Buffs Win Five-Set Thriller Over Appalachian State
WACO, Texas — Three Buffs hammered double-digit kills as the University of Colorado volleyball team defeated Appalachian State 3-2 (23-25, 25-15, 21-25, 25-23, 15-12) on Friday morning at the Baylor Invitational at Ferrell Center.
“This was a hard fought match, and we ran up against a very good defensive team,” coach Liz Kritza said. “They did a good job of making us work for our points this morning. We needed to be more terminal in our sideout offense and stabilize our ball control.”
Junior Taylor Simpson led the Buffs with 15 kills, while junior Kelsey English added 13 kills and senior Kerra Schroeder had 11 kills in the victory. English also hit .409 with just four errors on 22 swings. Freshman Katelyn Cuff also had a nice performance with seven kills and just two errors on 13 swings to hit .385. The team recorded a .211 attack percentage with sophomore Nicole Edelman handing out 45 assists. The Buffs had 62 kills in the match compared to the Mountaineers’ 58 kills. ASU also hit .192 as a team.
“Both English and Cuff are moving in the right direction in terms of hitting efficiency and continuing to enhance their ability to contribute to the overall offense,” Kritza said.
Simpson and Schroeder were also very good defensively for CU as each recorded their second double-double of the season. Simpson had a career-high 18 digs and Schroeder recorded 10 digs. Freshman Cierra Simpson had a match-high and career-best 22 digs for CU. Edelman and senior Elysse Richardson each added 10 digs. The Buffs had 77 total digs in the match, six more than ASU (71).
“On the defensive side of the ball for us, the Simpson sisters combined for half the team’s digs, and the best part is that along with their teammates they were not satisfied in the least,” Kritza said.
CU also did well at the next, posting 11.0 team blocks. Freshman Katelyn Cuff put up six block assists and Taylor Simpson had one block solo and five block assists. English added four blocks assists.
Emily Corrigan and Jess Keller led the Mountaineers with 20 and 19 kills, respectively. Defensively Paige Brown and Meghan Mahoney each had 21 digs. Keller also had a match-high seven blocks (two solo and five assists).
ASU took a 7-3 lead in the first set, which made CU call a timeout. After the break, CU turned around used a 6-1 run to take the lead at 9-8. The Mountaineers answered back with a run of 6-2 to go ahead 14-11 and after some work the Buffs tied the score back at 18-18. The two teams would be tied three more times before the end of the game. When the score was knotted at 23-23, CU used its final timeout (the Buffs previously had a lead at 23-22). Unfortunately it didn’t stop ASU and the Mountaineers finished the set with two straight points (25-23) after the break.
The Buffs got off to a great start in the second set, taking an 8-3 lead. After an ASU timeout, CU extended its lead to 18-8. The Buffs were able to easily finish the set 25-15. CU held ASU to just seven kills with five errors on 32 attacks to hit .062.
The third set saw the Mountaineers going up 7-2 on the Buffs. CU got back within two points at 9-7, but ASU continued to hold the advantage in the set. ASU lead by five points at 18-13, but the Buffs got within two with three straight points (18-16). CU continued to fight and was down by one point at 22-21. ASU took the following point, causing CU to use its final timeout. After the break, the Mountaineers finished the set 25-21.
The fourth set was very close for the first part until CU took a three-point lead at 16-13. ASU tied it back up with three straight points before CU took two more points to force the Mountaineers to use a timeout. Out of the break, ASU used a 3-1 run to tie the score at 19-19 and this time it was the Buffs who used a timeout. The two teams would again keep it close. ASU took a 23-22 lead near the end before the Buffs picked up two points off an ASU error and a kill from Schroeder. CU won the set (25-23) on the next point, an attack error by ASU.
CU had an 8-6 lead at the side change in the fifth set. The Mountaineers evened the score at 8-8 and it would be tied once more at 9-9 before the Buffs would take a 12-9 lead. At that point, CU didn’t look back and finished the game 15-12. The Buffs recorded their best hitting percentage of the match in the game at .316 with seven kills and only one error on 19 attacks.
Colorado is now 6-1 this season, while ASU is 6-2 overall. The Buffs will be back in action at 3:30 p.m. MT when they face the Northwestern State Lady Demons at the Baylor Invitational.