Buffs Fall to No. 4 Huskers
LINCOLN, Neb. - The No. 4 University of Nebraska Cornhuskers defeated the University of Colorado volleyball team 3-0 on Saturday night in front of a sellout crowd of 4,113 at the NU Coliseum. Set scores were 25-13, 25-7 and 25-17.
"The Coliseum is one of the toughest places to play in college volleyball and that was certainly the case tonight," coach Liz Kritza said.
Colorado falls to 3-5 overall with the loss, 0-2 in the Big 12. Nebraska improves to 10-1 overall and a perfect 2-0 in conference action.
"Nebraska was as tough as any team in the country tonight, and really executed their offense well with very few flaws. It was a tall order for our younger players, but a very important opportunity nonetheless," Kritza explained. "To be able to match up against a taller team like Nebraska, we had to sustain a higher level of passing and defense that we did tonight."
Junior Anicia Santos led CU with five kills and a block assist. Sophomore Kerra Schroeder and freshman Nikki Lindow each added four kills in the effort. Junior Alyssa Valentine hit .500 with three kills on six errorless attacks and added 13 assists. She also accounted for CU's only block solo. Defensively Megan Beckwith led the Buffs with 10 digs, Schroeder added eight digs.
The Huskers got 11 kills from Lindsey Licht and 10 kills from Brooke Delano, each attacking at a .421 clip. Kayla Banwarth recorded a match-best 22 digs for NU.
The Buffs got on the board quickly, recording a pair of points to start the match. CU held the lead until the Huskers went up 8-7. Nebraska took a 10-7 lead, but the Buffs came back within a point at 12-11. CU kept the score close in the first part of the set until the Huskers took nine straight points to take a 23-12 lead. Valentine put an end to that run with a kill, but the Huskers fired back with two more kills to win the set 25-13. NU outhit the Buffs .351 - .121 in the frame. The Huskers recorded 19 kills and the Buffs tallied just seven.
Nebraska took a 10-3 lead to start the set. The Huskers extended its lead to 17-5, forcing the Buffs to use a timeout. Unfortunately the Buffs were not able to get back in the set as NU finished it with an 8-2 run. The Huskers hit at a .457 clip and held CU to .029. The Buffs had just six kills while NU recorded 17 in the set.
The third set started out better for CU as it tied the score at 5 and took the lead at 6-5. The Buffs took at three-point lead at 9-6. Nebraska came back to even the score at 10 and retook the lead on the following point. CU tied it back on at 11, but then the Huskers went on a 5-0 run to make the score 16-11. The Buffs did not give up, getting within four points at 19-15, but were unable to make a full comeback, falling 25-17. CU hit better in the set, recording a .120 attack percentage with six kills, NU hit .272 with 16 kills.
"After a tough loss like this, we have a very valuable opportunity to show what we are made of," Kritza said. "We will pick ourselves up and importantly push ahead in our teaching of our young players and preparation for our next opponent as we will face another tough conference opponent in a few days."
The Buffs head back to Boulder for a three-match home stand. They will host Kansas State on Wednesday, Sept. 22, Kansas on Saturday, Sept. 25 and Texas A&M on Wednesday, Sept. 29 at the Coors Events Center. All three matches are set for 6:30 p.m. starts.
And don't forget to check out the latest news and highlights with coach Liz Kritza on This Week In Colorado Volleyball, exclusively on BuffsTV at CUBuffs.com/volleyball. New shows air every Tuesday.
- COLORADO -