Buffs Honor Seniors In Loss To No. 10 Washington
BOULDER - The University of Colorado volleyball team honored its four seniors on Saturday night as the Buffs fell to No. 10 Washington 25-18, 25-20, 25-20 at the Coors Events Center.
Nikki Lindow led the Buffs with 10 kills and hit .450 with just one error on 20 attacks. Emily Alexis hit nine kills and Kerra Schroeder recorded seven in the effort. Anicia Santos added six kills for the Buffs. Megan Beckwith had a match-high 21 digs for the Buffs. Jessica Aschenbrenner added eight and Valentine recorded seven in the effort.
Santos, along with fellow seniors Lydia Blaha and Alyssa Valentine played in their final home contest for CU. Former teammate and current CU student assistant Richi Bigelow was also recognized for her contributions to the team.
"This group of seniors; they were challenged from the very beginning of the season," coach Liz Kritza said. "They came into a program where they had a recent coaching change and they all saw something here that they really wanted. It takes a couple years to acclimate, but all four of them came in and made an impact and left their mark on this program.
"I'll never forget all of the ups and downs and how much these kids have worked for me and how committed they've been. I'll remember it for the rest of my career. I have a really special connection with each of them differently, but I think there will be a time when I bring them back and they'll be proud of the program that they helped start to build."
The Huskies were led by Krista Vansant's 13 kills. Kylin Munoz had 11 and Bianca Rowland recorded 10. UW recorded a .316 hitting percentage in the win while holding the Buffs to a .181 hitting percentage. The Huskies, who lead the Pac-12 with 3.57 blocks per set, had 12.0 team blocks. Rowland led UW with eight block assists, while Munoz and Lauren Banfield each had four block assists.
"Washington is arguably the best blocking team in the country," Kritza said. "Their middle, Bianca Rowland, has been leading the nation and the league at different times this year. So when we're up against an opponent like that, our offense needs to keep the pace and we knew that going into tonight."
Washington took a 15-10 lead in the first set and was able to increase it to 23-16. The Buffs tried to fight back; taking the next two points, but the Huskies close the set with the following two points (25-18).
The Buffs and Huskies played a close second set in the beginning. With the scored tied at 10-10, UW put together a 10-5 run to take a 20-15 advantage in the frame. CU tried to climb back but the lead proved to be too much as the Buffs fell 25-20.
The Huskies took the lead to start the third set, but CU got within a point at 11-10 with the help of a 5-2 run. UW pulled away again, but CU tied the score at 18-18 with an ace from Schroeder. The Huskies went ahead on the following point and were able to hold on to the lead and win the set 25-20.
The Buffs are now 6-23 overall and 1-20 in the Pac-12 while UW is 21-7 overall, 13-7 in the Pac-12. CU will end the 2011 season with a match against Utah in Salt Lake City, Utah on Wednesday, Nov. 23 at 7 p.m.
"We look to end the season on a high note next Wednesday," Kritza said. "We still have one match left against another formidable opponent in Utah. I've maintained this throughout the season, you know, these kids don't quit. They don't give up. They love it. I love this group. No matter what we're facing, no matter how highly ranked they are, no matter if we're on the losing end, no matter the battle, they don't quit."
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.