Wildcats Down Buffaloes
TUCSON – Colorado volleyball dropped a 3-1 (27-25, 22-25, 25-9, 25-22) match to Arizona Friday evening here after allowing 10 aces and a dozen blocks by the Wildcats.
The Buffaloes (5-8 Pac-12) could not overcome a slow start in the third set as the Wildcats (6-9 Pac-12) put down half of their 10 aces in the set. The Buffs were also out-blocked 12 to four as Arizona owned the net up front.
Leah Clayton led the CU attack with 14 kills and a .265 hitting percentage while marking another double-double with 12 digs, tied for a team-high. Meegan Hart added nine kills while Elissa Alcantara and Sterling Parker each had eight. Brynna DeLuzio led the 6-2 with 22 assists while Jenna Ewert had 19 and 10 digs to mark her 31st career double-double, tying Kerra Schroeder and Nicole Edelman for 17th in school history.
On the defensive end, Katie Lougeay added a dozen digs to go along with Clayton's, and Rachael Fara was the lone Buff on multiple blocks as she was a part of all four for CU. Lougeay also led the team with three aces.
Paige Whipple had a day for Arizona with 15 kills and a .333 hitting percentage to go along with her 11 digs. Jaelyn Hodge added 12 kills while Merle Weidt put down 10 errorless kills with a .625 hitting percentage. Both Weidt and Zyonna Fellows had five blocks, but it was Kamaile Hiapo who had four service aces to lead the Wildcats at the line.
The service game was a major factor as not only did Arizona have 10 aces but CU also served 10 errors to the Wildcat's four. The Buffs also had seven access but couldn't overcome hitting .138 to UA's .212.
These two teams meet again Sunday as the state of Arizona falls back to the Pacific Coast time with Daylight Savings Time starting that day. The match will begin at 1 p.m. MDT.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Buffs kept to the 6-2 even with Rachael Fara back in the starting lineup. Arizona took the first major lead at 6-3. The teams battled to as CU found a 13-11 lead before Arizona challenged the play. Clayton's third kill gave CU a lead at 17-16 as the Buffs were hitting .261 early while Arizona was only hitting .091. Colorado challenged a play that was originally called CU's block at 18-16 before the down judge called it off the block and into the antenna. The challenge went successfully to give CU the two-point lead. Another CU score forced Arizona into a timeout at 19-16. Colorado held it's four-point lead to 22-18, then the Wildcats scored a pair of points to close the gap and force a CU timeout. Arizona put down a block to close the gap to one and extend its scoring run to four before tying it up at 22 all as CU called another timeout. Out of the break, an attack error put the Buffs up by one. The Wildcats put down a pair of quick kills to set up set point at 24-23, but another attack error tied it up at 24 all. A block gave the Wildcats a second set point, then an attack error on an overpass tied it back up. The Wildcats quickly earned a third set point, and finally finishing it off on a Clayton attack error at 27-25.
The teams battled back-and-forth to a seven all tie. The Wildcats then rattled off three-straight to a 10-7 lead. Colorado responded with a 5-1 run to force Arizona to call an early timeout with a Buff 12-11 lead. Arizona responded with its own 4-1 run that forced Colorado to call timeout at 15-13. Colorado retook the lead and ran with it to 19-17. Colorado hit the 20-point mark before the Wildcats called timeout down three, then Arizona tied started to rally back with a pair of quick points before tying it up at 20 all. Clayton ended the bleeding. Coach Mahoney earned a yellow card from the down ref after he was angry at a lift call on Fara. The Buffs hit set point at 24-22, finishing it off with a Schneggenburger kill.
Maldonado Diaz gave Arizona a quick 3-1 lead with a pair of kills and an ace. Arizona went on a 6-0 scoring run to take a 7-1 lead before CU called timeout. The run continued to eight-straight before Parker finally ended it at 9-2 with a kill. Consecutive aces forced CU to call timeout at 12-2 as Arizona had its set total for aces already at three. Weidt was leading the Wildcats with nine errorless kills with a .692 hitting percentage. Tabron entered the lineup to give CU a sideout, but Arizona went right back to running up the score at 14-3. The Buffs finally put together consecutive points at 16-6 before committing a service error. Arizona reached the 20-point mark at 20-7 on a three-point run as the Wildcats put down another ace, then aced a fifth this set at 22-8. Set point came at 24-9, finishing it off a play later with Arizona hitting .478 in the set.
Things started out even at 3-3 before Colorado took the lead a play later with a Lougeay ace. Arizona called a timeout a play later at 9-6 as Clayton had 13 kills and a .333 hitting percentage. The Wildcats went on a four-point run to tie things at a dozen each. Arizona put down consecutive blocks to take the lead at 16-15, bringing their total to 11. UA put down a four-point run and forced a CU timeout down 17-15. Another 3-0 run set up Arizona at 20-16 and forced CU into a final timeout. The Wildcat's 10th ace gave the home team a 22-17 lead, then the 12th block on the match extended the lead to five at 23-17. Match point came on a long rally that ended in a Maldonado Diaz kill at 24-19, then CU closed the gap to 24-22 when Arizona called timeout. The next play went to the Wildcats to close out the match 25-22.
Head Coach Jesse Mahoney
"You can't win matches in this league when you lose the serve pass game by a large margin- which is what happened to us tonight. We will look to respond Sunday."