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The University of Colorado women’s volleyball team is recovering from a hard-hitting Baylor team.
The Buffs fell in straight sets: 25-13, 25-21 and 25-13.
The Buffs record falls to 5-9 overall and to 2-5 in the Big 12, and Baylor takes their record to 9-9 overall and to 3-4 in the Big 12.
CU Head Coach Liz Kritza said that the showing was not the teams finest but that they are continuing to build the program.
“We don’t get an easy night in this league,” Kritza said. “I reminded them what our purpose is and what our overall goal is and that’s continual improvement. Tonight we didn’t improve very much.”
Baylor ended the night with 47 kills, compared to the Buffs’ 29.
Injuries plagued the Colorado team, including freshman middle blocker Nikki Lindow, junior middle blocker Anicia Santos and junior outside hitter Richi Bigelow.
Sophomore outside hitter Kerra Schroeder was limited to an atypical six kills in the match.
Santos said the CU offensive could not stand up to Baylor’s offense.
“Baylor’s got a good offense,” Santos said. “They’re fast, and they know how to spread out the block.”
The first set started off very physical, and points were being exchanged continuously by both teams. However, slowly but surely, the Bears built a lead that would become insurmountable.
A block by junior setter Alyssa Valentine narrowed Baylor’s lead to 9-7. The Buffs came close again after a solid block by Santos put the Bears’ lead at 12-10.
CU called a timeout when the score was 14-10, and then, after straight points by the Bears, CU had to take another timeout when the score was 18-10.
The Buffs could not battle back and fell 25-13.
The Buffs really showed up in the second set. The score remained tight for most of the game, with 12 ties and five lead changes.
Three straight points by the Buffs, including a block and a kill by Lindow, tied the game up at 11. A kill by junior outside hitter Rosie Steinhaus gave the Buffs the lead at 14-13.
Later, the Buffs would pull the score to 20 all, after kills by Valentine and Schroeder. But the Buffs would end up dropping the set 25-21.
“It’s a little unfortunate that we lost momentum at the end of that set,” Santos said. “It made it that much harder to come back in the third set.”
The team that played so strong during the second set was nowhere in sight during the third.
The Bears went on a 10-3 run to start the set, and the Buffs never fully recovered.
A kill by Santos brought CU within seven at 13-6, and a kill by Schroeder brought them there again at 14-7. From then on, the Buffs could not get any closer and ended the set at 25-13.
Kritza said that the third set really demonstrated some of the inexperience of the young team by giving Baylor too many opportunities to score.
“I think it’s frustrating when they get down three or four points,“ Kritza said. “They’re playing catch-up the whole game because what ends up happening is players shoulder the burden when they need to.”
The team refuses to be discouraged. CU freshman libero/setter Elysse Richardson said that they will take this match as a learning experience, and the team’s competitive nature will help them win in the future.
“It’s all about learning,” Richardson said. “I think the more we learn and the more reps we get, we’re going to get better. I think you’ll see us progress drastically.”
The Buffs face Baylor again on Oct. 27, and hopefully the .
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Marlee Horn at email@example.com.