Buffaloes Start Conference Play In Utah
BOULDER — The University of Colorado women's volleyball team begins Pac-12 play this week with a road trip to Utah Thursday at 7 p.m. before hosting Arizona State Sunday at 1 p.m.
The Buffaloes (8-2) are coming off a reverse sweep of CSU Friday evening that resulted in head coach Jesse Mahoney's 100th win and second-straight Golden Spike Trophy.
Maya Tabron and Meegan Hart continue to lead the Buffs up front, both of which are coming off 20-point performances against the Rams. Tabron has a team-high 122 kills while hitting .241, while Hart is second in the NCAA with a .477 hitting percentage with 104 kills. The Buffaloes are hitting .254 as a team.
The defense is anchored by Alexia Kuehl and Hart in the front and Katie Lougeay in the backrow. Kuehl is 13th in the NCAA with 1.47 blocks per set and leads the team with 53. Hart, who had nine blocks against CSU, is averaging 1.25 blocks per set. Lougeay is averaging 3.5 digs per set from the libero position with a team-best 126 digs, nearly 50 more than the next closest Buff.
Colorado is winning the hitting battle with a .254 hitting percentage compared to .180 from their opponents. CU is also averaging nearly a whole kill and assist more per set than their opponents. Colorado as a team is eighth in the NCAA with 2.94 blocks per set with their opponents averaging 2.3 blocks per set.
Both matches will be streamed on the Pac-12 Network, with Sunday's match on Pac-12 Insider. Colorado will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Title IX Sunday against the Sun Devils.
The Utes (7-4) are receiving votes in the AVCA Coaches' Poll and are 3-2 at home this season. Three of Utah's four losses came in multiple sets against ranked teams in Kansas, Purdue and San Diego. The team also fell to in-state rival BYU last Thursday in four sets. Madelyn Robinson leads the outside with 143 kills, averaging 4.21 per set while hitting .260. Libero Vanessa Ramirez is against 4.16 digs per set while KJ Burgess holds down the front with 1.27 blocks per set.
ASU (6-6) is coming into Boulder without a road win in three tries. The Sun Devils have losses to Toledo, Georgia Tech, CSU, Baylor, SMU and Texas Tech. Arizona State did defeat a similar opponent in FIU in four sets.
ASU is led by Iman Isanovic with 150 kills alongside Marta Levinska with 143. They are a strong serving team averaging 1.66 aces per set with five athletes with double-digit aces. Jaden Ravnsborg leads the team with 3.3 digs per set, while upfront it is a split duty with four athletes with 21 or more blocks.