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The CU women’s volleyball team fought hard for the second night in a row, but suffered the same result as they lost to the No. 8 ranked University of Florida Gators, 3-1.
The Buffs, who played their second ranked opponent in as many nights fell 22-25, 20-25, 25-22, and 18-25.
Senior Alex Buth led all players with 16 kills and contributed 10 digs. Senior Lauren Schaefer had 11 kills while Emilee Sisco and Amber Sutherland each added eight.
It was also the second night in a row where the Buffs came out of the locker room strong for the third set, but not for the first.
Senior Callie Webster, who led the team with 11 digs, pointed to this as something that needs to be fixed.
“We need to start better,” Webster said. “We have been coming out and going down in the first game of the first match, and I think its important to come out of the locker room really pumped up to start that confidence. We haven’t been doing that well. We come out of the locker room really well the second time and the third game, but we need to start that from the beginning, so that is a change we need to make.”
The Buffs didn’t lead once in the first two sets.
They were tied as late as 14-14 after a slow start in the first set. Both teams were back and forth, with the Gators winning the set 25-22.
During the second set, the Gators won 25-20. The Buffs hurt themselves with 11 errors in the second set and 31 for the match. Florida limited themselves to only 18 errors total.
The Buffs came out strong and jumped all over the Gators in the third set, at one point leading 19-13. The Gators pulled within two before a late timeout. They then came out and took the next point on a spike by Emilee Sisco to win their only set 25-22.
The third set gave the Buffs some momentum going to the fourth set, but the Gators jumped out to a 7-2 lead and although the Buffs fought back, the Gators were never really challenged.
However, head coach Pi’i Aiu said he believes improvement will come from these two losses.
“We are taking a lot of positives out of these two matches,” Aiu said. “We have played two very nice teams and we played them pretty well. Obviously we would like a different result, but you can’t always control that. And we will keep trying to do the things that get us those results.”
Webster said the Buffs aren’t going to hang their heads as they prepare for Saturday.
“I think we are playing well, but a little confidence booster at this point would be nice,” Webster said. “Winning six matches and then losing two is tough. We are definitely hungry to win another one and get back on top.”
CU will look to break their short losing streak against the Tar Heels of North Carolina on Saturday night to conclude the CU Invitational. The game starts at 6:30.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Ryan Atherton at firstname.lastname@example.org.