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Aggies Hold Off Buffs

Sep 29, 2010

 BOULDER - Despite rallying from a 2-0 deficit, the University of Colorado volleyball team was unable to complete the comeback and fell 3-2 to Texas A&M University on Wednesday night at the Coors Events Center.  Set scores were 25-22, 25-17, 18-25, 23-25, 15-6.

 "Tonight's match was a tough one filled with some bright spots from young players and some missed opportunities that landed us on the wrong side of the results column," coach Liz Kritza said. "However, tough battles like these can be stepping stones to great improvement, and that is what we will do with this match,"

With the loss, the Buffs fall to 5-6 overall and 2-3 in the Big 12, while the Aggies improve to 9-5, 2-2 in the Big 12.

Kerra Schroeder recorded 19 kills in the effort and hit .302 with just three errors on 53 swings. Anicia Santos also recorded double-digit kills with 11 and both Richi Bigelow and Nikki Lindow came away with seven kills. Alyssa Valentine, the reigning Big 12 Rookie of the Week, led the team with a .375 attack percentage (three kills on eight errorless attacks) and handed out 48 assists.

Bigelow also came up with 14 digs for the Buffaloes' defense. Megan Beckwith led the way with 20 digs and Schroeder was just shy a double-double with nine digs. The Buffs out-blocked the Aggies 12.5-11.0. Rosie Steinhaus posted one solo and five block assists while Lindow added six block assists.

The first set was a battle for the two teams as neither had more than a two-point lead throughout the course of the set. The Aggies took a two-point lead at 22-20, forcing the Buffs to use their first timeout. TAMU took a 2-1 run after the timeout, forcing the Buffs to use their final timeout of the set (24-21). Santos recorded a block out of the break, but a net error by the Buffs gave the set to A&M (25-22).

The Aggies took the first seven points to start the second set before Schroeder got the Buffs on the board with a kill. CU chipped away at the A&M lead, taking five of the next seven points (9-6). Once again A&M went up by seven points at 17-10 and this time it was too much for the Buffs as they fell 25-17. The Aggies held the Buffs to a .032 attack percentage with nine kills and eight errors on 31 attacks. A&M hit .257 with 14 kills and five errors on 35 attacks.

The Buffs took control of the third set, taking a 12-8 lead. Colorado didn't let up and continued to add to the lead, taking a seven-point lead at 22-15. After a pair of Aggie points, Kritza called a timeout to help CU regain its composure and the Buffs went on to take the set 25-18. CU hit a match-high .400 with 14 kills and just two errors on 30 swings. A&M on the other hand hit .125 with 13 kills and nine errors on 32 attacks.

CU used the momentum from the third set and took an 8-5 start in the fourth set. A&M came back to tie the set at 19 and took its first lead of the game at 20-19. The Buffs tied it back up on the next point and took the following two for a two-point advantage at 22-20, forcing the Aggies to take a timeout. The two teams traded off the next four points with Schroeder recording two kills for the Buffs to get to set point. After a time out from A&M at 24-22, the Aggies recorded a kill to get back within one, but Schroeder finished the set (25-23) with her 19th kill of the night.

It all came down to the fifth set for the third straight match.The Aggies took the early lead, pulling out to a 7-4 lead. The Buffs fought back by taking the next two points to get within one (7-6), but then it turned all A&M as the Aggies finished the set with an 8-0 run.

"After playing a tightly contested first set, we started losing our focus and straying away from the game plan which made this a much harder match than it needed to be. It wasn't until the third set that we regained that focus and pushed it to a fifth set, something that is attributed to younger players starting to gain experience. "

CU will be back on the court on Saturday, October 2 against Missouri. The match is slated to start at 5:30 p.m. in Columbia, Mo.

"Part of the learning process when building championship program includes patience and learning how to regroup after tough losses," Kritza said. "I am certain that this team will rectify this missed opportunity and use this as fuel to drive them to be diligent in their training and preparation for our next conference opponent.  They will remain focused on constant improvement, a tenet of this program for this season."

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.