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Colorado Heads To Baylor To Wrap Up First Half of Big 12 Schedule

Oct 17, 2006

ON TAP: Colorado (9-7, 5-4 Big 12) will wrap up the first half of the Big 12 schedule with a contest against Baylor (13-8, 2-7 Big 12) on Wed., Oct. 18. The match will be in Waco, Texas and will start at 6 p.m.

All home contests can be watched over the Internet at CUBuffs.com through the webstreaming by BuffVision, as well as live stats which can be followed during the match.

HALFWAY THROUGH THE BIG 12: CU's match against Baylor is the last contest in the first half of the Big 12 schedule. The Buffs are currently fifth in the league, trailing the four Big 12 teams that are ranked in the CSTV/AVCA Division I Coaches Poll (Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas, Missouri).

ABOUT THE BUFFS: Colorado is 9-7 overall and 5-4 in the Big 12. CU started the year off with a victory against Denver, but fell to three top-10 teams in then #10 UCLA, #7 Hawai'i and #5 Florida at the Hawaiian Airlines Wahine Volleyball Classic. The Buffs bounced back with three straight sweeps at the Colorado Invitational to finish the nonconference schedule above .500 for the 18th straight season.

Colorado started the conference season with a huge win over the then-17th-ranked Mizzou Tigers. The Buffs won in five games on their home court. CU extended its win streak to five as the Buffs swept Texas Tech on the road.

The Buffs recorded their first conference loss against No. 5 Texas, but came back with a five-game win against Kansas. CU also recorded a three-game win over Texas A&M before falling to Oklahoma to land at 4-2. The Buffs came back with a win on the road against K-State for the first time since Nov. 13, 1999, before falling to Iowa State and Nebraska.

Senior Ashley Nu'u has tallied 632 assists to average 11.92 per game, which ranks sixth in the Big 12. In league only matches, she is averaging 12.03 assists. Freshman Kaitlyn Burkett made her collegiate debut with one game against Florida. She has seen action in six games this season, dishing out 33 assists to average 5.50 per game. Thanks to the direction of Nu'u and Burkett, the Buffs are hitting .234 on the season; fifth in the league. In conference matches, CU is hitting .234, which ranks fourth.

Colorado has averaged 15.80 kills per game this season, which ranks fifth. Junior Amber Sutherland leads CU with 4.20 kills per game, which is good for seventh in the league. Sutherland is averaging 4.42 in Big 12 contests for fifth. Sophomore Mallori Gibson adds 3.25 kpg and is averaging a team best 0.35 aces per game.

On the right side, sophomore Alex Buth is averaging 1.79 kills per game. Buth is also averaging 2.02 digs and 0.58 blocks per game.

The Buffalo middles have been taking care of business in 2006. Senior Lara Bossow has averaged 2.16 kills per game. She adds a team-high 0.77 blocks per game and is hitting at .284. Sophomore Lauren Schaefer adds 0.76 blocks per game, along with 2.22 kills. She is hitting .333 overall (ninth in the Big 12) and .367 in league contests (sixth). Senior Austin Zimmerman has recorded 1.98 kpg and is hitting .359 (sixth in the Big 12). Zimmerman is fourth in league only matches at .383.

Junior transfer Kristen Karlik ranks first for the Buffs with 3.89 digs per game and ranks sixth in the league. She has also added 11 aces, including two against then-fifth-ranked Florida. Sophomore transfer Callie Webster has picked up 80 digs on the year to average 1.63 dpg in 49 games.

In other conference only matches statistics, the Buffs are sixth in assists (14.33), seventh in kills (15.15), eighth in opponent hitting percentage (.244) and are fifth in aces with 1.39.

ABOUT THE BEATS: The Baylor Bears are currently 13-8 overall and are 2-7 in the Big 12. The Bears are on a six-match losing skid. BU is 2-2 in conference play on its home court.

Baylor is attacking at a .230 clip, which ranks eighth in the league. The Bears are averaging 14.82 kills per game (10th).

Taylor Barnes is directing the BU offense. She is averaging 11.18 assists per game (10th). Barnes ranks third in the Big 12 in aces per game with 0.58 (40) as the Bears are second in the league at 1.76 sapg.

Nicole LeBlanc leads Baylor with 251 kills on the season, 105 in the Big 12. She is averaging 3.59 kpg, while hitting .216 (.144 Big 12). LeBlanc also adds 3.23 digs per game.

Desiree Guilliard-Young ranks second on the squad with 2.93 kills per game and is hitting .374. She puts up 1.51 blocks per game, helping BU to 3.09 bpg. Anna Breyfogle adds 1.33 bpg and 2.79 kpg while hitting .298.

Kristen Schramek is averaging 4.14 digs per game. The Bears rank third in the Big 12 with 16.15 dpg.

THE SERIES: Colorado owns a 19-2 advantage over the Bears. The two wins BU has against CU came on Oct. 27, 1999 and Oct. 4, 2000. Since then, the Buffs have rattled off 11 straight victories.

A DECADE WITH PI'I AIU: Pi'i Aiu (pronounced P-E I-U) begins his 10th season as Colorado's head coach sporting a career record of 172-111. The 1997 Big 12 and District V Coach of the Year, Aiu has led the Buffs to eight NCAA Tournaments in nine seasons, including a Sweet 16 appearance in 1997. Under his guidance, the Buffs have sported three All-Americans, 10 All-Region, and 21 All-Big 12 performers. Aiu has been involved in the Colorado volleyball program in some capacity since its inception in 1986.

Aiu, who has led the Buffs to a 113-76 record in Big 12 matches, is joined on the bench this season by seventh-year assistant Jil Thomason and third-year assistant and USA Olympian, Erik Sullivan.

Aiu is 16-2 against Baylor and holds a 49-17 advantage in games.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Colorado fell to top-ranked Nebraska 27-30, 18-30, 21-30, on Saturday afternoon at the Nebraska Coliseum in Lincoln, Neb.

The Buffs hit just .129 in the match, compiling just 38 kills. Amber Sutherland recorded a team-best nine kills, but hit -.033 with 10 errors and 30 attacks. Austin Zimmerman tallied seven kills. Lauren Schaefer and Mallori Gibson each tallied six. Schaefer recorded the best hitting percentage for CU at .235.

Ashley Nu'u handed out just 30 assists, averaging just 10.00 per game. Nu'u added just three kills of her own.

Nebraska dominated with 56 kills while hitting .287. The Huskers put up 12 blocks and added five aces. Colorado out-dug the Huskers 51-50.

Kristen Karlik recorded 11 digs and Callie Webster picked up nine. Nu'u recorded a team-best 14 digs.

CU started off strong in the first game. The Buffs took the lead at 2-1 and held it until the Huskers tied it up at 13. Colorado fought to stay in the game and evened the score at 23. NU pulled away with the next two points, eventually winning the game.

The following two games saw Nebraska taking control from the start.

TAKING THE LITTLE APPLE: Colorado won its first match in Manhattan, Kan., since Nov. 3, 1999. It was also the first three-game victory over the Wildcats in Kansas since Nov. 19, 1994.

IT'S TV TIME: The Saturday, Oct. 28 match against Texas at the Coors Events Center will be televised live on Fox Sports Net-Rocky Mountain. The match has a 7 p.m. start time.

SUPER STAR: Amber Sutherland recorded a career-high 35 kills against No. 17 Missouri on Sept. 13. It was the third-most kills any CU player has recorded in a match (the most being 40 by Sarah Lodge in 1997). Sutherland also hit at a clip of .397, added four assists, four block assists and 14 digs. Only five other Buffs have hit 30 or more kills in a match. Sarah Lodge did it twice (40 and 36), as did Karrie Downey (34 twice). They are joined by current AVP standout Rachel Wacholder (32), Staci Wolfe (31) and Tina Murray (30). Sutherland

was also named Big 12 Player of the Week for her efforts.

BIG 12 OPENERS: The Buffs have won four of its five last Big 12 openers; including one in 2004 against No. 15 Kansas State. The only Big 12 opener CU has dropped in the last five years was in 2005 against No. 18 Texas in Austin.

A THREE-GAME RECORD: Colorado set a school record for hitting percentage in a three-game match against Central Connecticut State at .528 at the Colorado Invitational on Sept. 8. The Buffs recorded 56 kills on 89 swings and committed just nine errors. It is also the highest hitting percentage recorded in a match for CU.

THE NEWEST BUFFS: The Colorado volleyball coaching staff recently had two additions in the month of August. On Friday, August 11, Erik and Amanda Sullivan welcomed a baby boy, Cade Kian. The Sullivans' also have a daughter, Shaye (4). Jil and Chance Thomason added a baby girl, Matilda Jane, to their family on Thursday, August 31. She joins sisters Isabel (5) and Josephine (3).