Buffs Lose Heartbreaker to K-State
MANHATTAN, Kan. - The Big 12 Conference era came to a close on Saturday night for the University of Colorado volleyball team as it lost a tough match 3-2 against the Kansas State Wildcats at Ahearn Field House. Set scores were 25-22, 20-25, 25-22, 23-25, 15-7.
CU finished the year with a 6-20 overall record and was 10th in the Big 12 (3-17). K-State (12-19) was ninth in the league with a 6-14 record.
Kerra Schroeder hammered a match-high 20 kills and added 10 digs for her ninth double-double of the season. She finished the year with 372 kills, which ties for 27th on the CU chart with Sarah Lodge (1998). Schroeder also has 608 career kills which is 31st all-time in CU's history books.
"Kerra's number was called many times tonight, as it was throughout the season," coach Liz Kritza said. "It is a special role for a young player to fill and a great opportunity for development, both in the sport and personally. The good thing is that she has the capacity for great improvement and has made it known that she wants to be a pillar of this program and is willing to do the work it will take to lead the changes that will take place as we continue to grow."
Rosie Steinhaus finished her career by totaling a season-best 15 kills and hit .371 in the effort. She added two digs and three block assists. Steinhaus ended her time in the black and gold with 437 kills, 232 digs and 129 blocks.
"Rosie played her strongest match of the season tonight, and you could tell she had a sense of urgency about her in her last collegiate match," Kritza said. "It is fitting that she completed her career with a strong performance as she has had an extremely positive impact on this program. She certainly has a bright future ahead as does the returning squad of young players."
Nikki Lindow hit a match and career-high .579 with 12 kills and one error on 19 attacks. She added two block assists. Anicia Santos posted a team-best five block assists. CU totaled 8.0 team blocks on the night.
"A good sign for the future is the play of Lindow tonight, she put forth her best offensive performance and was steady in her blocking contributions as well," said Kritza.
Alyssa Valentine handed out 30 assists in the effort and Michelle Miller added 17. The Buffs recorded 55 kills in the match and hit .183. K-State had 63 kills and hit .199.
Beckwith recorded 27 digs in the match, marking the seventh time this season she has picked up 20 or more in a contest. Beckwith finished the season with 401 digs which ranks eighth on CU's season chart.
"Many times this season, people would forget that Megan is a true freshman, and this season has been true test of her ability and has given her a mark for improvement in her player development," Kritza said. "She no doubt will continue to improve with experience, but the game experience she had this season was crucial to that development."
Colorado picked up 85 digs in the contest, compared to KSU's 78. Valentine tied her season-high with 15 digs while Elysse Richardson and Miller each added 11 digs apiece.
The Buffs got out to a 6-2 lead to start the match and held the advantage until KSU tied the score at 12. The Wildcats used a 4-0 run to go up 15-12, forcing CU to use a timeout. The Buffs took the next point with a kill from Lindow and once again K-State answered back, this time going on a 5-1 run to take a 20-14 lead. After another CU timeout, the Buffs got back within three points (20-17) with a pair of aces from Michelle Miller and a kill from Steinhaus. CU continued to fight with a 5-3 run to get back within a point (23-22) and this time it was KSU that used a timeout. The Wildcats came out of the timeout to record two kills to win the set 25-22.
The second set was another close game. The Buffs were trailing 10-12 when they went on a 4-0 run to take a 14-12 lead, causing KSU to use a timeout. CU took three of the next four points to increase its lead to 17-13, forcing the Wildcats to use their final timeout of the set. The Buffs went up 20-14 and were able to finish the frame off 25-20. CU hit a match-best .333 with 14 kills and three errors on 33 attacks in the set.
The Buffs fell behind 12-15 in the third set, but closed the gap to one point at 14-15. Despite allowing KSU to go back up by four points at 20-16, CU was still in the set and got back within one (20-21) after a 4-1 run. The Buffs continued to fight, but eventually fell 25-22.
The fourth set saw the Wildcats take a 10-7 lead, causing CU to use a timeout. KSU continued to add to its lead, going up 17-11 to force the Buffs to use their final timeout. Colorado took four of the next six points to bring the score to 15-19 and this time it was KSU that needed to use a timeout. CU took the next three points to get back within one (18-19) and then tied the score at 23. After an ace serve from Beckwith, Steinhaus finished the set for CU with a kill (25-23).
The final set started out with each side trading points until the Wildcats went on a 7-0 run to take an 11-4 lead. After a timeout, the Buffs took the next two points, but K-State answered back with two points of its own to take a 13-6 lead. Steinhaus recorded a kill to side out for the Buffs, but the Wildcat closed the set and match out with the next two points, winning 15-7.
"Everyone in and around this program sees the possibility for the development of these young players, and the improvement in subsequent years," Kritza said. "Improvement must remain our focus as we prepare for an exciting conference move and continuing to build a successful program."
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.