Buffs Open Season In North Carolina
BOULDER – Colorado volleyball kicks off the 2021 season this weekend with a pair of matchups Saturday against Xavier at 11 a.m. and Charlotte at 4 p.m. MT.
Prior to that, the team will have an exhibition against South Carolina State Friday at 2 p.m. All matches will have live stats and the Charlotte match will be live streamed via CUSA.tv.
The 2021 Buffs have five new faces in freshmen, three of which have All-America honors coming from high school. The team is 19 strong with the only losses from last season being Rachael Fara and Elissa Alcantara. The team adds a middle, outside hitter, setter and a pair of defensive specialists/liberos to the fold to go along with a plethora of experienced athletes.
Sixth-year outside hitter Leah Clayton is poised to take over this offense and more after having a strong showing at the black and gold scrimmage with a 20-kill performance while hitting greater than .400. She is the returning kills leader for Colorado and will be a strong six-rotation presence. Colorado also has strong options for a second six-rotation hitter in Jill Schneggenburger and Maya Tabron along with freshman Jahara Campbell. The team also has a bunch of skilled passers to sub in to keep all the best options in both the front and back rows.
Colorado has never had so many options to run the offense at setter. Jenna Ewert returns as the assists leader for the past two seasons and Brynna DeLuzio has proven a capable setter and libero for the Buffs to allow for both on the floor at the same time if needed. Add in freshman All-American Taylor Simpson and CU has three capable setters to run their high-powered offense.
Up front, Meegan Hart returns in the middle where she was an All-Regional honorable mention last season. She will look to continue her strong career at CU and will work alongside 6-7 middle Alexia Kuehl and freshman Bella Simkus, both that have shown they're capable hitters off of one foot in two-hitter rotations.
On the right side Colorado has Sterling Parker fresh off an All-Pac-12 honorable mention campaign. She will be key to help the Buff offense and will work the opposite and block against some of the top hitters in the country along with Kelley Levaggi and Tabron or Campbell. With the depth the team has shown, Colorado will have numerous options at all positions.
Colorado looks to get to a strong start on the road after going winless in opponent's houses in the abrupt conference-only season this spring. The Buffs have nine non-conference matches, including three opponents that had a winning record last season in Charlotte, Northern Colorado and Colorado State whom the team will place twice.