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The previously undefeated CU volleyball team did not go down without a fight Wednesday night in their showdown against rival Colorado State that ended in a 3-1 loss.
Now 6-1, the Buffs took the No. 21 ranked Rams to four close sets, 23-25, 23-25, 25-19 and 16-25.
Sophomore middle blocker Schylur Edelman led the Buffs with 13 kills and eight blocks. Her teammates, Amber Sutherland and Lauren Schaefer added 11kills and nine kills respectively.
CSU took an early lead in the first set, going up 11-6, but the Buffs were able to tie the game up at 18. The tie did not last long, however, as the Rams took control and finished the set with a two-point victory.
In the second set, the Buffs got their first lead of the game when they went up 8-6 over the Rams. CU lead nearly the entire set until CSU sophomore out-side hitter Jacque Davisson served for six consecutive points to win the game 25-23.
Head coach Pi’i Aiu said the team is just a few steps away from following games through to the end.
“I’m very encouraged,” Aiu said. “In the locker room between games two and three, all of the talk was positive. The kids are doing a good job, but at some point you have to stop talking and go out and finish a game.”
Senior right side hitter Alex Buth said the second game was a turning point in the match.
“I think if we could have won [the second game], it would have been a different match,” Buth said. “Mentally, we weren’t there as much as we were during the third game. The second game was really a bubble burster.”
Despite their struggle at the end of the second game, the Buffs came out for the third set and aced the first point. The set was point for point until CU took the lead at 9-6 and stayed on top to finish 25-19.
In the final game, the Buffs fought to keep the Rams off, but couldn’t keep them down after they went up 15-18. The match ended at 16-25.
Aiu said the players need to work on the mental aspects of their game.
“We have to learn to finish matches,” Aiu said. “Under pressure, we have to learn to make plays. I think we can play the game and physically, I think we can play with a lot of teams in the country, but mentally we have to be tougher.”
CU goes up against No. 8 Florida on Thursday, and North Carolina on Saturday to finish up the Colorado Invitational. Both games will begin at 6:30 p.m.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Kelly Kirksey at firstname.lastname@example.org.