2013 Preview: Colorado volleyball
Colorado saw improvement last season from their inaugural year with the Pac-12, tying for tenth in the Conference and earning three more victories in Pac-12 play. The Buffaloes look to improve even further this season as head coach Liz Kritza brings back 12 letterwinners and adds eight newcomers to the roster. With a strong core of seven returning starters, Kritza and her coaching staff will continue to make strides in one of the most competitive leagues in the nation.
» The majority of the Buffs' starting lineup returns for another year of action, including SR OH Kerra Schroeder who has been a staple of Colorado's roster. Schroder redshirted last year after missing the majority of the 2012 season due to injury, but was a key leader and motivator, serving as captain from the bench. She will be monumental in returning for the Buffs in a healthy capacity.
» SO S Nicole Edelman finished her freshman campaign ranked eighth in the Pac-12 in assists, totaling 1,060 on the season after taking control of the starting setter slot.
» Returnees also include scoring leaders SO OH Alexis Austin and JR RS/OH Niera Ortiz-Ruiz. Austin and Ortiz-Ruiz contributed 5.90 points per set. Ortiz-Ruiz and two other juniors arrived at Colorado in its first year of Pac-12 play and bring knowledge of conference play to the roster.
» In comparison to last season's young squad, this year's team is well balanced with six seniors, three juniors, four sophomores and seven freshmen.
» A conference with powerhouse opponents proves a challenge to the Buffs, who are still adjusting to conference play. This year's returning squad, however, has now had plenty of experience with Pac-12 opponents and will be able to provide more insight and experience than before.
» With so many returning starters, Coach Kritza may face some difficulty in rotating in some of her newcoming class. The freshmen may see limited playing time, which could make the 2014 season another difficult transition period after the Buffs see a large turnover.