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CU volleyball fell to No. 1 Nebraska Saturday night in a stadium surprisingly filled with fans wearing red.
Huge numbers of Cornhusker fans came out to support their team at Coors Events Center, making for the second-largest crowd in CU volleyball history, with 3,708 in attendance. In the end, the 2006 National Champion Cornhuskers proved to be too much.
“It felt so good to be out there tonight,” said middle blocker and junior accounting major Lauren Schaefer. “It hasn’t felt that way since we played Cal earlier this year. I guess playing teams in the top ten always gets us excited.”
Despite losing to the Huskers for the third straight time, middle blocker and freshman marketing major Schylur Edelman said the Buffs had a great time.
“We came out tonight and we played with intensity,” Edelman said. “There is no reason we should immortalize Nebraska. They’re just like any other team and I think we played really well against them.”
Edelman led the Buffs with ten kills, followed closely by Schaefer’s nine. The Huskers played better on the attack with three players posting at least 12 kills.
The Buffs also had trouble blocking Nebraska’s shots, allowing 58 kills with only 36 of their own.
“Overall we are a much shorter team, which makes it hard to get up and make those big blocks,” Schaefer said.
In addition to practicing their blocks, CU wants to work on bringing a stronger offensive attack.
“We need to be a lot more aggressive with our shots,” Edelman said. “We’ve been working a lot on hitting around the block, and I think we are getting better at that.”
After an explosive 16-8 start in the first game, the Buffs began to lose momentum. Head coach Pi’i Aiu said the turning point of the match came after a scoring run by Nebraska tied the first game at 20.
“We got a little tentative after that,” Aiu said. “We started thinking too much about what Nebraska was trying to do to us rather than thinking about our own play.”
The Buffs sit at 5-9 almost halfway through the season, with a 0-6 record in the Big 12. Aiu said a win at Kansas next week will be a key part of turning the season around.
“We need to play a bit better in the clutch,” Aiu said. “We’ve got to find some wins in this first half of the season before we think about the second half.”
Both Edelman and Schaefer said they had fun and felt positive about the team’s play against Nebraska at home in front of an energized crowd.
“Pi’i always reminds us that the reason we all play volleyball is because we just love playing the game,” Edelman said. “Ultimately, we are out there to have fun.”
CU’s next game will be at Kansas on Oct. 10, with their next home game on Oct. 17 against Iowa State.
Contact Campus Press Staff Writer Amanda Walck at Amanda.email@example.com