Buffs Host Pair Of Ranked Opponents
BOULDER— The University of Colorado volleyball team will host a pair of ranked opponents this weekend at the Coors Events Center. The Buffs will face No. 17 Arizona State on Friday, October 3 at 6 p.m. and on Sunday, Oct. 5 they will host No. 14 Arizona at 2 p.m.
Both contests will be televised on the Pac-12 Network. Chris Marlowe has the call for both matches. Mike Dodd will assist with color for the ASU match and Elizabeth Moreau is the color for the match against UA.
The Buffs are 9-5 overall and 1-1 in Pac-12 Conference play. Last week, CU defeated Utah 3-2 at the CEC before falling 3-1 to No. 13 Oregon in Eugene, Ore. The Buffs are a perfect 7-0 at the CEC this season.
Senior Taylor Simpson ranks third in the Pac-12 with 4.56 kills per set and is hitting .314. Senior Neira Ortiz Ruiz is second with 2.22 kills per set and sophomore Joslyn Hayes is third with 2.20 kills per set.
The Buffs are attacking at a .259 clip and have held their opponents to a .189 hitting percentage. Junior Nicole Edelman and freshman Gabby Simpson have each spent time setting for the Buffs. Edelman is averaging 7.82 assists per set, which is eighth in the conference, while Gabby Simpson is recording 5.67 assists per set.
CU is second in the Pac-12 with 1.61 service aces this season. As a team, they have recorded 87 aces and are led by sophomore Cierra Simpson who is averaging 0.39 per set, which ranks fourth in the Pac-12. Freshman Stephanie Shadley and senior Kelsey English are tied for second on the team with 0.27 aces per set.
Defensively the Buffs are led by Cierra Simpson, who has recorded 3.70 digs per set. Taylor Simpson is second on the team with 2.33 digs per set and Gabby Simpson is third with 1.72 digs per set. CU is also blocking well, averaging 2.25 blocks per set. Freshman Anna Pfefferle leads the Buffs with 1.02 blocks per set with four block solos and 44 block assists, and sophomore Katelyn Cuff ranks second with 0.74 blocks per set.
Arizona State has earned a No. 17 ranking in the latest AVCA Coaches Poll with an 11-3 overall record. The Sun Devils are 1-1 in Pac-12 play. They lost to Arizona 3-2 in Tucson, before upsetting then-No. 9 USC on the road 3-1.
Macey Gardner ranks sixth in the conference with 4.02 kills per set while hitting .301. She also adds 0.31 aces per set, which is sixth in the league. The offense is directed by Bianca Arellano, who is averaging 10.65 assists per set. The Sun Devils are currently hitting .265 and are recording 13.33 kills per set. Halle Harker leads ASU in the back row with 3.81 digs per set, the ninth best in the conference.
ASU leads the all-time series against the Buffs at 5-2. Last year, the two teams split the series, each winning the match on their home court. Both of CU’s wins against ASU have been at the CEC.
The Wildcats are ranked No. 14 in the AVCA Coaches poll. Last weekend UA recorded a five-set victory at home against ASU and defeated then-No. 20 UCLA 3-0 in L.A.
Madi Kingdon is averaging 5.48 kills per set this season, the third best total in the NCAA. The Wildcats are averaging 14.59 kills per set as a team while hitting .284 under the direction of Penina Snuka who has handed out 11.47 assists per set. UA leads the Pac-12 with 16.04 digs per set. Ronni Lewis is averaging 3.98 digs per set, while Snuka adds 3.77 digs per set.
UA leads the all-time series against CU at 6-1. CU won the last meeting between the two teams at the Coors Events Center, while the Wildcats won the contest on their court in Tucson, Ariz.
On Friday night, the Buffs will honor their favorite CU faculty and staff members throughout the match. Any CU faculty or staff member in attendance can check in at the marketing table to pick-up a voucher for select $1 concession items. Sunday’s match will be CU’s pink match. Breast cancer survivors will be recognized during the match and can sign up at CUBuffs.com/pink for free admission. Anyone wearing pink will receive $1 admission and the first 500 fans will receive black and pink drawstring bags. As usual, Children 12 and under get in free to both matches.