straight and now has won eight of 10 matches already this fall campaign. She remains perfect in three set matches at 3-0.
The Buffaloes also claimed another third place tally in the Silver Bracket as senior Winde Janssens defeated Texas Tech’s Sarah Toti, 6-3, 6-1. Janssens win was her 44th of her career moving into 34th overall on the all-time CU singles list.
CU came up short in the Turquoise Singles Bracket as junior Ashley Tiefel lost in the finals to Texas Tech’s Beatriz Santos, 6-2, 6-2, and senior Carla Manzi Tenorio lost to UNM’s Rachana Bhat for third place, 6-1, 6-1.
The Buffs looks to continue their strong fall play in the final tournament of the season next weekend at the Western Michigan Invitational in Kalamazoo, Nov. 8-10.
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EUGENE, Ore. — The University of Colorado volleyball team put up a battle but was unable to earn the road win as the Buffs fell 3-0 (25-21, 25-16, 25-18) to the No. 21 Oregon Ducks on Friday night at Matthew Knight Arena.
Junior middle blocker Kelsey English led the Buffs with nine kills and hit a match-best .600 with no errors on 15 attacks. She also recorded three digs and added one block assist.
Nikki Lindow had seven kills for CU while posting four blocks (one solo and three assists). Taylor Simpson and Alexis Austin each had four kills in the effort and Kerra Schroeder added three kills. The Buff hit .128 in the match with 28 kills and 14 errors on 109 attacks. Nicole Edelman handed out 20 assists for the Buffs and tallied one kill.
Defensively Cierra Simpson picked up 10 digs, while Edelman and Schroeder each had six digs. Edelman also did well at the net with four blocks (one solo and three assists). CU had 38 digs and 7.0 team blocks in the match.
The Ducks hit .226 in the match with 47 kills and 21 errors on 115 swings. Liz Brenner led UO with 14 kills and Canace Finley and Martenne Bettendorf each contributed nine kills. Finley also posted four block solos and Amanda Benson had a match-high 16 digs.
The Buffs are now 11-6 overall, 3-4 in the Pac-12; while the Ducks improved to 11-6 overall and 4-3 in conference play.
CU took a 6-3 lead in set one after putting together a 5-0 run on Schroeder’s serve, forcing the Ducks to use their first timeout of the set. Oregon came back to even the score at 9-9 and from there it was a back-and-fourth battle to the finish. CU had a 21-19 advantage over the Ducks before UO rallied back to finish the frame with six straight points (25-21). The Buffs out-hit UO in the set .143-.073. Each team recorded 11 kills in the game, but the Ducks had eight errors on 41 attacks while CU had just six errors on 35 attacks.
The second set was another close battle in the beginning before the Ducks took a 13-9 lead. The Buffs tried to stick with UO, but the Ducks increased their lead to 21-13 and finished the set 25-16. The Buffs hit .024 compared to UO’s .189.
Oregon took an 8-5 lead in set three, so Kritza called her first timeout of the frame. The Buffs got back within one point at 11-10, but again the Ducks pulled ahead, this time going up 16-12. Once again CU got back within a point at 17-16 after a 4-1 run, this time forcing the Ducks to use a timeout. Out of that break, the Ducks recorded a 5-1 run (22-17) and the Buffs called their final timeout of the set. CU tried its best, but was unable to overcome the deficit and fell 25-18.
The Buffs return to action on Sunday, Oct. 20 against Oregon State at 12 p.m. MT in Corvallis, Ore.
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BERKELEY, Calif. – As the final minute of regulation ticked down at Goldman Field at Edwards Stadium, the University of Colorado soccer team looked primed to upset No. 9 California.
With 42 seconds remaining, Cal netted the equalizer, tying the game at 1-1, a score that would hold for two overtimes.
After a defensive battle in the first half, the Buffaloes grabbed the lead in the 67th minute. Madison Krauser, assisted by Anne Stuller, found the back of the net for her third goal of the game. In the final minute, following a Colorado foul, the Golden Bears tied the game up, with Emi Lawson heading one in off an Arianna Martinez assist. Cal outshot CU 6-1 in overtime play, but neither team could get their golden goal, giving the Buffs their first tie of the season.
“I think the first half was pretty tight,” CU head coach Danny Sanchez said. “There weren’t a lot of chances to be had either way. In the second half, Madi scored a great goal with a nice feed from Anne Stuller that banged the back of the goal. At that point, Cal started sending everybody forward. We withstood a couple really dangerous opportunities and they got that one there at the end. I’m pleased with how we responded in overtime. The tendency is to get down, but we kept battling. When it’s all said and done, I think it’s a good result to get on the road against a top 10 team. I’m disappointed that they scored so late, but if you take a step back and look at it, it was probably a good result over 110 minutes.”
The last time the Buffs tied a ranked team was in the 2010 Big 12 Tournament, when CU pushed No. 6 Texas A&M to 0-0 double overtime draw. (That same season, the Buffs beat the No. 6 Aggies 2-1 in an overtime battle in College Station, Texas to record their first regular season victory over A&M – marking the Buffs’ last victory over a ranked opponent).
CU moves to 11-3-1 overall, 3-2-1 Pac-12 Conference. With its fifth tie of the season, Cal is now 9-1-5, 2-1-3 Pac-12. The Bears’ lone loss of the season was to No. 2 UCLA last weekend.
Cal has allowed just one first half goal this season, and that early defensive pressure showed on Friday. The Buffs were held to just two shots in the opening 45 minutes, but got opportunities off five corner kicks (Cal took zero corners in the first half).
In the eighth minute, Stuller took the Buffs’ first corner kick. Five minutes later, Emily Paxton took the first shot of the game, making Cal goalkeeper Emily Kruger grab a save.
Cal quickly responded, with Kaitlyn Fitzpatrick forcing Anne Brunner to grab a save of her own. Though the Buffs took two more corners, the Bears were back on the attack with just under 10 minutes remaining in the first half. Samantha Witteman and Celeste Boureille both hit on target, with Brunner snatching two more saves.
In the final five minutes before the break, the Buffs hit two more corner kicks and Darcy Jerman got her shot blocked, keeping the game scoreless.
Both teams were ready to get on the board in the beginning of the second half, with Cal’s Mekenna DeBack hitting one wide, and Stuller responding with a shot for the Buffs. In the 58th minute, Carly Bolyard took a corner kick. The Buffs kept possession, and Paxton got another shot at the keeper.
In the 67th minute, the Buffs finally hit the back of the net, with Krauser dribbling into the center from the left past a Cal defender and putting the Buffs up 1-0. The Buffs remained on the attack, with Paxton forcing another Kruger save in the 69th minute.
Back-to-back corner kicks helped Cal get back on offense, with Arielle Ship hitting one wide. Though the Buffs responded with shots by Brooke Rice and Olivia Pappalardo, Cal dominated the final minutes of regulation. In the 86th minute, Fitzpatrick once again rushed the net and Brunner got the save.
As the clock wound down, the Buffs were seconds away from the upset. At 89:53, Alex Huynh received a yellow card, helping turn the tides for the Bears. With just 42 seconds remaining, Emi Lawson headed the ball in off an Arianna Martinez assist, sending the game into overtime.
“They had a lot of players going forward and they won a free kick in the corner,” Sanchez said. “It was a great service and a great header. I don’t think there’s anything we could about either one of them. If you’re going to get scored on, you want it to be a good goal like that one … It doesn’t matter when you score them; it’s just that you score them. That’s why Cal’s a good team. They got one late, but we responded well. To get that result in the Pac-12 on the road is good.”
In the first five minutes of overtime, Cal took three shots. Colorado was never able to find its offensive stride, but looked strong defensively. Though the Bears took two corner kicks in the final four minutes of the first overtime, the Buffs kept them from any good looks. The teams were in familiar territory in the 100th minute, as Cal’s Fitzpatrick received a yellow card, but 45 seconds wasn’t enough for the Buffs to put the game away.
Pappalardo hit the Buffs’ only shot in the extra minutes, which Kruger saved at the 102:01 mark. Cal’s leading scorer and 2012 Pac-12 Freshman of the Year Ifeoma Onumonu took her first shot of the game in the final minute, but Brunner was ready one final time for the save.
“They were great,” Sanchez said of the Buffs’ defense. “Ifeoma is so dangerous, and I think we did a good job of pushing her wide and making her be the provider and not the finisher. I felt we did a pretty good job on her, but she’s just so dangerous over the full stretch of the match. Those are the type of forwards you face in the Pac-12, and our back four did enough to get us the result. We’re pleased with the result and we’re really pleased with what they did and what Brunner did.”
The Buffs return home next weekend for their final games at Prentup Field. The tough competition continues as the Buffs face USC and UCLA. Both games will be aired on the Pac-12 Networks.
“USC had a bit of a stumble at the beginning of Pac-12 play, but they’ve been hot,” Sanchez said. “They tied this same Cal team, and beat Stanford. They’re really playing well. UCLA, at this point, is the frontrunner to win the league. They’re still undefeated in the league. They’re a very good team and very deep with talent. We know the challenges. I think it will be great to be back home, especially with our last home games of the season and Senior Day on Sunday. We hope to get a big crowd out and to get some results. We have five games left in conference play, and we still have a lot of work to do.”
Stand Shoulder to Shoulder with your CU soccer team in the Breast Cancer Awareness game on Friday, Oct. 25 at 3 p.m. The first 500 fans to arrive will receive a FREE pink CU rally towel!
Graduate Assistant SID
University of Colorado
LAS VEGAS – The University of Colorado women’s tennis team will be represented in the quarterfinal round of the singles and doubles main draw on Saturday at the 2013 USTA/Intercollegiate Tennis Association Mountain Region Championships on the UNLV campus.
The Buffaloes went 1-1 on Friday in the Round 16 doubles draw as the seventh seeded team of senior Winde Janssens and freshman Nuria Ormeño Ruiz remained unbeaten at 5-0 this fall season, defeating Idaho’s Galina Bykova/Beatriz Flores, 8-5. The win moves the CU pair into Saturday’s quarterfinal round against the No. 1 seed and the No. 18 nationally doubles team of Paige Miles and Michaela Berkova from Utah.
CU’s other Round of 16 pair, juniors Julyette Steur and Ashley Tiefel fell to the fourth seeded duo from UNLV, Lucia Batta and Aleskandra Josifoska, 8-1. It was Steur/Tiefel’s first loss this fall in three matches.
Ormeño Ruiz kept her momentum rolling along in her third round and Round of 16 singles matches, respectively with a pair of wins. Earlier in the day, she defeated Sandy Vo of Boise State, 6-2, 6-2, then upset three seed Tereza Bekerova from Utah, 6-3, 6-2. Ormeño Ruiz is now sporting a team-best 6-1 singles record.
“We’re excited to be playing in the quarterfinal round on Saturday in both the singles and doubles main draw,” said CU head coach Nicole Kenneally. “The women are continuing to work hard and are playing well together. Nuria and Winde played well today and we are looking forward to their quarterfinal match on Saturday.”
In CU’s other main draw third round match, Steur advanced after leading 5-2 against New Mexico’s Dominique Dulski, who later retired with an injury. However, in the Round of 16, Steur lost to Mayci Jones (BYU) 6-3, 6-4.
Outside the main draw, CU continued its stellar singles play at the ITA Regional winning three more additional singles matches, all in straight sets. Senior Carla Manzi Tenorio defeated Mackenzie Rozell of Montana, 6-3, 6-4; freshman Dhanielly Quevedo outlasted Sarah Richter of Utah, 6-4, 6-4; and sophomore Alex Aiello outlasted her Wyoming opponent, 6-1, 6-2.
Day four of the ITA Regional will consist of the semifinal doubles round with consolation doubles and the quarterfinal round in singles.
ITA Mountain Region Main Draw
Doubles: Third Round
Friday, Oct. 11
(7) Winde Janssens/Nuria Ormeño Ruiz (CU) def. Galina Bykova/Beatriz Flores (Idaho) 8-5
Lucia Batta/Aleskandra Josifoska (4) (UNLV) def. Julyette Steur/Ashley Tiefel (CU) 8-1
Singles: Third Round
Nuria Ormeño Ruiz (CU) def. Sandy Vo (Boise State) 6-2, 6-2
(7) Julyette Steur (CU) def. Dominique Dulski (New Mexico) 5-2 retired
Lizette Blankers (New Mexico) def. Winde Janssens (CU) 6-4, 6-2
(8) Veronica Popovici (Wyoming) def. Ashley Tiefel (CU) 6-1, 6-4
Round of 16
Nuria Ormeño Ruiz (CU) def. (3) Tereza Bekerova (Utah) 6-3, 6-2
Mayci Jones (BYU) def. (7) Julyette Steur (CU) 6-3, 6-4
Dhanielly Quevedo (CU) def. Sarah Richter (Utah) 6-4, 6-4
Carla Manzi Tenorio (CU) def. Mackenzie Rozell (Montana) 6-3, 6-4
Alex Aiello (CU) def. Alena Vasileva (Wyoming) 6-1, 6-2
BERKELEY, Calif. — The University of Colorado volleyball team lost a tough match to California 3-0 (25-21, 25-17, 25-21) on Wednesday night at Haas Pavilion.
With the loss, the Buffs are now 11-4 overall (3-2 Pac-12), and the Bears improved to 10-4 overall (3-2 Pac-12). Both teams are receiving votes in the AVCA Division I Coaches Poll.
Alexis Austin led CU with nine kills, while Kerra Schroeder and Taylor Simpson each recorded eight kills. Kelsey English and Nikki Lindow both notched five kills in the match.
English added a match-high four service aces, three of those coming in the first set. She posted a team-high three block assists and totaled 10.5 points to lead the Buffs.
CU hit .144 in the match with 36 kills and 21 errors on 104 attacks. Cal had 42 kills and 15 errors on 97 swings to hit .278.
Schroeder had a team-best 11 digs in the effort and Cierra Simpson had five digs. CU as a team recorded 36 digs in the match and also put up 6.0 blocks.
Adrienne Gehan had a match-high 15 kills for Cal and hit .361 with just two errors on 36 attacks. Lara Vukasovic was second for the Bears with eight kills and Maddy Kerr recorded 12 digs.
CU got out to a quick start in the match, taking a 5-0 lead. Cal came back to even the score at 9-9 and went on to take its first lead of the set at 11-10. The Bears increased their lead to 18-14, forcing the Buffs to use a timeout. CU started to rally, and got within three points at 22-19 when Cal took its first timeout of the set. The Buffs took the next point with a kill from English, but then the Bears answered with two more points (24-20). CU fought off the first set point with a kill from Austin, but Cal finished the set with a kill from Gehan (25-21).
Cal took a 7-3 advantage to start set two. The Buffs got back within a point at 10-9, but the Bears pulled away to a 14-11 lead before increasing it to 19-13, which made CU take a timeout. The Buffs tried to get back into the set, but weren’t able to pull off the comeback and fell 25-17.
The Bears started set three with a 13-8 lead before the Buffs used a timeout. After the break, CU put together a 6-2 run to get within a point of the Bears (15-14), but the Bears answered back with three straight points to go ahead by four (18-14). The Buffs didn’t give up and kept fighting; getting back to within a pair of points at 21-19. The teams traded off points for the next five points but then the Bears finished the set with two straight (25-21).
The Buffs will be back in action on Saturday, Oct. 12 when they take on No. 8 Stanford at 8 p.m. MT. The match will be streamed live on the Pac-12 Digital Network.
BOULDER — Junior outside hitter Taylor Simpson recorded a career-high 23 kills as the University of Colorado volleyball team defeated Washington State 3-1 to win its third straight Pac-12 Conference match this season.
The Buffs won 25-17, 25-21, 25-27, 25-19 to improve to 11-3 overall, 3-1 in the Pac-12. WSU is now 14-3, 1-3 in the Pac-12. This is the first time since 2006 that the Buffs have won three conference matches in a row.
“It was definitely a hard-fought match,” Simpson said. “They definitely put their hands on any hit that I had, but we had some good sets and were doing really well passing-wise. I thought it was a good match.”
Simpson hit .333 in the match with seven errors on 48 attacks. She also added seven digs and four blocks assists. Nikki Lindow had an error-free hitting night with 10 kills on 19 swings for a match-high .526 hitting percentage. At the net she led the Buffs with five block assists.
CU hit .278 in the win with 61 kills. Nicole Edelman had 45 assists and added six kills on 13 errorless attacks to hit .462. She also had a double-double with 10 digs. Alexis Austin and Kerra Schroeder each recorded seven kills for CU and Kelsey English tacked on another six in the victory. Cierra Simpson led CU in the back row with 14 of CU’s 49 digs.
Colorado out-blocked the Cougars 8.0-4.0. Besides blocks from Lindow and Taylor Simpson, English and Schroeder each put up three block assists and Austin added the final one for CU.
“I am very proud of them (the team),” coach Liz Kritza said. “We talked in the locker room before the match about this being more important than the match that we played on Friday. This is the follow-up match, and it’s the one that lets us show that it’s not just a team that can pull an upset and then dip down. It’s part of establishing our identity within this league and across the country nationally in volleyball.”
The Buffs held WSU to a .200 hitting efficiency with 54 kills and 26 errors on 140 attacks. The Cougars were led by Kyra Holt’s 19 kills and Jaicee Harris added 10 kills.
“It’s a victory and we took it,” Kritza said “It wasn’t pretty all the time. I can look at every single player on the roster, and they’re celebrating the fact that it was a victory, but they also know that there’s another side to this. We want continual improvement. We have to get back in the gym; we’re going back on the road for two weeks. We have four tough road matches, and the expectations are getting higher and higher within our group. That’s a very good thing. I always love that they know that I hate losing and love winning, but I want to put ourselves in a position to sustain these victories. This can be a really special season for us.”
The Buffs took a 13-7 lead in the first set before WSU called its first timeout. After the break, the Cougars got within two points (14-12) to force the Buffs to call a timeout of their own. The quick intermission worked well for CU as the team recorded an 8-3 run to go back up 22-15. From there the Buffs were able to finish the set with three of the next five points. Taylor Simpson had a hot hand in the frame, hitting .818 with nine kills and no errors on 11 swings. The Buffs hit .517 as a team with 17 kills and only two errors on 29 swings.
WSU led for the first part of the second set, taking an 11-6 lead. The Buffs started to put a stop to the Cougar’s attack and got back within a point at 13-12. CU continued its comeback and evened the score at 15-15. The Buffs went ahead of WSU with a 4-2 run (19-18) and from that point on the Buffs would never trail as they finished 25-21.
CU forced the Cougars to use a timeout after taking a 9-4 advantage to start the third set. Out of the break, WSU recorded a 5-3 run (12-9) and this time the Buffs decided to spend a timeout. CU retained the lead and went up 19-15, but the Cougars got back within a point at 21-20, so the Buffs used their final timeout of the set. The two teams would battle it out to the end and needed extra points, and in the end it was WSU with the 27-25 win.
The fourth set was a close fought one. The Buffs had a 14-10 lead before WSU took three straight points to get within a point at 14-13. After a quick CU timeout, the Buffs used a 6-3 run to take a 20-16 advantage. The Cougars tried to slow CU down with another timeout, but the Buffs were determined to finish the match and won the set 25-19.
The Buffs will head to northern California next week for a pair of matches. CU will face California on Wednesday, Oct. 9 at 8:30 p.m. MT. The Buffs will take on No. 7 Stanford on Saturday, Oct. 12 at 8 p.m. MT. Both matches will be televised regionally on the Pac-12 Network.