Buffs Defeat UNLV, Fall to UC-Davis
GREELEY, Colo. - The University of Colorado volleyball team went 1-1 at the Hampton Inn & Suites Northern Colorado Classic on Friday at Butler-Hancock Sports Pavilion.
The Buffs defeated UNLV (25-15, 25-19, 20-25, 25-18) to start the day, but fell to UC-Davis (25-23, 17-25, 23-25, 22-25) in the second match of the tournament.
"Overall I'm enthused with the fight this team showed today," coach Liz Kritza said. "Playing two matches back-to-back on the first day of the season is a challenge for anyone, and while we'd like to walk away with both wins, today was very valuable for the team's overall progress."
The Buffs earned their first win of the season against UNLV. Senior Lydia Blaha and freshmen Nicki Brown and Kelsey English earned their first career starts in the match. Blaha, who sat out the 2010 season per NCAA transfer policy, had a good match. She put up five total blocks, including one solo, and added four kills while hitting .400.
English hammered nine kills and hit .250 while adding two block assists. Junior Kerra Schroeder, the 2011 team captain, led the Buffs with 15 kills and added 11 digs for her first double-double of the season.
CU had 51 kills in the match, two more than UNLV's 49. The Buffs hit .260 in the match under the direction of Alyssa Valentine. She recorded 40 assists and added five kills of her own on eight errorless tries. UNLV hit just .169 for the match.
Both teams recorded 55 digs. Megan Beckwith led CU with 15 while Valentine and Jessica Aschenbrenner each picked up eight. CU won the battle at the net with nine team blocks compared to five for UNLV. Besides Blaha's five blocks, Anicia Santos put up four block assists and Valentine had three.
The match against UC-Davis was a close and hard loss for the Buffs. CU recorded 58 kills in the match (hitting .248), but the Aggies put up 62 and hit .301. Schroeder led the contest with 20 kills to bring her total to 35 for the day. Valentine had 10 kills on 11 errorless attacks to hit a match-high .909. Nikki Lindow also had double-digit kills for CU as she recorded 10.
Beckwith led the match with 20 of CU's 38 digs. The Buffs also posted 10.0 team blocks. Santos tied a career-high with seven blocks, three solo and four assists and Valentine also tied her career-best with five block assists.
"We'll strive for better balance in our offense and work to get our middles more involved as they were effective offensively today," Kritza said. "They didn't have the number of sets to make an impact."
Santos hit .375 for the afternoon with 10 kills and just one error on 24 attacks and had 11 total blocks for the day.
The Buff will host Northern Colorado on Sunday, August 28 at the Coors Events Center. The match is slated for a 4 p.m. start.
"Now we must turn our focus on our next match against UNC who we are certain will be a strong competitor for us," Kritza said. "But we are looking forward to defending out our floor for the first time this season."