Buffs Take Down Texas Tech
BOULDER – Colorado volleyball turned away Texas Tech 3-1 (31-29, 25-21, 18-25, 25-14) here Friday morning to earn its first win of the Buffs Invitational behind a solid hitting performance and dominating fourth set.
The Buffs (5-0) continue their unbeaten streak as the Red Raiders (6-3) drop their first match of the Buffs Invitational after sweeping Northern Colorado Wednesday evening in Greeley. Both teams hit well as the Buffs edged Texas Tech .329 to .280.
After winning a close first set that featured seven total set points, three for Texas Tech and four for Colorado, the Buffs secured a two-set advantage winning the second 25-21. Texas Tech took control of the third set early, but the Buffs retaliated in the fourth going off for 19 kills on a .654 hitting percentage in the set that including 11-straight points.
Leah Clayton continued her dominating streak, putting down 19 kills and 10 digs for another double-double, her fourth of the season and third straight. She was joined by Maya Tabron who had a career-best .382 hitting percentage with 15 kills. Meegan Hart owned the middle with 14 kills and a .429 hitting percentage to do along with four blocks, while Jill Schneggenburger added 10 kills and 14 digs.
Also for Colorado, setter Jenna Ewert put down a career-high seven kills to go along with 49 assists.
On the defensive side, Brynna DeLuzio secured 22 digs, her second-straight 20-dig performance. Up front, Hart led with four blocks while Alexia Kuehl and Schneggenburger added three. In total, six Buffs recorded a block assist as the team finished with seven total blocks.
Texas Tech was led by Kenna Sauer with 16 kills and 10 digs. Setter Alex Kirby had five kills, 45 assists and 17 digs while KJ Adams finished with a team-best 18 digs. Middle Brooke Kanas controlled the net with six total blocks including three solo as Texas Tech finished with nine total team blocks.
Colorado returns to action tonight against San Jose State at 7 p.m. Texas Tech and San Jose State will conclude their trips to Colorado Saturday at noon when they take on each other in Boulder.
HOW IT HAPPENED
SET 1: Colorado took a quick lead then put down a run of three to lead 9-6. Buffs took a quick 11-9 lead before Texas Tech responded with a run of their own to lead 16-15. Trailing 20-17, Buffs took a timeout. CU put together three straight points to tie things up at 20. Colorado reached set point first at 24-22, but the Raiders put down three-straight to take their first set point, 25-24. Buffs responded with two of their own and were up 26-25. Each team traded set points to a 29-all tie, then Tabron put down a kill to set up set point and then joined Hart for a block to finish it off 31-29. Tabron finished the set with seven kills while Clayton had six.
SET 2: The Buffs found the first lead up 7-5. A huge block from Schneggenburger and Hart forced Texas Tech to take a timeout down 11-7. Tabron earned her ninth kill while Clayton found herself in double-digits with 10 as CU led 16-14. TTU tied things up at 19 all before the Buffs picked up the lead on another Clayton kill. An error and a Schneggenburger kill forced Texas Tech into a timeout down 22-20, but the Buffs rolled to the finish with kills from Clayton and Schneggenburger on the way to a 25-21 set win. Tabron finished the set hitting .400 while Ewert had five kills of her own.
SET 3: Texas Tech took the early lead as DeLuzio got to 17 digs. A Raider run of four forced Colorado to take a timeout down 14-10. The Raiders continued to push the lead as the Buffs took another timeout down 19-12. Texas Tech hit the 20 point mark, up 20-13. Set point came with Texas Tech leading 24-17, then finished two plays later.
SET 4: Colorado took an early 5-2 lead as the Buffs hitting was on. Schneggenburger puts down her 10th kill of the match at 10-7. Texas Tech got within one as both teams hitting over .300. Colorado put down four straight, forcing Texas Tech into a timeout at 15-11. The break wasn't enough, as the Buffs rolled to take 11-straight points before the Raiders could side out at 23-12. Match point came at 24-13, then was finished off with a kill by Clayton at 25-14. The Buffs hit greater than .650 in the set with 19 kills.
Head Coach Jesse Mahoney
On The Match:
"I thought it was a really well played match on both sides for the most part. I think we had a lapse in set three and obviously they [Texas Tech] had a little bit of a lapse in set four, but with two teams hitting around 300 for an entire match, that's a pretty high level of volleyball. I thought both teams passed really well and it was a really offensive match. I was happy that we were able to kind of weather the storm of set three and come back and really play I think the best set of volleyball we've had all season and against a really good opponent on the other side. So, happy for the win, happy for the level that we're playing at right now and now we got to get into a place where physically we can go again because tonight's match against San Jose State is going to be a tough one for us."
On Four Players Hitting Double-Digit Kills:
"Yeah, I mean that's Jena [Ewert] right there spreading the ball around. I don't know which four it was, I haven't looked at the stats here but I can guess. I thought that Maya [Tabron] probably had her best offensive match of the season. Leah [Clayton] was good like she always is. Jill [Schneggenburger] has moved into that opposite role since Sterling [Parker] has been out and really playing at an extremely high level offensively and getting comfortable over there which is exciting to see. And Meegan [Hart], this is like her sixth year or something like that so she's figuring it out for sure. She's super efficient. So, a really really good job [today] and a testament to our ball control with Brynna [DeLuzio] and our setting."
On The Offense Clicking:
"Yeah, our team has a weird calm about them. I think this is the most composed we've played in my time here so even when we had a little lapse in set three, I was never scared that certain people were going to put the ball away - and it's nice being able to spread the offense because I know there's a big hitter anywhere I put it. So I think me having confidence in my hitters gives me the ability to give it to them and then them having the same confidence in me, everyone's just pounding balls left and right."
On Hitting .654 In The Last Set:
"I expected that actually, actually I expected that to be higher - just kidding. No, that's understandable, like Jesse said it's our best set of the season."
On Her Back-To-Back 20 Dig Games And Being On The Court With Jenna:
"Well, just in the digging sense I think what we've been doing well is blocking and setting up our blocks and actually getting touches on balls which allows us to handle these digs and I think that plays a big part into being able to transition these balls - and obviously spreading out the offense when we're in and our hitters working plays a lot into that as well. And I mean, me and Jenna on the court together is always a good time. I think we've been doing a great job of staying focused throughout the games and throughout the entirety of the sets. Even if we do lapse in one, we'll come back and I think that has a lot to do with both of us being on the court."
BUFFS INVITATIONAL RESULTS
Wednesday, Sept. 8 (Greeley, Colo.)
Texas Tech defeated Northern Colorado, 3-0
Thursday, Sept. 9 (Greeley, Colo.)
Northern Colorado defeated San Jose State, 3-1
Friday, Sept. 10 (Boulder, Colo.)
Colorado defeated Texas Tech, 3-1
Colorado vs. San Jose State, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 11 (Boulder, Colo.)
San Jose State vs. Texas Tech, 12 p.m.
Colorado vs. Northern Colorado, 7 p.m.
SAN JOSE STATE 1-0
TEXAS TECH 1-1
NORTHERN COLORADO 1-1