Buffs Blank Cougars On The Road
PULLMAN, Wash. — Senior Taylor Simpson and junior Alexis Austin each recorded 15 kills as the University of Colorado volleyball team cruised past the Washington State Cougars 3-0 (26-24, 25-22, 25-20) on Friday night at Bohler Gym.
The Buffs improved to 13-8 with the victory (5-4 Pac-12) and handed WSU its 10th straight loss of the season. The Cougars are 9-12 overall (0-9 Pac-12).
"Tonight was a good example of handling the business at hand and at some points just grinding out the win," coach Liz Kritza said. "Washington State's record is not indicative of their abilities or level of play. They pushed us and tested our limits many times tonight, they are a good team."
Simpson returned to the court after missing the match against California last Sunday and hit .448 with just two errors on 29 swings. She also recorded 11 digs in the match for her 12th double-double of the year. In addition, Simpson served up an ace and posted four blocks for a match-high 18.5 points.
Austin hit .303 with five errors on 33 attacks. She had six kills in the first set and came on strong in the second set with eight kills, but was limited to just one in the third game. Austin added three blocks for 17.5 points.
"The offense was anchored again by Taylor and Alexis, who answered the call and came up with big points as they have become accustomed to many times this season," Kritza said.
Nicole Edelman also had a double-double for CU with 21 assists and 15 digs. Edelman, along with Gabby Simpson who recorded 16 assists, guided the Buffs to a .305 attack percentage with 46 kills and 14 errors on 105 attacks.
"Both setters, Edelman and Simpson set a clean offense for much of the night, as evidenced by the solid team hitting percentage tonight," said Kritza. "Edelman had a strong defensive performance as well tonight."
Katelyn Cuff had six kills for CU and committed just one error on 10 attacks to hit .500. Gabby Simpson also had six kills in the match and Neira Ortiz Ruiz came up with three kills. Anna Pfefferle and Cuff led the Buffs at the net, each posting five blocks. Pfefferle had one solo and four block assists, while Cuff had two solo blocks and three block assists.
"Katelyn Cuff hit for a strong efficiency tonight and posted good blocking numbers as well," Kritza said.
The Buffs held WSU to a .185 hitting percentage. The Cougars had 43 kills, but recorded 21 errors on 119 attacks. CU had 48 digs in the win, compared to WSU's 40. Besides Taylor Simpson's and Nicole Edelman's contributions, Cierra Simpson also had a nice night with 11 digs.
The Cougars had two players record 13 kills, Kyra Holt and Jaicee Harris. Harris hit .370 with three errors on 27 attacks, while Holt was held to .150 with seven errors on 40 attacks.
WSU led 12-9 in the first set when the Buffs recorded four straight points to take a 13-12. The Cougars answered with a 5-1 run to take a 17-14 lead, but CU came back to regain a lead 20-19. WSU took a timeout and followed it up with two straight points (21-20), forcing CU to spend a timeout. The Buffs answered with two points of their own (22-21), but WSU used a 3-1 run to get to set point (24-23). The Buffs used their final timeout at that point and recorded three straight points to win the set 26-24.
The Buffs took a 9-5 advantage to start the second set, causing WSU to take an early timeout. CU had a 14-9 lead when the Cougars recorded three straight to get within two points at 14-12, and this time the Buffs took a timeout. WSU came back to even the set at 14-14 and went up 19-17 on the Buffs. The two sides battled and CU regained the lead (21-20) with a 4-1 run that included three kills from Austin. The score would be tied two more times before CU used a 3-0 run to win the set 25-22.
CU had a five-point lead at 12-7 in the third set and increased it to six at 18-12. The Cougars took a timeout at that point and recorded a 3-1 run out of the break to cut CU's lead to 19-15. The Buffs used a timeout and stayed at least three points ahead of the Cougars until WSU closed the gap to just two points at 22-20. CU called its second timeout of the set and came out of the break with two blocks (one solo by Taylor Simpson and a combined block by Cuff and Gabby Simpson) to get to set point (24-20). Taylor Simpson finished the match with a kill after a WSU timeout (25-20).
CU will head to Seattle for a match against No. 3 Washington on Sunday, October 26. The contest will start at 2 p.m. MT and will be broadcast on Pac-12 Network.
Notes: This is the second conference road with for the Buffs this season…It's the second straight year the Buffs have defeated WSU in Pullman, Wash…The Buffs have won the last three matches against the Cougars…CU is now 3-3 in road matches this season…Taylor Simpson recorded her 12th double-double of the season with 15 kills and 11 digs.