Buffs Out-Block, But Fall To No. 8 Washington
SEATTLE, Wash. - The No. 8 nationally ranked Washington Huskies defeated the University of Colorado volleyball team 3-0 (25-19, 25-15, 25-15) at Alaska Airlines Arena here Friday night.
The Buffs put up 7.0 blocks compared to UW's 4.0. The Huskies currently lead the NCAA with 3.39 blocks per set while CU is averaging 2.27 blocks per set. Nicole Edelman posted five block assists for the Buffs and Kelsey English added four. Nikki Lindow got into the action with three block assists and Ana Pantovic and Neira Ortiz Ruiz each added one block assist.
The Huskies improved to 18-4 overall, 9-4 in the Pac-12, while the Buffs are now 14-12 overall, 4-10 in the Pac-12.
"This match had some of the best plays I have ever seen from this group, but unfortunately they were accompanied by some very poor passing performances as well, which made it incredibly difficult to match our opponents' scoring ability," coach Liz Kritza said.
Alexis Austin led the Buffs with nine kills and Edelman added five kills. Edelman had the best hitting efficiency for the Buffs at .556 with no errors on nine attacks. The team hit .090 with 24 kills and 16 errors on 89 swings.
CU had one less dig than the Huskies (41-42). Michelle Miller had a team-best nine digs and Chelsey Keoho recorded eight digs in the effort.
"What you cannot see from the stats is the leadership of our captains," Kritza said. "One (Miller) is calm and mature, especially when things get tough, and the other (Edelman) is the fiercest competitor who had taken it upon herself to will this team to success."
Krista Vansant led the Huskies with 15 kills and hit .387. The Huskies hit .276 in the match with 40 kills and 13 errors on 98 attacks.
CU got on the board first in the match, taking a 2-1 lead before UW took five straight for a 7-2 lead. The Buffs didn't get discouraged and got within two points at 15-17, which included a 4-0 run to force the Huskies to use a timeout. After the timeout, UW answered with four straight points of its own to go up 21-15, and this time it was CU that used a timeout. The Buffs fought but weren't able to close the gap and fell 25-19.
The second set started off much better for the Buffs, taking a 5-1 lead. They held the lead until the Huskies managed to even the set at 11-11. The set was tied again at 14-14, at which point the Huskies recorded nine straight (22-14) on Kylin Munoz's serve. CU sided-out with a kill from Pantovic, but UW finished the set with three straight points (25-15).
After the intermission, the Huskies took a 6-1 lead to start the third set, but CU rallied with an 8-4 run to get within a point at 10-9. UW took six of the next nine points to increase its lead to 16-13. The Buffs kept at it, but were unable to get in closer in the set after UW recorded a 5-1 run to increase the lead to 21-14. The Huskies ended the match with a 4-1 run (25-15).
"The young talent on this team is continuing to grow and learning against some of the top teams in the nation," Kritza said. "We are continuing to build this program as these young players continue to develop, including tough conference schedules like this including playing four matches in seven days."
The Buffs will return to the Coors Events Center next weekend for their final two home matches of the season. They will face No. 5 UCLA on Friday, Nov. 9 at 7:45 p.m. after the CU men's basketball home opener against Wofford College and No. 6 USC on Saturday, Nov. 10 at 7 p.m. Both matches will be streamed live on the Pac-12 Digital Network.