Buffs Take On CSU In Double-Header
BOULDER – Colorado volleyball is set to compete in the second annual double-header against Colorado State this week, culminating in the second Golden Spike Showdown Saturday in Fort Collins.
The first match in the double-header will come Thursday evening in Boulder at 7 p.m. and will be televised on the Pac-12 Network. The second match and the Golden Spike Showdown is set for Saturday at 1 p.m. in Moby Arena in Fort Collins.
No.25-ranked Colorado is undefeated in seven matches this season, breaking the school record for most undefeated wins to begin a season. The Buffs are ranked 18th in the nation in kills per set at 14.07, 20th in the nation in hitting percentage at .275, 35th in the nation with 2.61 blocks per set and 43rd in opponent hitting percentage at .156.
The team is led individually by Leah Clayton who is ranked 24th in the nation in kills per set and 30th in points per set. Meegan Hart is 60th in the nation in hitting percentage at .386 while Jenna Ewert is 46th in assists per set at 10.33.
In the backrow, Brynna DeLuzio was named the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week Monday, her fifth conference player of the week honor in her career. The mark ties her with Naghede Abu and Sara Villwock for the most honors in CU history. She is averaging 4.33 digs per set and has led the Buffs in digs in every match.
The rivalry between the two teams goes deep in history and has sparked more recently with Jesse Mahoney, former associate head coach to CSU's Tom Hilbert, taking the reigns at CU. Mahoney became the first in-state coach to defeat Hilbert's Rams in Moby Arena in 2017. Hilbert is a combined 58-2 against the three NCAA Division I programs in Colorado at home.
The Rams this season are 4-3 with losses to Northwestern, Northern Colorado and North Carolina to start the season. They have since won four-straight, including a five-set match against Oregon State in Moby. CSU is hitting .232 this season as a team and are averaging two aces per set.
Kennedy Stanford leads the team with 93 kills (3.21 per set) and is hitting .191. CSU has four individuals with at least 60 kills this season. Setter Ciera Pritchard leads the team with 15 aces while Alexa Roumeliotis has 13 and leads the team with 142 digs (4.73 digs per set). Up front, Karina Leber and Sasha Colombo each have more than 20 blocks.
GOLDEN SPIKE SHOWDOWN
The Buffs and Rams compete for the Golden Spike Trophy, a rivalry traveling trophy inspired by the CU Volleyball Supporter Club in 2019. The Golden Spike is a vintage railroad spike donated by the Comanche Crossing Museum in Strasburg, Colo., that has been painted golden and set in the trophy. The spike represents the final spike driven in the Kansas Pacific Railroad that laid the final tracks that connected the Atlantic and Pacific Coasts more than 150 years ago. The two teams will compete annually for the trophy, with the winner of the second match in seasons where two are played in the regular season taking the honor.
GOLDEN SPIKE SHOWDOWN HISTORY
2019: CSU (Boulder, Colo.) 3-2
2020: Did Not Compete – COVID
2021: Saturday, Sept. 18 1 p.m., Fort Collins, Colo.