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Buffs Lose Heartbreaker To Sun Devils

Oct 15, 2011


BOULDER - The University of Colorado volleyball team played its heart out but was unable to defeat Arizona State as the Buffs fell 25-23, 25-23, 25-23 on Saturday night at the Coors Events Center.  

Kerra Schroeder recorded a match-high 16 kills and added 14 digs in the effort. Kelsey English was second on the team offensively with 11 kills and hit .333. Megan Beckwith returned to the Buffaloes' line-up and had 14 digs in the effort and Elysse Richardson had a season-best performance with 13 digs.

The match was as close as a match could get with the difference at just six points. There were 25 ties and eight lead changes. Both teams recorded 45 kills. Erica Wilson led the Sun Devils with 15 kills and Stephanie Preach had a match-high 19 digs for ASU.

"So close yet so far, there's no real way to describe it for us right now. The difference between just being close... it's simply not enough," head coach Liz Kritza said. "Earlier in the season we can take some positives in when we're closing gaps and playing teams close, but it's not enough-not anymore. What we have to do is use that frustration and do something positive with it.

"It's a combination of a few things, when we start playing well, you can see players playing at the true level. When we struggle a little bit they don't have the confidence behind them to feel like they can take a little bit more risk or feel like they can come up with their best swing or their best serve."  

The Buffs played a very close first set. The score was tied at 15-15 when the Sun Devils took a 19-15 lead off a 4-0 run. CU came back with a 5-0 run of its own to take a 20-19 lead. ASU answered back with a 5-1 run to take a 24-21 lead. The Buffs were not done and fought off the first two set points, but after a Sun Devils' timeout, they finished the set 25-23.

The second set was another very close one. CU had a three-point lead at 18-15 before ASU tied it up at 18-18. The score was tied again at 19 and 20 but then the Sun Devils took a 23-21 lead. The Buffs fought back to tie the set at 23, but unfortunately ASU finished the set, taking the next two points (25-23).

ASU took at 5-1 lead to start the third set but the Buffs rallied back to tie it up at 7. The score would be tied again at 8, 9, 10 and 11 before the Sun Devils would take a 13-11 lead. ASU extended that lead to 17-13, but the Buffs weren't going away and battled back to even the score at 21. The Sun Devils took the next three points to get to set point (24-21). CU fought off the first two points, but fell again 25-23.

With the loss Colorado fell to 5-14 overall, 0-11 in the Pac-12, and ASU improved to 5-14, 1-9 in the Pac-12. The Buffs will start the second half of the Pac-12 schedule next weekend. They will head to L.A. to face No. 6 UCLA on Friday, Oct. 21 and No. 3 USC on Saturday, Oct. 22. Both matches are set for an 8 p.m. MST start.

"We've got some big matches ahead of us," Kritza said. "But we can't do anything but correct the things we know we can control. Correct our first contact and prepare ourselves for a really big challenge defensively. We can do it. We have a couple of days to get ready. There's no feeling sorry for ourselves. We know what we're in for. We know we're in the toughest league and we love it."

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 New shows air every Tuesday.