Texas A&M Rallies To Stop No. 24 Buffs
BOULDER-Colorado sophomore Amber Sutherland had 19 kills and 12 digs, but Texas A&M's Laura Jones and Christi Hahn rallied the Aggies to a five-game win over the No. 24 Buffaloes in front of 1,864 on senior night at the Coors Events Conference Center. Games scores were 30-22, 28-30, 28-30, 30-23, and 15-7 in the final frame.
Colorado falls to 14-10 overall, 10-9 in the Big 12 Conference. The Buffs remain alone in fourth place in the league race, one-half game ahead of Kansas State which dropped a 3-1 decision to top ranked Nebraska Friday night. Texas A&M improves to 14-12 overall, 7-10 in the Big 12.
CU played in its school-record 11th 5-game match of 2005, falling to 6-5 in those contests.
Jones had a match-high 33 kills and hit .314. She had four kills early in game five to give the Aggies a 9-5 margin they would never give up. Hahn had 23 kills, six blocks and hit a match-best .514.
Senior Allie Griffin had 18 kills and 10 digs while junior Lara Bossow had 11 kills and senior Nicole Carr had 10. Junior setter Ashley Nu'u gave the Buffaloes a third double-double with 63 assists and 11 digs.
"Overall we battled this out, and now we need to go to Nebraska and battle it out," CU head coach Pi'i Aiu said. "These games are all opportunities for us to get ready for the (NCAA) tournament."
Led by Jones and Hahn, Texas A&M hit .331 overall and a solid .533 in the deciding game five. Colorado managed just .062 in the final game, and hit .247 overall, just below its Big 12 season average of .250.
"Jones is really good," Carr said. "You can stick three in front of her and she'll find a way to get it past you."
In game one Texas A&M had kills on eight of their first 11 hits to build a 13-5 lead. CU then settled down and scored seven straight points to get to within one at 13-12 on the serve of Therese Vinal, including a pair of aces by the sophomore defensive specialist. However, the Buffaloes had no answer for the Jones-Hahn duo who combined for 12 kills and a .375 hitting percentage. A&M never trailed and took game one 30-22.
After hitting just .159 in game one, Colorado bounced back strong in game two hitting .400. The Aggies continued to hit strong as well, netting a .316 percentage in game two, but it cooled just enough in the latter stages of the game for CU to take advantage. Texas A&M led 20-15, but the Buffs went on a 12-4 run sparked by four Griffin kills and a pair of blocks by Griffin and Bossow, and the eventual 30-28 win.
Colorado led the entire way in game three, receiving a big lift from an unlikely hero. Playing in her final match at the CECC, senior middle hitter Lynsey Mann accounted for six points on three kills and three blocks, two of which were solo, to spark CU to an 18-11 lead. Mann, whose career high in points for a match had been seven, finished with a personal best seven kills, hit .385 and had 10 points. Texas A&M fought back to within one on two occasions, but the Buffs prevailed again 30-28.
Texas A&M hitting returned in a big way in game four as the Aggies led the entire way. A&M built a 16-8 lead hitting .474 and never looked back. Colorado couldn't match offensively hitting .256.
CU will travel to face No. 1 Nebraska on Wednesday, Nov. 23, at 6 p.m. MST in Lincoln, Neb.