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Buffs Starts Second Half Of Big 12 Schedule Versus Texas Tech

Oct 20, 2006

ON TAP: Colorado (10-7, 6-4 Big 12) is hosting the Texas Tech Red Raiders (10-9, 3-7 Big 12) on Saturday, Oct. 21 at the Coors Events Center. The match is set to start at 7 p.m.

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

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.

ABOUT THE BUFFS: Colorado is 10-7 overall and 6-4 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. The Buffs finished the first half of the Big 12 schedule with a win over Baylor.

Senior Ashley Nu'u has tallied 689 assists to average 11.88 per game, which ranks seventh in the Big 12. In league only matches, she is averaging 11.95 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 .231 on the season; seventh in the league. In conference matches, CU is hitting .230, which ranks fifth.

Colorado has averaged 15.63 kills per game this season, which ranks fifth. Junior Amber Sutherland leads CU with 4.22 kills per game, which is good for seventh in the league. Sutherland is averaging 4.42 in Big 12 contests for fourth. Sophomore Mallori Gibson adds 3.15 kpg and is averaging a team best 0.34 aces per game.

On the right side, sophomore Alex Buth is averaging 1.88 kills per game. Buth is also averaging 2.03 digs and 0.62 blocks per game.

The Buffalo middles have been taking care of business in 2006. Senior Lara Bossow has averaged 2.12 kills per game. She adds 0.73 blocks per game and is hitting at .280. Sophomore Lauren Schaefer adds a team-high 0.76 blocks per game, along with 2.27 kpg. She is hitting .336 overall (ninth in the Big 12) and .366 in league contests (fourth). Senior Austin Zimmerman has recorded 1.93 kpg and is hitting .347 (eighth in the Big 12). Zimmerman is fifth in league only matches at .359.

Junior transfer Kristen Karlik ranks first for the Buffs with 3.90 digs per game and ranks sixth in the league. She has also added 12 aces, including two against then-fifth-ranked Florida. Sophomore transfer Callie Webster has picked up 89 digs on the year to average 1.65 dpg in 54 games.

In other conference only matches statistics, the Buffs are seventh in assists (14.08), seventh in kills (14.97), eighth in opponent hitting percentage (.236) and are fifth in aces with 1.37.

ABOUT THE RED RAIDERS: Texas Tech is currently 10-9 overall and is 3-7 in the Big 12, which ties the Red Raiders for seventh in the league.

Philister Sang is the driving force on TTU's roster. She has recorded 296 kills to average 4.70 per game, which is second in the Big 12.

Amy Charlebois is second on the squad with 2.64 kpg and is hitting .275. She adds a team-best 1.40 blocks per game, as TTU averages 2.70 per game. Alicia Ostmeyer adds 1.06 bpg and 1.56 kpg.

The Red Raiders are hitting .204 on the season, last in the Big 12. Their opponents are hitting .203. TTU has hammered 14.27 kills per game, but has allowed opponents to hit 14.68.

TTU does lead the league in aces per game. The Red Raiders average 1.88 per game. Emily Ziegler owns the league-leading mark at 0.57 sapg. She has 42 aces on the year.

Jenn Harrell has recorded a team-best 3.07 digs per game and Amanda Hiller has picked up 2.56. TTU is averaging 13.93 per game, compared to 14.85 by its opponents.

THE SERIES: Colorado holds a 18-3 lead in the series against Texas Tech. In the last 10 meetings, Colorado is 8-2 against the Red Raiders.

WHAT HAPPENED LAST TIME: Colorado swept (30-27, 30-28, 30-22) the Red Raiders in Lubbock on Sept. 16. Amber Sutherland tallied 12 kills, while Lara Bossow and Mallori Gibson each recorded 11. Bossow hit a team-best .556. Kristen Karlik notched 12 digs and Ashley Nu'u led CU to a .308 attack percentage with 40 assists.

Philister Sang recorded a team-best nine kills and 10 digs for TTU.

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 173-111. 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 114-76 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 16-3 versus Texas Tech. His squads have compiled a 52-24 advantage in games.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Colorado barely escaped with a 3-2 win against Baylor on Wednesday night at the Ferrell Center in Waco, Texas. The Buffs won the first game handily at 30-16, but dropped the next two by scores of 34-36 and 26-30.

CU rallied back to take the fourth game 30-27; forcing the fifth game. The Buffs won the final frame in exciting fashion at 18-16 and extended their win streak to 12 against the Bears.

With the win, the Buffs finish the first half of the Big 12 schedule at 6-4 and improved to 10-7 on the year.

Alex Buth had a career night, leading the Buffs to victory. Buth recorded a career-high 14 kills on 28 swings with just one error and hit a team- high .457. She recorded her second career double-double by picking up 11 digs. Buth also added 5 block assists and three aces.

Colorado recorded 69 kills and attacked at a .200 percentage. Ashley Nu'u handed out 57 assists in the win. Amber Sutherland led CU with 22 kills and Lauren Schaefer recorded 14 kills while hitting .357.

After the Buffs dropped the second and third games, CU needed some fresh legs in the match. Austin Zimmerman entered and helped turn the game in favor of CU with two kills and four block assists. Her impact was especially felt in the fifth set as she picked up a dig, a kill and a block assist with Lara Bossow to seal the victory for the Buffs.

The Buffs recorded 71 digs. Kristin Karlik notched 20 for the third time this season. Sutherland picked up 12, Nu'u added 11 and Callie Webster recorded nine.

Colorado also recorded 12.5 blocks, compared to 15.0 Baylor blocks. Besides the five assists from Buth, Schaefer put up 4 assists, Sutherland added one solo and two assists and Nu'u added four assists.

HALFWAY THERE: At the midway point in the Big 12 schedule, Colorado is 6-4, which is good for fifth. Nebraska is first (10-0) and Oklahoma is second (9-1). Texas and Missouri are tied for third (7-3).

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.

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).

BUFF BITS: Austin Zimmerman averaged 6.00 digs in the season opener against DU...CU played to a crowd of 7,071 against Hawai'i (9/2) in Honolulu...Alex Buth was the lone CU representative on the Hawaiian Airlines Wahine Volleyball Classic All-Tournament Team... Freshman Kaitlyn Burkett made her collegiate debut against #5 Florida and added seven assists and two kills...Ashley Nu'u was named the Colorado Invitational All-Tournament Team MVP...Kristen Karlik and Amber Sutherland were also named to the team...Lauren Schaefer and Ashley Nu'u recorded zero errors against Cincinnati (9/7). Schaefer hammered 11 kills on 16 swings (.688) and Nu'u tallied six kills on nine swings (.667)...Kristen Karlik became the first Buff to record more that 20 digs in a match since 2003 with 21 against Cincinnati (9/7)...CU hit a school-record .528 hitting percentage in a three-game match against Central Connecticut State (9/8)...Seven Buffs hit above .400 against CCSU, with four hitting above .600...Kaitlyn Burkett dished out 17 assists in two games against CCSU (9/8)...The Buffs launched 10 aces against Southern Miss (9/9) for the first time since 2003...Amber Sutherland recorded 35 kills to become the sixth Buff to reach 30 or more kills in a match against Missouri (9/13). The 35 kills was the third highest total in school history...Kristen Karlik notched 26 digs against Mizzou, becoming the first Buff since 2003 to pick up 25 or more digs...The Buffs are on a five-match win streak...Amber Sutherland was named the Big 12 Conference Volleyball Player of the Week on Sept. 18...Mallori Gibson and Amber Sutherland each tallied 18 kills against Kansas (9/23)...Gibson was named the CU Athlete of the Week on Sept. 25...CU swept Texas A&M (9/27) for the first time since Nov. 11, 2000...Austin Zimmerman recorded 11 kill matches in back-to-back wins against Kansas (9/23) and Texas A&M (9/27)...Colorado is 7-1 at home and is 2-1 in five-game matches this season... The loss to OU in Boulder marked the first time CU has fallen to the Sooners on its home court since Oct. 13, 1988... Amber Sutherland recorded 25 kills against OU (9/30), recording the third-highest total in her career...CU recorded its first win in Manhattan, Kan., since Nov. 3, 1999 on Oct. 7...Amber Sutherland was the only Buff to reach double-figures in kills with 18 against KSU (10/7). Kristen Karlik was the only Buff with double-figures in digs at 17...Jil Thomason's first match back after maturnity leave was on Oct. 11 against ISU...CU rallied from a 1-2 deficit to defeat Baylor on Oct. 18 in Waco, Texas.

WHAT A SCHEDULE: The Big 12 continues to be one of the best conferences in the nation, boosting four teams in the 2006 CSTV/AVCA Division I Coaches Poll. Nebraska tops the poll for the second straight season, while Texas is the second-highest ranking Big 12 team at No. 9, followed by Missouri at 12th. Oklahoma moved up one spot from last week's poll to 23rd.

Colorado already faced Florida, Hawai'i and UCLA during the second week in the season. All three of those teams were ranked in the top-10.

COORS SWEET COORS: Colorado will call the Coors Events/Conference Center home for the 18th straight season. The Buffs are 195-67 all time at the CECC for a winning percentage of .744. CU is 7-2 at the CECC this season, which equals the 2005 total of home match victories.