Buffs Suffer Tough Loss Against South Dakota
OMAHA, Neb. — The University of Colorado volleyball team received a tough battle in the first match of the Creighton Classic, falling 3-1 (25-18, 26-24, 22-25, 25-22) to South Dakota on Friday afternoon.
The loss moved the Buffs to 8-2 overall and snapped CU's eight-match win streak, which tied the fifth best in school history. USD improved to 5-5 on the season.
Taylor Simpson led CU with 19 kills, while Joslyn Hayes recorded 13 kills in the loss. Neira Ortiz Ruiz also added eight kills for the Buffs. As a team, the Buffs combined for 53 kills, two more than USD's 51. CU hit .232 with 20 errors on 142 swings, while USD hit .235 with 19 errors on 136 attacks. Gabby Simpson directed the offense and handed out 42 assists.
The Coyotes had three hitters in double-digit kills. Kendall Kritenbrink led USD with 16 kills and Audrey Reeg was second with 14 kills. Kelsey Biltoft added 11 kills and led the match with a .588 hitting efficiency with one error on 17 attacks.
USD had the edge against the Buffs in digs, recording 68 to CU's 55. Cierra Simpson led CU with 19 digs and Taylor Simpson was second with 11 digs. Riley Haug picked up a match-high 23 digs for the Coyotes. At the net, CU posted 9.0 team blocks to the Coyotes' 7.0. Anna Pfefferle posted four block assists for the Buffs, while Katelyn Cuff, Gabby Simpson and Taylor Simpson each recorded three blocks. Kritenbrink led USD with four total blocks.
CU started off the match with a 5-2 lead, but the Coyotes quickly answered and tied the set up at 6-6. The two teams battled back and forth before USD took a two-point lead at 14-12. The Coyotes increased their lead to 17-13, forcing the Buffs to use a timeout. The Buffs tried to get back in the set, but USD pulled away to a 21-16 lead and eventually finished the set 25-18.
The second set was another back and forth battle, with neither team getting much of a lead until the Buffs took a three-point advantage at 15-12, causing USD to use a timeout. CU took the next three points to earn a six-point lead (18-12) before USD got back on the board. The Buffs didn't let up and went up 23-16, forcing USD to use another timeout. Out of the break, the Coyotes recorded four straight points (23-20), but CU got the ball back with a kill from Hayes for set point (24-20). Despite having set point, CU wasn't able to finish the game as USD took six straight points to take the set 26-24.
The third set was another tight one in the beginning and was tied at 12-12 before the Buffs were able to take a 17-13 lead in the set. CU continued to fight and kept a four-point advantage at 20-16, but the Coyotes took the next two points to close the gap to just a pair (20-18). USD eventually evened the set up at 21-21, but the Buffs didn't let down and used a 3-0 run to get to set point (24-21). The Coyotes fought off the first set point, but Taylor Simpson finished the set with a kill (25-22). CU hit .225 in the set and held USD to its lowest percentage of the match at .075.
It was another battle in the fourth set, but the Buffs played from behind the entire game. It was a two-point game at 17-15 and CU tied the set up at 19-19 after USD committed a pair of attack errors. The Coyotes went ahead on the next point and would keep the lead the rest of the way. They finished the set 25-22.
The Buffs finish the Creighton Classic on Saturday. They start the day at 9 a.m. MT against No. 16 Illinois. CU will face the host, Creighton, at 6:30 p.m. MT. Live stats and a live stream will be available at GoCreighton.com, although the stream requires a subscription.