Buffs Give Their All But Fall To No. 11 Texas
AUSTIN, Texas - The University of Colorado volleyball team fought hard but dropped a three-set match to the No. 11 Texas Longhorns at Gregory Gymnasium on Wednesday night. Set scores were 25-19, 25-15, 25-20.
With the loss the Buffs fall to 5-8 overall, 2-5 in the Big 12. The Longhorns improved to 9-5 overall, 4-2 in the league.
"Tonight's match was a tough matchup for us, and although we are not walking away with the result we intended, we are moving forward with some very clear points for our continual improvement," coach Liz Kritza said.
Colorado recorded 27 kills in the match, eight of those coming from Kerra Schroeder. Richi Bigelow and Nikki Lindow each added five. Lindow hit a team-best .273 with just two errors on 11 swings. Texas had a pair of hitters, Rachael Adams and Amber Roberson, with 13 kills each.
Megan Beckwith led the Buffalo defense with a match-high eight digs in the effort. Lindow was the top CU blocker with three on the night; one solo block band two block assists.
"On the defensive side of the ball, we simply had to come up with some more digs to be able to counteract their offensive advantage over us," Kritza explained.
The Longhorns recorded 85 attacks compared to CU's 75 in the match.
"This young team is learning with each set that we play," Kritza said. "It's not just skills and systems, but also how to compete at the highest level in college volleyball. To build this program piece by piece, we cannot look at any challenge as insurmountable.
"We are focused on taking the very valuable lessons we can learn from tonight's match, and making use of them in a very productive and positive way to ensure we are prepared to elevate our play for the next tough opponent in a few days."
Texas took an 11-6 lead to start the first set. CU got back within a pair of points at 15-13, forcing UT to call its first timeout of the match. CU posted a block off Lindow and Rosie Steinhaus after the break to get within one, but then Texas took the following three to go back up by four at 18-14. The Buffs cut the lead to two at 18-16 after kills from Lindow and Steinhaus, but Texas answered back with a 3-1 lead to take a 21-17 advantage and closed out the frame with a 4-2 run (25-19). CU recorded eight kills in the set and hit .227. Texas hit .419 with 18 kills.
The two sides started the second set by exchanging points until Texas took an 8-4 lead. The Buffs fought back with a pair of points, but then UT took the following three points to go up 11-6, causing CU to take a timeout. Anicia Santos recorded a kill out of the timeout, but then the Longhorns took the next five to take a commanding 16-7 advantage. CU took the following three points with kills from Alyssa Valentine and Schroeder, as well as an attack error from UT, to cut the lead to 16-10. The Longhorns used a 5-1 run to go up 21-11, but the Buffs didn't give up and went on another 3-0 run to bring the score to 21-14. This time it was UT who used a timeout to slow down the CU offensive attack. Unfortunately the deficit was too much for CU to dig out of and the Buffs fell 25-15. Colorado recorded 10 kills in the frame, but Texas notched 15 and hit .500.
Texas took an 11-4 lead to start the third set, but then the Buffs took the next four points to get back within three at 11-8. The Buffs used a 3-2 run to get within a pair at 13-11, but the Longhorns took the next four straight to take a six-point lead at 17-11. The two teams traded off points until UT took three in a row to get to match point at 24-16. The Buffs fought off four set points to get within five, but Texas took the next point to win the set, and the match, 25-20. The Buffs recorded nine kills and hit .130 but UT hit .393 with 15 kills.
Colorado returns home to the friendly confines of the Coors Events Center on Saturday, October 9, to host Baylor. The match is slated to begin at 6:30 p.m. Once again the Buffs will host a free kids clinic prior to the match. Registration starts at 4 p.m. and the clinic will begin at 4:30.
"We are pleased to host our second kids' clinic of the season at the Coors Events Center and open our doors to the youth in the area," Kritza said. "The focus of this clinic will be to teach the fundamental skills of successful volleyball, as well as introduce some game time strategies that the kids can look for in the match that follows.
"The best way for young players to improve in the sport of volleyball is to see it played at a high level, to get repetitions with quality instruction, and most importantly, to have fun."
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.