Buffs Start Candlewood Suites Invite With Two Wins
SYRACUSE, N.Y.— The University of Colorado volleyball team swept Stony Brook and Oakland to win its first two matches at the Candlewood Suites Invitational on Friday.
The Buffs defeated Stony Brook 3-0 (25-17, 25-20, 25-14) to start the day and came back in the afternoon to take down Oakland 3-0 (25-22, 25-16, 25-22).
In the morning match against the SBU Seawolves, freshman Makayla Lundin recorded her first career start at setter and dished out 21 assists, while helping to direct the Buffs to a .373 hitting percentage. Sophomore Nicole Edelman, the usual starter, played in two sets for the Buffs and added 10 assists.
Freshman Katelyn Cuff also earned her first career start and recorded six kills while hitting .556. She also led the Buffs with three block assists. Junior Kelsey English was the top attacker for CU with eight kills and hit a match-high .571 with no errors on 14 swings. Senior Kerra Schroeder added seven kills and three aces for 10 points and picked up eight digs in the win. Junior Neira Ortiz Ruiz recorded six kills on 16 error-free attempts for a .375 attack percentage.
The Buffs got out to a 10-5 lead in the first set before the Seawolves got within a point at 11-10 with a 5-1 run. CU kept the lead and put together an 8-3 run to take back a commanding lead at 20-13. The Buffs were able to close the set 25-17. CU hit .393 and held the Seawolves to .179.
SBU got out to a 16-7 start in the second set, but the Buffs stormed back with five straight points to get back within four at 16-12. CU eventually evened the set at 19-19 and wouldn't trail again as the Buffs went on to take the frame 25-20. This time around, the Buffs hit .290, but they also held SBU to .000.
The third set started off close with each team alternating points for nine ties through 9-9. At that point in the set, the Buffs took two straight points to get an 11-9 advantage. CU would never let go of its lead and increased it to 20-12. The Buffs were able to finish the set and the match 25-14. CU hit a match-best .458 with 12 kills and just one error on 24 attacks.
The Buffs' lineup looked more like it did against St. Mary's last weekend in the second match of the day against the OU Golden Grizzles with Edelman, sophomore Alexis Austin, senior Nikki Lindow, junior Taylor Simpson back in the starting rotation. Simpson led the Buffs with a season-high 17 kills. She hit .567 as she did not commit a single error on 30 swings. Austin had 10 kills in the match, while Lindow added four kills of her own, hitting .417 (no errors on 12 attacks), and put up four blocks.
CU recorded a blazing .429 attack percentage with 49 kills and just seven errors on 98 attacks. Edelman had 41 assists and added three kills of her own. English had another nice match with five kills on six errorless attacks to hit another match-high at .833.
Defensively Cierra Simpson recorded 13 digs and senior Elysse Richardson had eight digs for CU.
The Buffs got out to a 10-7 lead in the first set, but the Golden Grizzlies came back to even the score at 12-12. The score would be tied three more times in the set (15-15, 16-16, 17-17) before CU was able to string together a 5-2 run to go up 22-19. From there the Buffs were able to easily finish the set 25-22. The Buffs had 15 kills and hit .333 in the set. OU had 12 kills and recorded a .176 hitting percentage.
CU took a dominating start in the second game, taking a 13-5 advantage. The Buffs increased the lead to 21-11 before closing the frame 25-16. The Buffs hit .382 with 14 kills, while OU hit .075 with 10 kills and seven errors.
The third set started out differently with OU taking a 10-6 lead before the Buffs rallied back to tie the score at 12-12. The two teams kept the score close right up until the end. The score was tied 22-22 when CU took the last three points with two kills from Taylor Simpson and one from Ortiz Ruiz to win the game and the match 25-22. CU had its best game hitting percentage in the set at a scorching .581, recording 20 kills and just two errors on 31 attacks. The Buffs held the Golden Grizzlies to a .258 attack percentage with 12 kills and four errors on 31 swings.
The second day of the Castlewood Suites Invitational is Saturday. The Buffs will play Rutgers at 8:30 a.m. ET and Syracuse at 7:30 p.m. ET. Live stats can be accessed at http://www.sidearmstats.com/syracuse/wvball/.