Buffaloes Fall to Arizona
TUCSON – The University of Colorado women's volleyball team fell to Arizona on the road in a four-set 3-1 loss (26-24, 21-25, 25-19, 25-19) here Sunday afternoon to remain winless in road matches.
Arizona (7-9 Pac-12) jumps the Buffaloes (5-9 Pac-12) in the conference standings for the sixth spot in the Pac-12 as both teams have just six more matches to put together a good enough resume for the NCAA Tournament.
Colorado could not overcome the blocking from the Wildcats who had 15 in the match to CU's eight. The defense held Colorado to a .152 hitting percentage to Arizona's .223.
Leah Clayton led CU with 13 kills and a .281 hitting percentage. Sterling Parker helped out on the right side with 11 kills and a .206 hitting percentage. Jenna Ewert earned her 32nd career double-double with 25 assists and 19 digs, moving her winning one of Amber Sutherland for the third-most double-doubles in the rally scoring era.
Also for Colorado, Maya Tabron and Meegan Hart both had seven kills. Hart had a team-high five blocks while Katie Lougeay and Clayton each had a dozen digs.
The Buffaloes could not stop freshman setter Emery Herman who had 46 assists to six different hitters to go along with 16 digs and eight blocks. She also added two aces. Sofia Maldonado Diaz had a match-best 17 kills with a .317 hitting percentage while Jaelyn Hodge added in 14. Merle Weidt had 10 kills and added seven blocks.
Colorado will have a tough matchup next week with No.9 Utah as the teams split the weekend with a Friday night match in Boulder at 7 p.m. followed by a Sunday match in Salt Lake City at 1 p.m.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The teams battled to a three all tie to start things off. Colorado held a two-point lead to 11-9 over the Wildcats before Arizona tied it up at 11 all. Lougeay served an ace up, the third of the set for the Buffs as Arizona called a timeout a play later down 14-11. The Wildcats tied things back up at 14 all before DeLuzio put down back-to-back aces for the fourth and fifth. The Wildcats tied things back up at 17 all, forcing CU into a timeout. Out of the break, Arizona took the lead then CU tied it up at 19 all with another ace, this time from Schneggenburger. The tie held to 22-21 and was brought back at 22 before an ace for Arizona set up 23-22 before CU called timeout. The Buffaloes tied it up with a Weidt attack error, then Arizona took set point with a Hodge kill. Mahoney challenged the play thinking there was a fourth touch on an Arizona attack, but it went unsuccessfully. A service error gave CU hope, then a kill set Arizona up with a second set point where Fellows finished it off at 26-24.
The tied held early to 5-5 as CU strung together an early three-point run to take a quick 6-5 lead. Arizona earned an 11-10 lead after putting down consecutive blocks and three in four CU attacks as the Wildcats were outblocking Colorado 8-1. Mahoney called a timeout at 13 all as Arizona earned four of its last five points off of blocks. The Buffs took a momentary 16-14 lead, then Arizona challenged a CU kill at 17-16, which was unsuccessful. Arizona went on a three-point run with a pair of Maldonado Diaz kills to take a 21-19 lead. Colorado responded with its own 3-0 run to take a 22-21 lead and force a Wildcat timeout. A Parker kill extended the run, then Tabron put down a kill to set up set point. Parker finished it off a play later as the Buffs ended the set on a 6-0 run. Colorado hit .279 in the set while Arizona hit .139 as both teams were at .167 hitting through two sets.
Arizona started out with the first five points, very similar to the outcomes of Friday before a service error ended the bleeding. The four point lead held to 8-4 as the Buffs got back into rhythm. The teams traded blows as Arizona held the lead to 13-8. The Wildcats led 15-9 when Mahoney finally called timeout. Two plays later the match was paused for a media timeout. Colorado put together a four point run with a kill and solo block by Tabron to bring things to 17-15. The block was challenged by the Wildcats and was overturned. Two Arizona attack errors brought the gap to just one. The Wildcats earned a three-point lead with a block, the 11th of the match for Arizona, then another kill for UA forced CU into a timeout. Clayton ended the run with her 10th kill of the match hitting .250. Arizona put down a pair of kills to reach set point, ending it on a block at 25-19.
Neverdowski took over at libero in the third set as the teams went out 5-5. Colorado called an early timeout at 6-5. Arizona started to extend its lead to 11-7. Alexia Kuehl came in for Rachael Fara late as the Buffs now had switches at outside hitter, libero and middle mixing in 13 different athletes. Buffs challenged a play at 14-10 trying to slow down the match. The Wildcats put together three-straight for a 16-10 lead as the team had 14 blocks thus far. A play later the lead pushed to seven and CU called timeout. The Wildcats hit the 20-point mark up by seven. Arizona challenged a fourth touch at 21-15, unsuccessfully. The Wildcats finished it off at 25-19 with its 15th block.
Head Coach Jesse Mahoney
"Kudos to Arizona- they played a solid match. Once again we struggled in serve pass and couldn't find our offensive rhythm. We shuffled personnel for a mix of reasons: injury and looking for a spark from the bench."