Colorado Sweeps Cal Behind Strong Defensive Effort
BOULDER – Colorado women's volleyball swept Cal 3-0 (25-17, 25-21, 25-23) here Sunday afternoon after recording 11.5 blocks and holding Cal to .160 hitting.
The Buffaloes (15-12, 6-12 Pac-12) played well down the stretch in every set to pull away against the Golden Bears (7-22, 0-18 Pac-12).
Jill Schneggenburger led the team with 11 kills, including five in the second set, as she hit .550 for the game without an error. She was also one dig shy of a double-double with nine. Jahara Campbell added 10 kills with a kill percentage of .179.
Jenna Ewert had a great game at setter, recording her 45th career double-double with 31 assists, 11 digs and four kills on five swings. She is one double-double shy of ninth place in school history, which is currently occupied by Rachel Wacholder with 46.
Defensively, Brynna DeLuzio led the Buffaloes with 15 digs to go along with three assists, a pair of aces and a surprising kill from the libero position. Meegan Hart and Alexia Kuehl had five block assists each and combined for 13 kills, while Maya Tabron adding four block assists with a solo block of her own. Six Buffs recorded at least a pair of blocks in the match.
California was led by Sydney Lilomaiava with 12 kills while Sam Taumoepeau and Lydia Grote added 11 and 10 kills, respectively. Annalea Maeder had 30 assists and recorded a double-double with 12 digs in the match. Libero Tara DeSa had a match-high 17 digs.
The Buffs dominated offensively with a .284 hitting percentage while also recording five and a half more blocks than Cal.
The Buffaloes host Washington for Senior Day Wednesday at 1 p.m. They will conclude the regular season on Saturday at 12 p.m. on the road at Utah.
HOW IT HAPPENED
SET ONE: The Buffs took an early 3-2 lead before turning in a four-point run to take a 7-2 lead, hitting .625 in the process. Cal called a timeout as the Buffaloes led 18-12, outhitting Cal .417 to .296 thus far. Set point came for CU at 24-17, and the Buffaloes were able to finish off the set on the next play. CU outhit Cal .389 to .233 in the set as Tabron led the team with five kills, with three others recording three kills apiece.
SET TWO: CU took an early 3-0 lead with Campbell recording two kills. Cal went on a three-point run to tie the set at eight. A Cal challenge on an attack error was successful as the Buffaloes led 13-12, with Campbell leading CU with six kills. The Golden Bears took their first lead of the set at 17-16, but Colorado responded with a three-point run to 19-17 and force a Cal timeout. CU held a .303 to .216 hitting advantage at this point in the match. Leading 21-18, CU had a successful challenge on what became a kill by Hart to take a four-point lead. Set point for the Buffaloes came at 24-19, and they finished off the set three plays later with a kill by Schneggenburger. She had five kills in the set, bringing her total to a team-leading eight. Colorado outhit Cal .342 to .217 at this point in the match.
SET THREE: Cal took a 5-0 lead to start the set, forcing a CU timeout after Cal's Lilomaiava earned a quick two kills. The Buffs responded with a run of four points, two coming from kills from Schneggenburger. Colorado earned its first lead of the set 9-8. CU capped off a five-point run with a block assist from Kuehl and Ewert, forcing a Cal timeout. The Golden Bears took a four-point run to retake the lead at 13-12 before Colorado strung together a three-point run. The teams traded leads before CU earned another three-point run to 19-17. Cal took a timeout at 21-19. A play later, Colorado took a timeout as Tabron went down on the court after colliding with Ewert but walked off under her own power. Match point for the Buffaloes came at 24-23 after an Ewert kill. The Buffs finished off the match on the next play after an attack error by Cal's Grote. Campbell led the team with four kills in the set, with Kuehl adding three kills.
Head Coach Jesse Mahoney
On Today's Match
Obviously, we are happy to get the win. We are happy to win in three sets because we worked really hard. I thought we served really well. We defended all around the court. Jenna had a great match. I'm sure we just grabbed her out of an ice bath somewhere because she is sore from playing on the floor as much as she did. The third set was a little bit uneven, but overall I am happy with the performance. They're looking forward to a day off and then prepping for Washington.
On Three Spread Out Games In A Week
They're on break, so they have a little bit more time on their hands. We don't need more practice time particularly. They've been through three, four months of training and now it's just about executing a game plan. So, we'll get a day for each opponent and we'll be ready to go.
On Hitting .550
Like I said last time, it's my connection with Jenna. I've been struggling with it earlier but it was great today. It gives me a confidence boost on what I can do and what I can help the team with. I see it as a confidence booster for me in the upcoming two games.
On Last Two Games
This is our last two games in the season and our last two games for the seniors. We should not only play for our team but play for our seniors and prove to other teams in the Pac 12 that we are a force to be reckoned with.
On Double Doubles
Well, it's not necessarily what I'm aiming for. I'm just trying to keep the ball off the ground as much as I can and play my role on the team. I guess it just kind of comes with it if you're doing your best and you're trying to do your best for your teammates.
On Last Two Games
You know I'm happy to be going out on a high note. I love playing the top teams in our conference. It brings a real competitive edge to it and I am just really excited to play Washington on Wednesday and then Utah. I love playing Utah, they're our first and last match and they're always good. I'm excited to play them as our last game and play our hearts out.