Colorado Sweeps No. 21 Washington
SEATTLE — The University of Colorado women's volleyball defeated No. 21 Washington (25-21, 26-24, 25-20) at Alaska Airlines Arena Friday night for the first time in program history.
Prior to Friday, the Buffaloes (18-9, 10-7 Pac-12) were on a six-game losing streak against the Huskies (19-9, 11-6 Pac-12).
The Buffs were led in kills by Lexi Hadrych who notched 13 and garnered a .478 attack percentage. Hadrych was trailed closely by Maya Tabron who had 11 kills and hit .370 and Meegan Hart who earned eight kills and hit .500.
The weakest aspect of Colorado's night was their serving game. The Buffs utilized tough service pressure to keep Washington on their toes and force the Huskies into a .231 attack percentage, holding them below their .288 season average. It was a high-risk, high-reward endeavor as the Buffs earned eight aces, yet handed UW 13 service errors. Despite having more errors than aces, CU's service pressure kept the Huskies out of system, allowing the Buffs to pick up 41 digs and four total blocks.
Colorado achieved an incredible .347 hitting percentage as Taylor Simpson earned 24 assists and Brynna DeLuzio earned 10.
The Buffs look to topple another top 25 ranked team in the form of No. 25 Washington State Sunday at 1 p.m. MT.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Colorado jumped out to an early 3-0 run on off of Katie Lougeay's serve, with Kelley Levaggi earning the squad's first kill of the match. The Buffs extended their lead to 7-2 off a kill from Hart. A couple of Buff errors, followed by a Marin Grote kill, put the Huskies back within one, but a kill by Hadrych downed the Huskies' hopes.
Hadrych remained consistent as her third kill of the set put the Buffs up 15-12 entering the media timeout. The Buffs' first block of the match also came from Hadrych and resulted in Washington using their first timeout at 17-13. DeLuzio quickly caused UW to call their second timeout at 20-14 as she garnered the Buffs' first ace.
From there, the Huskies managed to lessen the lead, but couldn't fully recover and the Buffs claimed the first set 25-21.
The second set was a dogfight from the very beginning. The Buffs and Huskies battled early and the two teams were tied at 8-8. Back-to-back kills by Tabron gave the Buffs their first two-point lead of the set, but the Huskies quickly responded with a pair of kills from Claire Hoffman and Grote.
A crucial challenge was called by Coach Mahoney in the second set. As a result, a net violation was ruled against the Huskies and the original call was overturned to tie the set 13-13.
CU took their first timeout at 18-14 as Hoffman notched her 10 kill of the match and the 1,500 kill of her career. The Buffs rebounded from the timeout with a Hadrych followed by a Jill Schneggenburger ace. A well-placed setter dump by Simpson forced the Huskies to call their first timeout at 17-18. Washington managed to recover after their pause and extended their lead to 21-18, but Tabron's fifth match kill ended the run.
The Buffs continued to gain momentum, and the Huskies used their second timeout at 22-21. A Buff service error gave Washington another two-point lead.
However, Colorado wasn't done making a comeback. Hadrych's eighth kill, followed by an ace from Tabron, gave the Buffs their first set point. Washington responded with a block on Hadrych to tie the set, but Hart's seventh kill gave the Buffs their second set point, and an ace by Hart closed out the set for the Buffs 26-24.
The Buffs took control early in the set and an ace by Tabron put the Buffs up by five at 7-2, causing the UW to take their first timeout.
From there, the Buffs extended their lead even further with a block by Alexia Kuehl, followed by a kill from Hadrych to put CU up 11-3. Kuehl's third kill of the match caused the Huskies to use their second timeout early at 12-4. Lougeay contributed to the Buff offense by earning the team's 11th ace at 15-7.
The Buffs were slightly stalled at point 18 as the Huskies went on a three-point serving run, but Hadrych's 11th kill broke the spell.
The Huskies began to collect themselves again toward the end of the set and managed to close the score within five at 23-18, forcing Colorado to use a timeout. Despite the pause, Washington kept possession with a kill from Hoffman. Then, the Buffs almost reached match point when a ball handling error was called, but the point was eventually revoked to keep Colorado at 23-19. CU achieved match point after a Washington service error. Washington used a challenge in the hopes to overturn the original "out" call, but the ruling held.
The Huskies held off the Buffs' first match point attempt, but a Tabron kill gave Colorado its first victory over the Huskies while in Washington at 25-21.
Head Coach Jesse Mahoney
On The Defeating The Huskies In Washington For The First Time
"That's a very good team and, with playing on their home floor, I was really impressed with how consistent we were throughout the match. Unfortunately we didn't have Sterling tonight, but Kelley came in and did a really good job. I also thought both of our setters were excellent and that Lexi had some great kills at the right time. This was a huge win for our program and a huge win for our NCAA hopes this year as well."
On Playing Washington State Next
"Traditionally, I'd say this has been the toughest road trip for us. We have had some really great road wins this season, and we feel like we can beat any team that we play. So, we're going to punch our ticket to Pullman and play our hearts out."
Outside hitter Lexi Hadrych
On The Excitement Of The Win
"I'm so excited. This team is so amazing, and we had it the entire time. Everybody was so confident and we just kept the energy up the whole match.
It's always hard after the first set when you win because you know the other team is going to come back stronger. They know what you hit like now. I think once we got into the third set, we knew our rhythm and we just kept going with it."
It's a big win since they're top 25, especially with sweeping them. It's a great feeling going into the next matches, not just for the rest of this weekend, but for next weekend too. I think it helps build the confidence that we're going to have."