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Colorado Opens 2022 Season At Home

Aug 23, 2022

BOULDER — The University of Colorado women's volleyball team kicks off the 2022 season this weekend at home in the Buffs Invitational.
 
Colorado, which is in its seventh season under head coach Jesse Mahoney, will face Green Bay Friday at 10 a.m., followed by a night match against Western Michigan at 7 p.m. The Buffs close out the tournament Saturday night against Denver at 6 p.m.
 
CU is coming off a 15-14 season that ended in a 10th-place finish in the Pac-12 standings. The team started the season with a school record nine straight wins throughout the non-conference schedule before finishing 6-14 in conference play.
 
The Buffs are an outstanding 24-2 (.923) in home non-conference matches under Mahoney, who will face his former team in Denver for the first time since taking over at CU.
 
The biggest question for the Buffs revolves around the starting lineup and begins with the setter battle. Sophomore Taylor Simpson and sixth-year graduate student Brynna DeLuzio have been battling for the starting position all preseason. Both were strong in the black and gold scrimmage, feeding the middles Alexia Kuehl and Meegan Hart to an amazing 32 combined kills.
 
The other positions that need addressing are the pin hitters and the defensive specialists/liberos. Starters Maya Tabron and Jill Schneggenburger return on the outside along with Sterling Parker who medically redshirted last year. The team also has Jahara Campbell and transfer Lexi Hadrych along with Kelley Levaggi. In the backrow, there is a plethora of strong, talented athletes competing for the libero position that DeLuzio potentially vacates, along with serving and defensive specialist rotations. Katie Lougeay, Emma Torstenson, Savannah Perry and Morgan Riddle all saw playing time last season and are joined by Emilea Stepaniuk who redshirted last season.
 
Friday's matches will be streamed on Pac-12 Insider as well as the CUBuffs Live Stream, while Saturday's finale will be televised on the Pac-12 Network.
 
SCOUTING OPPONENTS
WESTERN MICHIGAN
WMU is led by senior Maggie King, who helped lead the squad to a 19-win season last year. She finished the season with 420 kills, averaging 3.68 per set. The team returns their starting setter in Logan Case who dished out more than 1,300 assists, along with starting middle Madison Merz. They did lose senior outside hitter Meredith Phillips who hit .244 from the pin, but also return libero Mairead Boyle who had 420 digs last season.
 
The Mustangs went 1-1 against Power Five competition last season with a sweep loss to Michigan State to start the season and a five-set win against Indiana.
 
GREEN BAY
GB finished the season with a 15-16 record last year. Alexandra Zakutney returns for the Phoenix after earning First Team All-Horizon honors with 400 kills and 51 aces. The team also added grad transfer Angie Gromos who has a career hitting percentage of .227.
 
DENVER
Last year Denver finished with a 23-6 record before falling to South Dakota State in the first round of the Summit League Tournament. DU took down USC last season in Los Angeles, to win the Trojan Invitational.
 
The Pioneers lost three of their top four attackers from last season and one of their starting setters. They do return starting libero Gianna Bartalo who finished the season with 390 digs.