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The addition of defensive specialist Kristen Karlik to the CU Volleyball team has boosted the team’s defense this season.
Karlik, a junior transfer from Colorado State University, recorded 18 digs against Texas Tech on Saturday to lead the Buffs in a victory. She leads the team in digs with 248 this season.
“We are really focused on staying healthy and making sure we are ready to play,” Karlik said. “It’s about coming together as a team.”
While at CSU, she tallied 524 digs. She was on the Mountain West Conference Championship team in 2003 and 2004. However, she felt that CSU was not the right place for her.
“CSU wasn’t the place for me because it wasn’t the right fit,” Karlik said.” I also had a lot of connections at Colorado.”
In 2005, the Buffs averaged 13.25 digs per game. There were no players who averaged more than 3 digs per game in a match. But with the addition of Karlik, the Buffs’ defense averages 14.5 digs per game with Karlik averaging 3.9 digs per game.
The transfer from CSU to CU was a bit difficult at first, Karlik said.
“There is always a period of adjustment to a new place, but I had already been coached by assistant Erik Sullivan, so that made it easier,” Karlik said.
She said another reason she decided to come to CU was that she could see a lot of playing time this season as a starter.
“Always helps to know where your place is,” she said. “I wouldn’t have gone to a team where there were five players in my position.”
According to CUBuffs.com, Head Coach Pi’i Aiu said earlier this season that “she’s a great teammate” and a “real good communicator.”
Last week against Baylor, the team made a come-from-behind victory with Karlik recording 20 digs.
“We showed a lot of heart coming from behind in the fourth and fifth game,” Karlik said. “Everyone put it on the line.”
After playing Baylor and Texas Tech last week, the Buffs will continue its Texan opponent streak with games against Texas A&M and Texas this week.
The team is 11-7 overall and 7-4 in the Big 12 Conference. The team will face Texas, which they lost to earlier this season, in Boulder on Saturday, Oct. 28.