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Tigers Take Buffs In Four

Nov 3, 2010

BOULDER -Kerra Schroeder recorded 19 kills, but it wasn't enough as the University of Colorado volleyball team fell 3-1 (25-23, 15-25, 25-19, 25-19) to Missouri on Wednesday night at the Coors Events Center.

The Buffs (6-14) are now 3-11 in Big 12 play and Missouri (16-8) improved to 8-6 in the conference.

CU played well in the first two sets and went into intermission tied 1-1 with the Tigers. After the break, the Buffs struggled to get their offense working at the level it had been in the first half of the match.

"For the first two sets, they did not have an answer for Kerra's strong attacking on the outside, but they started to defend her much better in the last two sets," Kritza said. "We did not adjust our offense accordingly to keep up our ability to score points. Part was a function of losing control of our first contact and the second was inconsistent pressure on their passers. Missouri started running their first tempo offense a lot more efficiently."

Richi Bigelow had a great match individually. She recorded 13 kills and hit .500 (three errors and 20 attacks) and added 15 digs for her fourth double-double of the season.

"Richi Bigelow put together a strong performance tonight and that type of play is what she expects of herself and we will look for her to continue to develop and perform like she did tonight," Kritza said.

Schroeder led the team offensively with 19 kills and posted five block assists. Anicia Santos and Nikki Lindow each added six blocks in the effort. CU outdug the Tigers 66-58 and was led by Megan Beckwith's 26 digs. This was the sixth time this season she has recorded 20 or more digs and was the second-best total in her career.

 "There were some really high level plays out there tonight with a strong push at the end of the first set and dominant performance in the second set," Kritza said. "Despite battling at points, we never really found our rhythm in the third and fourth sets."

 Paulo Ampudia recorded a match-high 21 kills for Mizzou. Brittney Brimmage and Catie Wilson has 12 and 11 kills, respectively,  in the middle.

"Their middles were their most effective players offensively and our outsides were our most effective attackers," Kritza said. "We need more point production from our middle and rightside positions."

The Buffs played a solid first set despite falling behind 16-11. CU tied the score at 20 thanks to a 4-0 run. The teams exchanged points and the set was tied again at 21 and 23 before Mizzou finished the set 25-23. The Buffs hit .300 with 15 kills, but the Tigers had 21 kills and hit .333. Schroeder recorded seven of her kills in the set while hitting .375 and Santos posted four blocks (two solo and two assists).

CU seized control of the second set from the start, getting out to a quick 12-5 lead. The Buffs would never let go as their offense was in system and everything was going their way. They had a nine-point lead at 22-13 and after giving up two points to Missouri (22-15), CU finished the set 25-15. The Buffs hit .438 with 17 kills and held the Tigers to a .075 hitting percentage. They had just nine kills and recorded six errors.

Mizzou took an 11-5 lead to start the third set, but CU came back with five of the next six points to get the score to 12-10. The Buffs continued to battle and were within two points at 18-16 before MU took a 21-16 lead. The Tigers finished the set 25-19 with a .289 attack percentage and 17 kills. CU hit .121 with 10 kills in the set.

The Tigers went up 14-7 to start the fourth set and increased it to 18-9. The Buffs tried to mount a comeback but the deficit was too great and they lost 25-19. CU was held to a .033 hitting percentage in the game but MU also did not hit well with a .167 percentage. 

"The look on every players face in the huddle afterwards was a mix of disappointment and determination," Kritza said. "It signaled that they are simply fed up with the ups and downs and we will use that fire to fuel improvement over the next few days as we prepare to hit the road and take on a tough Kansas squad."

The Buffs honored former Buff great Kelly Campbell McFadden at intermission. McFadden, one of the most decorated players in CU history, will be inducted into the CU Hall of Fame next week.

"To have Kelly and all the other alumni here tonight was a great sign of support," Kritza said. "It was a great opportunity for this young team to connect with some of the greatest players in Colorado volleyball history. We appreciate their support and the crowd that is sticking by us and following our progress. They are invaluable to the success of this program."

CU hits the road for a match against the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kan. on Saturday, Nov. 6. The match will start at 5:30 p.m. (MT). The Jayhawks are 14-11 overall and 5-9 in the conference after suffering a loss to No. 5 Nebraska on Wednesday night.

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 New shows air every Tuesday.