Buffaloes Bounce Back At Home
BOULDER — The University of Colorado women's volleyball team defeated UCLA in four sets (25-23, 18-25, 25-15, 26-24), sweeping the season series over the Bruins for the first time in team history.
The Buffs (14-7, 6-5 Pac12) took down the Bruins (10-10, 4-7 Pac12) while committing seven less errors and recording five more total blocks.
Meegan Hart had an amazing night on both ends as she racked up 12 total kills while hitting an impressive .455. She ranked second in blocks among all players with five. Lexi Hadrych had a great all-around performance as well with 12 kills, four blocks and five digs.
"I want to give credit to our passing," Hart said. "They did an excellent job passing at putting the ball up. Our setters were putting me in a great position. I tried to do my job and put the ball away. Overall, I had fun and a shout-out to my teammates."
Maya Tabron led the Buffs in kills which she also did in the first meeting between the two teams this season. She had 14 kills to go along with her seven digs and single block. Brynna DeLuzio recorded a double-double as she totaled 15 assists and 12 digs while committing zero errors.
The Buffs' defense held the Bruins under a .136 hitting percentage in three of the four sets which seemed to be the difference maker tonight.
"Obviously it was good when getting the season sweep on UCLA," Colorado head coach Jesse Mahoney said. "So, we're really excited about that. And UCLA's a really good team, really athletic. And I'm really happy with how we executed, how we defended, how we blocked. I think it was a little bit of a tough night for us offensively from time to time. We hit below 200, but we held them below 150."
Colorado will face off against Southern California on Sunday at noon to close out the weekend.
HOW IT HAPPENED
SET ONE: Colorado scored five unanswered points to start the set before UCLA responded with a scoring streak of its own to tie things at 5-5. Both teams kept trading kills back-and-forth before CU put together a 6-0 run to take a 13-7 lead. At the first media timeout, while leading 15-9, the Buffs were outhitting the Bruins .261 to .043. Shortly after the break, Colorado continued its solid play as Tabron racked up her third kill of the night to go up 20-14. An attack error by UCLA led the Bruins to take their first timeout of the set while trailing 22-15. CU reached set point following another UCLA attack error. The Bruins stormed back to cut their deficit to just two at 24-22 and force a Buffs timeout. Hadrych's fourth kill of the night put an end to UCLA's five-point scoring run as Colorado took the set 25-23.
SET TWO: After being tied at 7-all, CU took a one-point lead following a strong kill from Jill Schneggenburger. The Buffs and Bruins found themselves in a close set while tied at 12-12. UCLA held a 15-12 advantage, going on a three-point scoring run capped off by Anna Dodson's sixth kill after a long rally. The Bruins kept a three-point lead to 19-16 before Colorado decided to take it first timeout of the set. UCLA extended its lead to six and reached set point. The Bruins won the set 25-18 following Dodson's seventh total kill while hitting .357.
SET THREE: The Buffs went on a four-point scoring run, taking the lead at 6-3 after trailing in the beginning of the set. The three-point lead continued before Colorado went on another 4-0 run to go up 13-7. While up 15-10, CU had a .407 hitting percentage at the media timeout. A long rally resulted in a point for the Bruins, but a game challenge overturned the call and credited Alexia Kuehl with her fourth block. UCLA called a timeout while trailing by eight at 20-12. Out of the break, Kuehl picked up another block to give the Buffs a 10-point lead at 23-13. Kuehl then recorded a kill, leading to Colorado set point. CU won the set 25-15 after Hart finished things off with her eighth kill of the match.
"We were just saying, 'Let's get our energy up. Let's talk as much as we can,' Hadrych said. "And honestly, we just started clicking on every aspect that we could. Our sets and passing was great. And blocking was out of this world. I think it was a great nigh energy wise. We managed to get that out of like a quiet second set and just fished it as loud as we could."
SET FOUR: UCLA started the set off fast with two three-point scoring runs separated by a kill from Hart. Colorado called an early timeout while trailing 6-1. The Buffs stormed back to tie it at 7-7 on three unanswered points. Later on, the Bruins took a three-point lead at 15-12 following an attack error from Schneggenburger. A UCLA error followed by back-to-back blocks by Colorado tied everything a 16 all. The tie continued to 19-19 before the Bruins took a 21-19 lead, forcing CU to take its second and final timeout of the set. The Buffs wasted no time getting back into the game after the timeout as they went on a 3-0 scoring run to go up 22-21. After UCLA tied it again, Tabron picked up her 14th kill of the night. UCLA's Charitie Luper then picked up her 16th kill to tie it at 23 all. CU reached set point at 25-24 following a kill from Hart. An attack error by the Bruins gave Colorado the set at 26-24 as the Buffs won the match.
"We did what we needed to do to win in that fourth set," Mahoney said. "We gave up an early lead, but caught them towards the end and made some really nice play. So really great win. I think coming off the first half, it's good to start the second half inn a positive way and we get a great team (USC) here on Sunday."