No.24 Colorado Sweeps No.15 Utes
BOULDER – Colorado women's volleyball upset No.15 Utah in a 3-0 sweep (25-15, 25-17, 25-23) here Friday to secure its 10th win of the season.
The 24th-ranked Buffs (10-1, 1-1 Pac-12) gave the Utes (8-3, 1-1 Pac-12) their third loss of the season after CU finished with a hitting percentage of .351 and held the Pac-12 hitting percentage leaders to just a .170 hitting percentage.
Leah Clayton led Colorado to the victory behind her 15 kills on a career-high .464 hitting percentage. She was joined by Maya Tabron who had 13 kills of her own with an incredible career-best .500 hitting percentage.
Brynna DeLuzio continued her digs leading streak with 18, averaging six per set to match her performance Wednesday. She was joined by Jill Schneggenburger who had a dozen to go along with her six kills. Up front, Jenna Ewert and Meegan Hart dominated with four blocks each. The pair had three and led the Buffs to five total blocks in the first set alone. Ewert also dished out 32 assists.
The win is the second-straight victory over Utah at home with them ranked. Colorado hit an outstanding .419 in the second set and did wonders defensively to contain Utah's All-American Dani Drew to just eight kills and a -.029 hitting percentage. Only Madelyn Robinson had double-digit kills with a dozen and a .407 hitting percentage to go along with 14 digs.
Colorado enjoys a long weekend in Boulder to prep for No.13 Oregon Friday evening at 7 p.m. and Oregon State Sunday, Oct. 3, at noon.
HOW IT HAPPENED
SET ONE: The Buffs jumped off to a 7-3 start ignited by a pair of blocks, forcing the Utes to use their first timeout of the match. Colorado's six-point scoring run extended the lead to 10-3 before Utah countered with a three-point scoring run of their own. CU rallied behind Clayton's three kills creating a 10-point lead. Utah won a challenge making the score 18-10 before Colorado jumped out to a 22-14 lead. With an eight-point advantage, Schneggenburger made it 24-15 with a kill. The Buffs won the set 25-15 as Clayton finished the set with five kills while hitting .400. Ewert and Hart each had three blocks for CU in the set.
SET TWO: Colorado started the set with a quick 3-1 lead before Utah tied the match at three. CU went on a four-point scoring run to force a Utah timeout with the Buffs leading 7-3 at the break while holding Utah to a -.300 hitting percentage. Colorado continued the scoring run out of the timeout and extended the lead to 10-3 after Clayton's sixth kill. The Utes responded with a pair of kills later in the set to cut the deficit to five at 13-8. Utah's Zoe Weatherington got her sixth kill of the match further closing the gap to three. CU forced another Utah timeout after increasing the lead to five once again making the score 19-14. After the Utah timeout, Clayton helped Colorado jump to a 21-15 lead with two more kills giving her a total of 10 kills. The Buffaloes led 24-17 at set point and then won the set 25-17 to go up two sets to none over the Utes after Clayton got her 11th kill.
SET THREE: CU and Utah were tied at three-all to start the third set of the match. After a CU challenge, the referee's call was reversed in favor of the Buffs to give them a 4-3 lead. Schneggenburger got her fifth kill of the match to give Colorado an 8-5 lead. The Utes tied the match at 10 after a block. Both teams found themselves in a hard-fought battle as the tie continued to 17 before Clayton got her 14th kill as the Buffs took a 19-17 lead to force a Utes timeout. Out of the timeout, Utah ended Colorado's three-point scoring run and answered with a three-point scoring run of their own giving them a 20-19 lead. Tabron tied the game for the Buffs at 21 with her 11th kill of the match. The Utes used their final timeout after CU got consecutive kills giving them a 23-21 lead. Colorado earned match point after Tabron got another kill giving her a total of 13 kills. Clayton finished it with her 15th kill giving her a .464 hitting percentage and ending the set with a Colorado win of 25-23.
Head Coach Jesse Mahoney
On The Match
I'm really proud of this group for regrouping and responding after our match against Washington State. Washington State's really the first time when we did not respond during a match but we came back home and did a really nice job of prepping yesterday. Really played probably our best or most complete match today so proud of them for getting that done. That's a really good team, they just beat Washington on their floor, so it's exciting to see the level that we can play with the top teams in this conference. The girls get two days off and we'll get going next week because we've got Oregon coming on Friday and they're really good too.
On Containing Dani Drews
I think we did a really nice job against Dani. I don't expect the next time we play them for her to hit negative. I don't think I've seen that from her she's a fantastic player. We did a nice job overloading our block on her and slowing her down. They got kills in other places because we left some other attackers alone but we felt like if we were going to lose it wasn't going to be because of Dani.
On Scouting Dani Drews
I'm not going to tell you what the scouting report is exactly. But yeah, she's been in the league five years now and so yeah we've got a lot of film on her. She does what she does and she does it really well and we try to put ourselves in position to be successful. Any good player, we're going to see great players next week, we just have to put yourself in position to be successful and go out and execute.
This was night and day. I think that Washington State is a really good team, ton of service pressure, and we just were never comfortable in that gym. That's the worst passing match we've had all season. I haven't looked at the numbers yet but I felt like we were pretty comfortable and in system quite a bit. We have a lot of players that can handle the ball so we kind of mixed and matched a little bit more than we have in the past, based on what they were targeting. I think everyone responded to that well.
On Her Bounce Back
Kind of had a little bit of a rocky start in Washington this week. Was a little bit sick under the weather and everything, but definitely feeling better now., I just came out and my team supported me really well and just told me hey come out and play new game, even though we had that loss, we're just going to move on this day we have a great matchup here, so I just came out and played as hard as I could.
On Brynna and Jill
They definitely just stuck in there for some digs that brought up on momentum as a team and I think that kind of helped push them a little bit farther to for them just be like, I got the first one I'm going to get this next one too. So they just really stuck in there and just brought it up for us.
On The Team's Response
It's always important for all of us to come out and do our jobs and I think today we all did that, it's a great thing to see especially after that hard loss against Washington State. Coming out here and just proving that we can bounce back is really great.
On The Matchups
I think both of these matchups were going to be very competitive, very important for us just to see where we are as a team, and I think we came out and showed everybody who we are and they should be watching out for us.
On Brynna and Jill
They just did a great job finding out where the hits and blocks were and being ready and low and ready to move and just doing everything that we've been working on throughout the whole preseason and going into the season. I mean, Brynna she was Defensive Player of the Week, so just coming in and showing them what they can both do is a great job.
Maya Tabron Pac-12 Interview