Buffs Fall to Cal State Fullerton
FULLERTON, Calif. - The University of Colorado volleyball team fell in three hard fought sets to Cal State University, Fullerton at Titan Gym on Saturday night in the championship match of the Crowne Plaza Fullerton Titan Classic. Set scores were 23-25, 22-25, 21-25.
The Buffs are now 3-3 on the season and CSUF improved to 4-2. CU recorded a 2-1 record at the tournament, while the Titans were a perfect 3-0.
Kerra Schroeder once again led CU with 10 kills and was named to the all-tournament team. Teammate Anicia Santos also recorded 10 kills and was named to the all-tournament team. She led the Buffs with a .500 hitting percentage. Alyssa Valentine handed out 19 assists and Michelle Miller added 13 assists, leading CU to a .122 team hitting percentage.
"Schroeder and Santos being recognized for their play this weekend is a positive, and well deserved, but they both recognize that the sustainable success lies in the strength of the team," coach Liz Kritza said. "As captains, they are the first to realize the effort that we need to put in to improve our overall level of play and continue on the path to building this program."
CU record 48 digs in the effort, 18 of those coming from Megan Beckwith. The 18 digs were a match-best. Richi Bigelow added 10 digs.
Erin Saddler, the tournament MVP, recorded a match-high 13 kills for the Titans and Kayla Neto added 11 in the win. Came Croteau picked up 17 digs.
"On the whole, we walk away from this tournament with a few more wins, a tough loss, but most importantly some valuable game experience and a great deal to focus on in our next training cycle," Kritza said.
The first set was back and forth for the two teams, exchanging the lead eight times and recording 13 ties. CSUF started out with a 9-6 lead and then CU used a 4-0 run to take a 10-9 lead. The Titans retook the lead immediately, but the score was tied up again at 13, 14 and 15 before the Buffs took a two-point lead at 17-15. CSUF rallied back to even the score at 19, forcing CU to use a timeout. The Titans took the following point and the lead at 20-19, but the score was tied again at 20 and 21. CSUF took a two-point lead at 23-21 and the Buffs answered back with a pair of kills from Santos and Bigelow. The Buffs were unable to complete the comeback as the Titans put down two more kills to win the set 25-23. Santos hit .571 to lead CU in the set. She had four kills on seven errorless attacks. As a team, CU recorded a .146 hitting percentage while CSUF hit .159.
The Buffs played well to start the second set and got out to a 9-5 lead. They had a 15-12 lead when CSUF put together a 6-0 run to take an 18-15 advantage. CU came back with a 5-2 run to tie the set up at 20. Once again the score was tied at 21 and 22, but the Titans finished off the game taking the following three points. CU hit just .105 with 11 kills and seven errors on 38 swings, but did hold CSUF to .048 with 12 kills and 10 errors on 42 attacks.
CU got out to a hot start in the third set as it recorded a 10-5 lead. The Titans rallied back with seven unanswered points to take a 12-10 lead and then extended it to 19-13. The Buffs went on a 4-1 run to get within three points at 20-17 and were then within three points again at 23-20. The Titans took the next point, but the Buffs held them off on the first match points with a block from Rosie Steinhaus and Nikki Lindow. CSUF won the match and the tournament on the next points at 25-21.
Colorado defeated Montana in its earlier match today. The Buffs went the distance, playing five sets (21-25, 29-27, 25-14, 19-25, 18-16). Schroeder recorded her first double-double of the season with 20 kills and 15 digs. Freshman Megan Beckwith picked up 30 digs to lead the Buffs defensively, becoming the first Buff since 2007 to reach that milestone. CU also defeated Georgia State on Friday night to start the tournament. That match went four sets (25-22, 23-25, 25-17, 25-22). Schroeder recorded a career-high 21 kills.
The Buffs are off until September 15 when they open the Big 12 Conference schedule against Oklahoma at the Coors Events Center. The match is set for a 6:30 p.m. start. The Buffs finish their non-conference schedule with a .500 or better winning percentage for the 22nd straight season.
And don't forget to check out the latest news and highlights with coach Liz Kritza on the Buffalo Stampede Volleyball Show, exclusively on BuffsTV at CUBuffs.com/volleyball. New shows air every Tuesday.