Buffs Fall to Rams in Home Opener
BOULDER - The University of Colorado volleyball team dropped its first match of the season to No. 21 Colorado State 23-25, 23-25, 25-19 and 16-25 on Wednesday night at the Coors Events Center.
The loss put CU at 6-1 on the year while CSU improved to 6-1.
"I knew that we were going to have pressure and pressure definitely came," Alex Buth said. "That was a real test and hopefully this weekend we will get better and better, but this was the real test."
"I'm very encouraged," head coach Pi'i Aiu said. "In the locker room between games two and three, all of the talk was positive. The kids are doing a good job but at some point you have to stop talking and go out and finish a game. We had that game in hand (game 2)."
Colorado was in striking distance in the first two games, just barely missing critical points which could have turned the tide in the Buffaloes favor. CU started out slow in the first game and trailed by five points at 11-6. CU chipped away at the Rams' lead and was able to tie the set up at 18. CSU took the next three points, which proved to be the difference in the game as they pulled away with a two-point victory (25-23).
The teams were evenly matched statistically in the set. Both recorded 14 kills and hit below .200 (CSU hit .190 and CU hit .140). The difference in the game was that the Buffs had two more attack errors (8) than the Rams (6).
The Buffs took control of the second frame and even took a 21-16 lead before the Rams fought back with a 9-2 run which included six straight points to end the set.
"We can definitely compete," Amber Sutherland added. "We have a lot of good players. We came out here with a strong head hoping to do our bests."
CU got out to a strong start in the third game and took a six-point lead at 20-14. This time the Buffs didn't let down as they cruised to the win at 25-19. CU hit just .135 (12k-8e-37att) but held the Rams to .000 (8k-8e-33att).
The Buffs fell behind in the fourth set and CSU took a six-point lead at 16-10, causing the Buffs to call a timeout. CU took five of the next seven points but was unable to stop the Rams as they finished the frame 25-16.
"I think if we could have won that game (game 2) it would have been a different match," Buth said. "The fourth game we just kind of slipped again. We weren't as mentally tough. Mentally we weren't there as much as we were during the third game. The second game was really a bubble burster. They are a great team but very beatable. We should have come out and given them everything that we had tonight."
The Buffs were led by sophomore Schylur Edelman who recorded 13 kills and eight blocks. Sutherland added 11 while Lauren Schaefer added nine. Emilee Sisco and Buth each recorded seven. Buth also added six blocks.
Overall the team stats were fairly even. CU recorded 50 kills and the Rams tallied 52. CSU picked up 51 digs compared to CU's 52. The biggest difference in the match was the fact that CSU put up 18.0 blocks to Colorado's 13.0.
"We have to learn to finish matches," Aiu said. "Under pressure we have to learn to make plays. I think we can play the game and physically I think we can play with a lot of teams in the country but mentally we have to be tougher."
The Buffs will be back in action on Thursday against No. 8 Florida. The match is set to start at 6:30 p.m.