Buffs Head To LA For Key Matchups
BOULDER – The University of Colorado women's volleyball team takes its No.24 ranking to Los Angeles for a top-25 matchup against No.16 UCLA Friday at 9 p.m MT, followed by a match against USC Sunday at 2 p.m. MT.
The Buffs (11-2, 2-2 Pac-12) are ranked 14th in the NCAA in RPI rankings, the second-best in the conference behind Utah at 13. They take on the Bruins (10-2, 3-1 Pac-12) who are led by Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week Mac May before going to USC (6-7, 2-2 Pac-12) where the Buffs have never won in the Galen Center.
Colorado is coming off a loss to No.11 Oregon in four sets before rebounding in a sweep of Oregon State. The team has turned to Maya Tabron and Jahara Campbell at outside and will have a full week of practice in the new system heading on the road.
For the offense, Tabron led the team with 25 kills against the Oregon schools and was second on the team with 24 digs. She hit a combined .151 last weekend including hitting .435 against Oregon State. In her first two starts, Jahara Campbell put down a dozen kills but helped with four blocks. Jill Schneggenburger is playing well on the right side where she had 18 kills for a .270 hitting percentage. She also plays six rotations, combining for 19 digs and four blocks.
One of the biggest keys for Colorado this week will be the middles Meegan Hart and Alexia Kuehl. The two last weekend combined for 25 kills while hitting .258. On the defensive side though the two combined for 15 total blocks while both are ranked top-10 in the Pac-12 in blocks per set. The front row along with Pac-12 digs leader Brynna DeLuzio will have to work hard to contain a strong UCLA offense hitting .253 this season.
Friday marks the third-straight top-25 Friday night matchup for Colorado. That streak will end next Friday when the team heads to the Bay Area and takes on Cal Oct. 15 before taking on Stanford Sunday at 2 p.m. MT.
SCOUTING THE BRUINS
Colorado and UCLA have traded wins in the last six matchups, including CU taking the last two wins in Pauley Pavillion. CU upset the ranked Bruins twice in that span as well. This season UCLA only has a five-set loss to San Diego on the road and a five-set reverse sweep loss to Washington in Seattle. They defeated USC in four sets to open the conference season, then topped Stanford in a reverse sweep five sets in Palo Alto. They also took down Washington State in Pullman in five sets.
The Bruins are 23rd in the nation in blocks per set and 39th in opponent hitting percentage. Mac May is second in the conference in kills and points per set, hitting 4.35 kills per set while hitting .243. Anna Dodson has 53 total blocks to lead the team while Zoe Fleck is averaging 4.06 digs per set.
SCOUTING THE TROJANS
Southern Cal has struggled this season with losses to Denver, Creighton, Kentucky, Hawaii, San Diego, UCLA and Washington. They do have a four-set win against Washington State in Pullman and a four-set win against Cal. USC is hitting .230 this season and allowing opponents to hit .197.
Brooke Botkin leads the team with 4.06 kills per set while hitting .249. Setter Raquel Lazaro is also a dangerous server with .40 aces per set and 19 total this season. The defense is spread out with three individuals with 25 or more blocks this season and three with 100 or more digs.