Buffs Fall Short In Close Match Against Arizona
TUCSON, Ariz. - Freshman Alexis Austin tied her career-high with 18 kills and sophomore Kelsey English added 12 kills, but it wasn't enough for the University of Colorado volleyball team to overcome Arizona as the Buffs fell short 3-1 (25-23, 25-23, 25-27, 25-18) on Friday night at McKale Center.
With the loss, the Buffs fell below .500 the first time this season at 14-15 overall; they are 4-13 in the Pac-12 Conference. Arizona improved to 15-13 overall and 7-10 in the conference.
English and Austin also hit very well for CU. English had just three errors on 22 attacks to hit .409 and Austin recorded five errors on 40 swings for a .325 hitting efficiency. As a whole the team hit .216. Freshman Nicole Edelman handed out 46 assists in the effort.
Junior Nikki Lindow and sophomore Neira Ortiz Ruiz each added seven kills for the Buffs and sophomore Emily Alexis had six kills. The Buffs had 52 total kills.
Lindow led the Buffs at the net, posting five block assists and one solo. Ortiz Ruiz and Edelman each put up two block assists and Austin added a block assist.
CU was also busy in the back row with freshman Chelsey Keoho recording a team-best 15 digs. Junior Jessica Aschenbrenner, senior Michelle Miller and English all had six digs on the night.
The Wildcats had three players with double-digits kills as Taylor Arizobal (16), Olivia Magill (14) and Madi Kingdon (10) recorded 30 of UA's 64 kills. UA hit .242 as a team and also picked up 53 digs and 9.0 blocks.
The first set was played very close between the two teams. It was tied 10-10 before UA would take a 7-3 run to go up 17-13 against the Buffs, but CU continued to attack and was able to get back within two points at 19-21. The Wildcats took three of the next four points to get to set point (24-20). The Buffs held them off successfully for the first three points before UA was able to convert and win the set 25-23.
The second set was another close one. The Buffs were within a point of the Wildcats at 11-12 when UA put together a 6-2 run to increase the lead to 18-13. CU answered back with its own run of 5-2, bringing the score to 18-20. The two teams battled and Arizona took the next two points. The Buffs were able to close the gap to one point at 22-23 just after with a 4-1 run that included three kills from Austin. The Wildcats took the next point, forcing the Buffs to fight off a set point with a block from Lindow. Unfortunately UA finished the game with a kill, winning again 25-23.
After the intermission, Arizona took a 9-4 lead to start the third set, but the Buffs came back and evened the frame at 17-17. The two teams would continue to fight and UA was able to gain a little ground on the Buffs, taking a 24-22 lead. The Wildcats looked to close the match, but the Buffs had other plans and recorded two straight points to tie the set at 24-24. Arizona took the following point, and once again had match point, but the Buffs took the next three points, including two kills from Austin, to win the set 27-25.
The fourth set was back and forth until the Wildcats took five straight to go up 12-7, which would ultimately prove to be too large of a deficit for the Buffs to recover. The Buffs didn't give up though and when the Wildcats had set point at 24-17, CU held them off with a kill from Austin. UA answered back with a kill to finish the set (25-18) and the match.
The Buffs will be back in action on Sunday, Nov. 18 against Arizona State. They will take on the Sun Devils at 6 p.m. in Tempe, Ariz.