Buffs Close Out Season At Utah
BOULDER – Colorado women's volleyball team closes out the 2021 regular season this week with a pair of top-25 matchups, first at home against No.12-ranked Washington for senior day Wednesday at 1 p.m., followed by a trip to face No.17-ranked Utah Saturday at noon.
The Buffaloes (15-12, 6-12 Pac-12) are currently ninth in the Pac-12 standings and can move up a position with two wins this weekend.
CU will honor three graduating seniors tomorrow, Jenna Ewert, Zoe Neverdowski and Taylor deProsse as they play in their final home match. The three have combined for 54 wins in four seasons and one NCAA Tournament appearance.
The Buffs continue to be led by Maya Tabron who became the third CU player under head coach Jesse Mahoney to record 300 or more kills in a season. She is ninth in Pac-12 play this season in total kills. Jill Schneggenburger has played well lately and is coming off a season-best .550 hitting percentage with 11 kills against Cal.
Brynna DeLuzio continues to tear apart the Pac-12, dominating with 4.88 digs per set in conference play. The next closest athlete is at 4.13 digs per set in Pac-12 play with only three total athletes averaging more than four digs per set. DeLuzio has nearly secured the Pac-12 digs leading position as Stanford's libero would need 71 digs in six sets to pass DeLuzio's mark.
DeLuzio has already secured her spot in the CU history book with her 475 digs. Even if both matches go five sets and she fails to record a single dig in either she would still end the season with 4.35 digs per set, breaking Karrie Downey's single-season record of 4.34 set in 1994. DeLuzio is looking to become just the second Buffalo to reach 500 digs in a season, needing just 25 to do so. She is also 45 digs away from breaking the single-season record and would do so with five fewer matches in her season than Cierra Simpson's 2014 campaign.
Wednesday's match will be streamed on the CU Live Stream, while Saturday's finale will be on the Pac-12 Networks.
SCOUTING THE HUSKIES
Washington (22-4, 15-3 Pac-12) is in a deadlock with UCLA atop the Pac-12 standings but needs help to secure the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The teams split their season matchups but UCLA has a slight lead based on sets won in the standings against the Huskies. They have won six straight and won nine straight before their matchup against UCLA on the road that ended in a sweep. Since that loss, they have only let up a single set at Stanford but have swept both Arizona schools, Cal and both Oregon schools.
The Huskies are hitting an outstanding .284 hitting percentage this season and are allowing less than a service ace per set. Their two-headed monster on the outsides are Samantha Drechsel averaging 3.41 kills per set and Claire Hoffman at 3.72 kills per set and 4.37 points per set. Hoffman has 34 aces this season to lead the team, one more than setter Ella May Powell. They have four total athletes with 23 or more aces.
SCOUTING THE UTES
Utah (19-8, 12-6 Pac-12) is coming off a four-set loss to Stanford at home. Prior to that they had won four straight. They are 10-3 at home this season with losses to ASU, Stanford and UCLA.
They are also allowing less than an ace per set and are hitting .257 this season. Dani Drews is trying to repeat as Pac-12 Player of the Year and has 496 kills this season, averaging more than five per set while hitting .270. She is also second on the team with 27 aces as six Utes have 19 or more service aces. In the first matchup Colorado held Drews to -.029 hitting, the only time this season she has been limited to negative hitting.