Injuries Slow Down Buffs Against Oregon State
BOULDER - The University of Colorado volleyball team suffered another tough 3-0 loss (25-21, 25-11, 25-14), this time to Oregon, State, on Saturday night at the Coors Events Center.
Injuries have been plaguing the Buffs recently, especially at the setter position. They had been using Erin Stock and Michelle Miller after losing Alyssa Valentine to an injury on Thursday in practice. Near the end of the first set the Buffs lost Stock who had recorded three assists, three digs and a pair of aces. Miller became the primary setter for CU and recorded 18 assists in the effort. With the loss of Stock, the Buffs had to once again regroup and change up their offensive attack.
"Challenges abound for this team and I truly believe that what doesn't break you makes you stronger," coach Liz Kritza said. "This is the case for our team right now with some personnel losses due to injury. We will not succumb to the frustration of the loss, but rather will use this as an impetus to work harder for improvement.
"The momentum shifted at the end of the first set when our setter went down and we were never able to get it back on our side for more than a few consecutive points. But that is the nature of this game, momentum. We have to learn how to control it better and to capitalize on scoring opportunities when they present themselves."
The Buffs recorded 26 kills in the match and hit .026 with 23 errors on 116 attacks. Kerra Schroeder led CU with seven kills and Kelsey English was second on the team with six kill. Nikki Lindow added five in the effort. OSU hit .343 as a team with 47 total kills. Camille Saxton had a match-best 18 kills for the Beavers.
Defensively Megan Beckwith had 14 digs and Schroeder picked up 13 digs. CU had 42 in the match compared to 52 by the Beavers.
Colorado took a 9-6 lead in the first set after putting together a 7-1 run. The Beavers countered with their own 7-1 run to take a 13-10 advantage. The Buffs tied the score at 15-15 after taking five of the next seven points. OSU took the next three straight, but CU rallied back, using a 4-1 run to tied the score at 19-19. The score was tied again at 20 and 21 before OSU took a 23-21 lead. The Buffs used a timeout to regroup, but unfortunately dropped the next two points and OSU won the set 25-21.
The Buffs got out to a good start in the second set and led the Beavers 6-5 before OSU recorded a 7-2 run to take a 12-8 lead. The Beavers used a 9-0 run to go up 21-8. CU tried its hardest to get back in the game, but Oregon State finished the set with four of the next seven points (25-11).
OSU took a 7-3 lead to start the third set and extended it to 16-5. The Buffs fought hard, but weren't able to get much going as the Beavers took the set 25-14 to win the match.
CU fell to 5-8 overall, 0-5 in the Pac-12, while OSU improved to 11-3, 3-1 in the Pac-12.
"We must regroup and be resilient in how we prepare for an even tougher set of opponents next weekend," Kritza said. "This truly is the conference of champions and we are taking our lumps as we proceed with these first few weeks of conference play with six opponents ranked in the top-15 in the nation. However, playing at this level is a huge opportunity for each player to develop and for our entire program to improve. We all accept that this is no easy task, but rather a challenge that we readily accept and will not stop working until we get it right."
The Buffs will remain at home next weekend as they will host No. 12 USC on Sept. 30 at 7 p.m. and No. 7 UCLA on Oct. 1 at 2 p.m.
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.