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Buffs Host No. 8 Texas Longhorns

Oct 26, 2006

ON TAP: Colorado (12-7, 8-4 Big 12) will host Texas (14-5, 9-3 Big 12) at the Coors Events Center on Saturday, Oct. 28 at 7 p.m. It will be televised live on Fox Sports Net Rocky Mountain.

Prior to the match, over 80 CU student-athletes will be on the concourse of the Coors Events Center with a Trick-or-Treat Street from 6-7 p.m. Fans who wear Halloween costumes will receive free admission and will be first in line for the CU serving contest between games two and three.

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.

ABOUT THE BUFFS: Colorado is 12-7 overall and 8-4 in the Big 12. The Buffs are currently tied for fourth with Missouri in the league standings.

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.

CU started the second half of the Big 12 season off with a sweep of Texas Tech and then a five-game win over Texas A&M.

Senior Ashley Nu'u has tallied 797 assists to average 12.08 per game, which ranks sixth in the Big 12. In league only matches, she is averaging 12.22 assists, which is sixth. Freshman Kaitlyn Burkett made her collegiate debut with one game against Florida. She has seen action in eight games this season, dishing out 33 assists to average 4.25 per game. Thanks to the direction of Nu'u and Burkett, the Buffs are hitting .232 on the season; sixth in the league. In conference matches, CU is hitting .230, which also ranks sixth.

Colorado has averaged 15.69 kills per game this season, which ranks fifth. Junior Amber Sutherland leads CU with 4.37 kills per game, which is good for third in the league. Sutherland is averaging 4.61 in Big 12 contests for second. Sophomore Mallori Gibson adds 3.07 kpg and is averaging a team best 0.33 aces per game.

On the right side, sophomore Alex Buth is averaging 1.92 kills per game. Buth is also averaging 2.03 digs and 0.59 blocks per game, while hitting .187.

The Buffalo middles have been taking care of business in 2006. Senior Lara Bossow has averaged 2.08 kills per game. She adds 0.75 blocks per game and is hitting at .264. Sophomore Lauren Schaefer adds a team-high 0.76 blocks per game, along with 2.34 kpg. She is hitting .339 overall (ninth in the Big 12) and .364 in league contests (third). Senior Austin Zimmerman has recorded 1.92 kpg and is hitting .348 (seventh in the Big 12). Zimmerman is fourth in league only matches at .359.

Junior transfer Kristen Karlik ranks first for the Buffs with 4.06 digs per game and ranks sixth in the league. She has also added 14 aces, including two against then-fifth-ranked Florida. Sophomore transfer Callie Webster has picked up 113 digs on the year to average 1.82 dpg in 62 games.

In other conference only matches statistics, the Buffs are second in aces (1.46), fifth in assists (14.24), seventh in kills (15.17) and sixth in opponent hitting percentage (.228).

ABOUT THE LONGHORNS: Texas is 14-5 overall and is 9-3 in the Big 12. UT has won six of its last seven matches and is on a two-match win streak.

Texas owns the second-highest attack percentage in the Big 12 at .255 under the direction of Michelle Moriarty. Moriarty has dished out a league-leading mark of 13.61 assists. The Longhorns also own the second-best kills per game average with 16.45.

Ashley Engle leads the Longhorns with 3.70 kills per game and Dariam Acevedo adds 3.67. Acevedo is attacking at a .235 clip and Engle at .227. Destinee Hooker chips in 3.31 kpg while hitting .257.

The Longhorns average 16.68 digs per game, also second in the league. They are led by Alyson Jennings with 3.51 dpg. Engle adds 2.86 and Moriarty tallies 2.75.

UT ranks ninth in the Big 12 with 2.60 blocks per game and is 10th in aces per game (1.28).

THE SERIES: Texas owns a 17-8 advantage in the series against Colorado. The Buffs are 3-7 in their last 10 meetings with UT. CU won three consecutive matches against the Longhorns between Nov. 6, 2002-Nov. 19, 2003.

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 174-111. 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 116-76 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 7-12 against the Longhorns.

WHAT HAPPENED LAST TIME: Texas swept CU 30-17, 30-19, 30-26 on Sept. 20 in Austin.

Mallori Gibson led CU with 11 kills and hit .226. Lara Bossow recorded eight kills and hit .316 and Amber Sutherland added seven kills. Ashley Nu'u dished out 30 assists as CU hit .184 in the match.

The Longhorns hit .396 and were led by Ashley Engle with 17 kills (.469). Jen Christian notched 10 kills (.300) and Lauren Paolini added nine kills and hit a match-high .643. Dariam Acevedo recorded nine kills and 10 digs.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Amber Sutherland hammered 20 kills as Colorado defeated Texas A&M 25-30, 30-20, 30-28, 15-6 in front of 1,148 at the G. Rollie White Coliseum in College Station, Texas. This is the second straight year the Buffs have won a five-game match at A&M.

With the win, CU earned its first series sweep over the Aggies in school history. The Buffs defeated A&M 30-23, 30-28, 30-22 on Sept. 27 in Boulder. Colorado has won back-to-back matches against A&M; on Nov. 1, 2000 and Oct. 3, 2001, just not in the same year.

CU hit .207, despite 33 errors on 179 swings, in the match. Ashley Nu'u handed out 58 assists as CU recorded 70 kills. Mallori Gibson tallied 16 kills and hit .344. Lauren Schaefer notched 12 kills and hit .415. Austin Zimmerman notched six kills and hit a team-high .455.

The Buffs served up nice aces on the night. Alex Buth handed out four aces; one in each game except in the second game. Sutherland added a pair, as did Kristen Karlik. Gibson, who leads the team in aces, recorded one. A&M recorded eight on the night.

Colorado picked up 79 digs; while A&M totaled 64. Karlik lead the Buffs with 20. This is the fourth time this season Karlik has recorded at least 20 digs in a contest. Callie Webster picked up a season-high 17 digs. Sutherland recorded her ninth double-double of the season by recording 14. Buth and Gibson each added nine.

CU put up 11.5 blocks, just under A&M's 13.0. Nu'u led the Buffs with 5 block assists. Schaefer recorded a block solo and three block assists; while Lara Bossow put up four block assists.

The Buffs hit .065 by recording 16 kills on 46 swings with 13 errors in the first game. Colorado rebounded in the second game by collecting 13 kills and recorded just three errors to hit .345. Sutherland recorded 11 of her 20 kills in the third frame and hit .417 as CU hit .255. The Buffs hit .128 in the fourth set, but came back in the final game to hit .500 with six kills, one error and 10 attacks. A&M hit a match-low -.083 in the set.

BRING OUT THE BROOMS: The Buffs swept the season series against Texas A&M for the first time in school history. CU defeated A&M in three games on Sept. 27 in Boulder and completed the sweep on Oct. 25 with a five-game thriller. The win also marked the second straight season the Buffs have defeated the Aggies on their home court.

THREE GAMES OR FIVE: Colorado has only played three and five-game matches this season. The Buffs have yet to play a four game match with eight matches left in the regular season.

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).

A HELPING HAND: Andy Klussmann, a veteran volleyball coach, filled in for Colorado assistant coach Jil Thomason while she is on maturnity leave. Klussmann was the second assistant coach at Colorado State University from 2000-04. During that time, he was responsible for working with the middle blockers, travel, recruiting and scouting.

Klussmann played volleyball at UCLA from 1983-86 and helped the Bruins win back-to-back national championships in 1983-84. In 1984, the team went 38-0 enroute to the championship.

Klussmann has found his way back to coaching after making a remarkable recovery from a tragic car accident in 2004 that claimed his wife Janna's life. This past club season, he coached the Norco 17 Black team. As for joining the Colorado volleyball team, Klussmann says, "I'm having a great time."

Klussmann has two stepchildren, Sarah and Seth and two young sons, Drew and Jackson and resides in Fort Collins, Colo.

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 8-2 at home and is 4-1 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...The Buffs swept the 2006 season series against Texas A&M for the first time in school history.

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. 8, followed by Missouri at 16th. Oklahoma moved up three spots from last week's poll to 20th.

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 196-67 all time at the CECC for a winning percentage of .745. CU is 8-2 at the CECC this season.

21st SEASON: The 2006 season will be the 21st for the Colorado volleyball program. Since debuting as a varsity program in the fall of 1986, the Buffs have an overall record of 384-242, including one conference title (Big Eight in 1993). CU has advanced to 15 NCAA Tournaments in 19 years, 14 of which have come since 1991. The Buffs are one of only 15 NCAA Division I programs with at least 14 appearances since 1991.