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Colorado Comes Up Short On Senior Day Comeback

Nov 24, 2021

BOULDER – Colorado women's volleyball suffered a tough loss to Washington in a 3-1 (25-17, 21-25, 26-24, 25-19) match here Wednesday afternoon as seniors Jenna Ewert, Zoe Neverdowski, and Taylor deProsse played in their final match at the CU Events Center.
The Buffaloes (15-13, 6-13 Pac-12) were defeated by the 12th-ranked Huskies (23-4, 16-3 Pac-12) after giving up eight service aces which seemed to be the difference maker today.
Maya Tabron led the charge once again for CU with 13 kills, two service aces, and nine digs. Jahara Campbell, Meegan Hart, and Jill Schneggenburger also had solid outings as they each had double-digit kills. Hart and Schneggenburger had three blocks and Campbell had two as the three players performed well offensively and defensively. Hart led all players in hitting percentage as she hit .667.
The Pac-12 leader in digs per set, Brynna DeLuzio, had a match-high 14 digs to go along with her three assists and one service ace. DeLuzio is now just 11 digs away from becoming the second Buff to record 500 digs in a season. Jenna Ewert had 45 assists, seven digs, one service ace, and one kill in the match from the setter position.
For Washington, Claire Hoffman led all players with 17 total kills. Samantha Drechsel and Ella May Powell were the only players with a double-double today as Drechsel put together 16 kills and 11 digs and Powell had a match-high 47 assists on top of her 11 digs and three blocks.
Colorado looked to be stealing momentum after coming back in the second set, but a 7-1 run in the third set while CU had a four-point lead at 23-19 stole momentum and the set. Both teams hit extremely efficient despite recording a combined 41 attack errors as Washington hit .301 with 22 attack errors and CU hit .279 with 19 errors.
The Buffs will finish off the season in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Nov. 27th, at noon as they look to take down No. 17 Utah.
SET ONE: After going down 2-1, Washington went on a four-point scoring run to take a 5-2 lead. The Huskies then put together a three-point scoring run to go up 10-4 and force a Colorado timeout. After the break, CU scored back-to-back points to cut the deficit to four. The Buffs took their second and final timeout of the set after Washington took a commanding seven-point lead at 15-8 following Grote's second kill of the match. Kuehl put an end to another Huskies scoring run with her third kill. Sanders responded with her fourth kill while hitting .500 to give Washington a 21-12 lead. Bush got her second kill to give the Huskies set point over Colorado. Washington won the set 25-17 after Bush picked up another kill. The Huskies had four service aces in the set and held CU to a .167 hitting percentage.
SET TWO: The Buffs found themselves in a close set as things were tied at four-all. The tie continued to seven before Washington went on a four-point scoring run to take a 10-7 lead. Hart and Schneggenburger combined for a block assist to cut the Huskies lead to just one at 12-11. Three consecutive points from Tabron gave Colorado a 16-15 lead and forced a Washington timeout as she racked up her fifth kill and two service aces. Out of the timeout, Kuehl picked up her fourth and fifth kills leading to another Huskies timeout as CU held a 19-15 advantage on a six-point scoring run. After a kill from Hart, the Buffs led by six points 23-17. Campbell gave the Buffs set point with her team-leading sixth kill. Washington fought back and cut the deficit to just three points at 24-21 which forced Colorado to take its first timeout of the set. Schneggenburger won the set for CU 25-21 as she got her third kill of the match.
SET THREE: CU took an early 3-1 lead before Drechsel tied things up for the Huskies with her ninth kill of the match. Both teams kept trading kills as the tie continued to six all. The Buffs took a 10-7 lead after Washington committed an attack error. Kuehl's seventh and eighth kills while hitting an impressive .700 made it 14-11. A kill from Ewert gave Colorado a 16-13 lead and forced the Huskies to take their first timeout of the set. CU took a five-point lead at 20-15 following Hart's sixth kill while hitting .600. Washington went on a three-point scoring run to force a Buffs timeout and make it 20-18. Back-to-back errors from Hoffman gave Colorado a 23-19 advantage over the Huskies. Washington refused to go down and went on a three-point scoring run to force another CU timeout. After the timeout, Bush tied everything up at 23 all with her 12th kill of the match. Tabron broke the tie and reached double-digit kills to set up Colorado set point and force a Huskies timeout. Washington finished the set on a three-point scoring run consisting of a kill from Hoffman, a service ace by Drechsel, and a combined block from Grote and Powell. The Huskies completed the comeback and won the set 26-24 on a 7-1 run.
SET FOUR: Colorado had the first kill of the set before Washington scored four unanswered points. Campbell's 11th kill brought the Buffs within two at 8-6. Hoffman extended the lead to 11-7 for the Huskies as she picked up her 15th and 16th kills. CU took its first timeout of the set while trailing by four at 14-10. Shortly after the timeout, the Buffs went on a three-point scoring run to cut the five-point deficit to just two. Washington responded with a three-point scoring run of their own forcing Colorado's second and final timeout while trailing 18-13. Hart reached double-digit kills while hitting .667 as the Buffs still trailed by five points at 22-17. Drechsel gave the Huskies set point as she got her 15th total kill. Another kill from Drechsel sealed the deal for Washington as the Huskies beat the Buffaloes 25-19.
Head Coach Jesse Mahoney
On The Match
 I thought it was a really good competitive match and I was proud of our team for, after the second set, kind of regrouping and playing at a high level. Washington is obviously a very good team, and I thought they played really well and we had spurts of it, we just couldn't sustain it long enough. We let them steal set three and I think if we closed that set out like we should have probably would have had a different result, but again, a little bit of a microcosm of our season. We have a lot of really good volleyball in us and we just have to clean it up so that we can close out some of those sets and some of those matches but really proud of our team and proud of these three young women here for playing their hearts out not just tonight, but for over the last four years.
On Watching The Senior Grow
It's, it's one of the great parts of this profession. My job is that I get to watch the growth process from the time when they start as young as 16 or 17 when we're recruiting them and then through being a collegiate athlete which is really hard. It's physically hard, it's mentally hard, it's emotionally hard. If you use that to your advantage, you come out the other end a really special person, and I've watched these three young women become really special people throughout that process. Sometimes you get caught up in defining yourself in wins and losses and that's not how the rest of the world works and they're going to leave here and go off into their adult lives and be prepared for really anything after being here and I'm really happy for them and proud of them.
Taylor deProsse
On Playing Their Final Match At The CU Events Center
It was really surreal. I think that coming in as a freshman is such a wonderful experience to play here at CU Event Center for the first time. The energy, we have such a supportive crowd, it's such a supportive group of girls on our team, our coaches. Game days are so fun. That's what you look forward to, it's what you train for, so just getting the opportunity to do it one last time was awesome. It's bittersweet. There were some tears but a lot of excitement and it was a really good way to go out.
On The Takeaways Of Their Career At CU
I completely agree with both Jenna and Zoe. I think also just looking back, I've realized how much I've grown in the last four years as a human being not only as a player. Just looking back and realizing that growth and we talk about it as a team and at our meetings having a growth mindset, how can you get better, always looking for ways to improve and never be in a fixed state but like Zoey said, being mentally tough and always putting one foot in front of the other and working hard. I think that's going to really stay with me the rest of my life and hopefully help me achieve more.
On Senior Day
Game days are really fast-paced. I had to take a second to breathe there. And I met up with my family and it was a really special moment just because they've supported me from day one through everything since I started playing volleyball. It's just really special. Definitely did have to pause though and take it in for a second. Otherwise, it just kept on going. It's a special day and it's great to just celebrate our accomplishments because it's been a long time in the making.
Zoe Neverdowski
On Playing Their Final Match At The CU Events Center
Yeah, I think I'd have to second that. It was just really nice to have one more chance to play with some of the people that you get so close to four years. It's definitely tough because there are highs and lows but the highs were really high today. It was a really fun game.
On The Takeaways Of Their Career At CU
I'll definitely take all the experiences and memories with me but I think the thing that I cherish the most is mental toughness. I think that's a huge thing you learn through this program. Every single rep, every day counts, and every little thing that you do counts and that's not just in the volleyball world, it expands to things outside of that, so I think that's big for me.
On Senior Day
It's kind of tough because of the timing of it right before we go out and play a game especially versus such a great team as Washington is. For me, I kind of went into it thinking cherish it but don't let it get to you. Don't start crying. That didn't work out once the video popped up like Jenna said it's pretty hard to hold yourself together. Once you're seeing all the people that mean so much to you saying such great things about you and your ethics and how hard you work and everything. For me, I think it just made me want to go into the game and play harder and just have more fun and show them what I've been working on the last day for the rest of my life.
Jenna Ewert
On Playing Their Final Match At The CU Events Center
I don't think I've realized it's my last game yet so I'm not quite sure it's hit me but I was definitely soaking it up while we were doing it. During the game trying to remember what it's like to play with these people with this crowd and this gym because I looked forward to it before I got here and it's crazy that it's over.
On The Takeaways Of Their Career At CU
I'll definitely take some of what we value on our team, our goals, and what we strive to be. I'll take that with me for the rest of my life, always striving to be the best person I can be. I'll take my memories and I'll take my friends and my teammates and my whole experience with me as well.
On Senior Day
It was very fast. We didn't really do any practice rounds. We just kind of did it and so it was okay to soak it up, This is all you get. But I think it was crazy just watching the video and seeing some of my teammates speak about me and my coaches speak about me and seeing how I've impacted people or the program. I think that was really surreal to me. Also just doing it with my family and wanting to make sure that this last game I'm making people proud.