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Buffs Shock No. 15 Arizona

Oct 31, 2014

Stats

TUCSON, Ariz. — There were no tricks, only treats on Friday night for the University of Colorado as it earned the season sweep of No. 15 Arizona, stunning the Wildcats 3-1 (25-15, 18-25, 25-20, 25-18) at McKale Center.

The Buffs improved to 14-9 overall (6-5 Pac-12) with the win. The Wildcats are now 17-6 (6-5 Pac-12), with two of those six losses coming at the hands of the Buffs. The CU volleyball team defeated Arizona 3-0 (25-22, 25-21, 25-23) earlier this season on Oct 5 in Boulder when the Wildcats were ranked 14th.

Senior Taylor Simpson led the Buffs with 17 kills and junior Alexis Austin hammered another 16 in the win. Simpson hit .265 with four errors on 49 attacks and Austin hit .270 with six errors on 37 swings.

The 1-2 punch of Simpson and Austin combined for 33 of CU’s 52 kills. Sophomore Katelyn Cuff was next on the team with seven kills and hit .429 with only one error on 14 attempts. Freshman Anna Pfefferle had five kills (.444 hitting percentage) and freshman Gabby Simpson added four kills. Senior Neira Ortiz Ruiz tallied the remaining three kills.

Junior Nicole Edelman and Gabby Simpson directed the Buffs to a .221 hitting efficiency. Edelman handed out 23 assists, while Gabby Simpson dished out 17.

The Buffs were busy in the back row, recording 59 digs in the match. Sophomore Cierra Simpson picked up a team-best 16 digs and Taylor Simpson had 14 digs. Gwen Herring also had a good defensive effort with nine digs and Gabby Simpson recorded an additional seven digs.

CU posted 9.0 team blocks on the night. Cuff put up six block assists, while Gabby Simpson had five block assists.

UA was held to a .098 hitting percentage, it’s second lowest of the season. The only other time the Wildcats hit below .100 was on Oct. 22 in a 3-0 loss at No. 11 Oregon. Madi Kingdon led UA with 19 kills and hit .119.

The Buffs were down 11-8 in the first set, but put together an 11-0 run to take a commanding 19-11 lead in the game. During that run, Herring came in and served 10 straight points, which included one ace. UA finally sided-out after a CU attack error, but the Buffs answered back with a kill from Cuff (20-12). The Buffs didn’t let up and finished the set 25-15.  

The second game was tied 8-8 when the Buffs put together a 3-0 run to take an 11-8 advantage in the set. The Wildcats answered and retook a 15-13 lead in the frame. CU would tie the game up again at 15-15, but UA again went ahead and this time the Buffs weren’t able to answer as the Wildcats finished the set 25-18.

CU recorded a 5-0 lead to start the third set and continued to own a good lead until the Wildcats cut it to a pair at 16-14, forcing the Buffs to take a timeout. The Buffs came out of the timeout and used a 5-2 run to go up 21-16, causing the Wildcats to use a timeout. CU went up 24-19 after the break, and after UA fought off one set point, Taylor Simpson finished the set with a kill (25-20).

The fourth set started off close before CU went up by five points at 12-7. The Wildcats got within two points at a couple of different places, but each time the Buffs answered and put some distance between the two teams. CU had a 22-17 lead when UA recorded a kill to get within four (22-18), but the Buffs responded with three straight points to take the set (25-18) and the match.

The Buffs will head to Tempe, Ariz. to face No. 19 Arizona State on Sunday at 12 p.m. The match will be televised on Pac-12 Network.

Notes: Taylor Simpson recorded her 14th double-double of the season…CU’s next four opponents are ranked in the top 25...CU is 3-6 against ranked opponents this season and is 4-4 in road matches this year… The Buffs have had the Wildcats’ number in the last two years and are 3-1 in the last four meetings…The win on Friday night was the first at McKale Center (Tucson, Ariz.) for the Buffs.