Buffs Rally To Take Down St. John's
BRONX, N.Y. - The University of Colorado volleyball team came back from an 0-2 deficit to defeat St. John's University 3-2 (22-25, 21-25, 26-24, 25-21, 15-13) on Sunday afternoon at the Rose Hill Classic.
"Today we put ourselves in a tough situation with our play in the early part of the match, but I am pleased that we were able to fight our way back to get the win," coach Liz Kritza said. "Young teams have to learn how to do that. And to play our fourth match of the weekend and take the five set match is a good sign.
"The resolve we showed in the fifth set to come back from the early deficit is another good sign and I know it will pay dividends in the future."
The Buffs are now 5-3 overall while Red Storm falls to 6-5. This marks the 22nd year that the Buffs have finished the non-conference portion of the schedule with a record at or above .500.
"As we are closing our non-conference portion of our schedule, we must turn our focus on improving our level of play," Kritza said. "We have to expect ourselves to perform at a higher level of play and reduce our errors."
Kerra Schroeder recorded a season-high 26 kills to lead CU to the victory, but CU's block played a huge part in the comeback win. The Buffs posted 19.0 team blocks in the entire match; just five of those came in the first and second sets. The block came to life in the third and fourth sets and helped to propel CU past the Red Storm. The Buffs had four block solos and 30 block assists in the win.
Anicia Santos became the first Buff since Lauren Schaefer in 2007 to put up 10 or more blocks in a match as she led CU with a career-high 12 (one solo and 11 assists). Schaefer recorded 12 in a five-set win against Iowa State on Oct. 17, 2007. Nikki Lindow was second on the team with seven block assists. Six other Buffs had at least one block in the tilt.
"Kerra's performance today was definitely a highlight with her season kills and our overall team blocking performance was great to see," Kritza said.
Lindow and Emily Alexis were also effective on offense as Lindow recorded 13 kills and Alexis had nine kills. Lindow hit a match-best .571 with just one error on 21 attacks. Alyssa Valentine handed out 51 assists in the match while leading the Buffs to a .178 hitting percentage.
The Buffs had 71 digs compared to SJU's 63. Megan Beckwith accounted for 22 of those for CU and Schroeder added 16. Valentine came close to a double-double with nine digs and Alexis also had nine digs. Jessica Aschenbrenner recorded eight digs in the match.
The first set had eight ties and three lead changes with St. John's winning 25-22. The Red Storm had a 20-16 lead, but then CU put together a 4-0 run to tie it up at 20-20. The two teams traded off points to tie the score again at 21 and 22. At that point the Red Storm put together three straight points to finish the set.
The Buffs dropped the second set 25-21. The set was tied at 8-8 when the Red Storm went on a 5-0 run to take control of the set. The Buffs did their best to make a comeback and even fought off two set points after SJU went up 24-19, but weren't able to keep the set comeback going as the Red Storm won by four points.
SJU got out to a 13-8 start in the third set, but CU put together a 6-0 run to take a 14-13 lead. The set remained close and it was tied at 23. SJU took the next point and CU fought off the first set point with a kill from Schroeder to tie it at 24. The Buffs finished the set up with a kill from Alexis and an attack error from SJU. The Buffs' block went crazy in the set, posting 6.0 team blocks. Santos had four block assists and Lindow added three to lead CU in the set.
The Buffs got out to a good start in the fourth set, taking a 12-8 lead. CU was able to extended its lead to 22-17, thanks in part to a 6-1 run. The Buffs finished it out 25-21. Once again the block performed well for CU and it put up 6.0 team blocks. Alexis had two block solos and Lindow recorded three block assists.
The fifth set had six ties and a pair of lead changes. The Buffs took a 13-12 led, but the Red Storm tied it at 13 on the next point. CU didn't waste any time and took the next two points with kill from Schroeder and a block assist from Santos and Alexis to win 15-13.
The Buffs return home to host Utah for their first-ever Pac-12 Conference match on Tuesday, Sept. 13. The contest is set for a 7 p.m. start. Admission is $1 at the door and parking is free.
And don't forget to check out the latest news and highlights with coach Kritza on This Week in Colorado Volleyball, exclusively on BuffsTV at CUBuffs.com/volleyball. New shows air every Tuesday.