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Of the entire CU varsity teams faced with adjusting to a new conference, the volleyball team may have it the worst.
As newbies to the Pac-12 Conference, the Buffs are seeing six nationally ranked opponents, including UCLA at the No. 2 spot.
On Sunday afternoon at the Coors Events Center, UCLA got the best of Colorado, taking the victory in three sets (25-18, 25-16, 25-20).
Junior Kerra Schroeder led the offense with 19 kills, while sophomore Nikki Lindow and freshman Emily Alexis added five and three, respectively.
Colorado committed only 14 hitting errors while forcing 17 errors for UCLA. The Buffs were outhit, though, recording a .163 percentage compared to the Bruins’ .308.
On the defensive end, sophomore Megan Beckwith stood out with 15 digs, and Michelle Miller had 27 assists.
The Buffs started strong in the first set, building a 6-1 lead. The Bruins gradually closed that gap, though, tying the set at 7-7. While CU gained the upper hand again at 12-10, UCLA responded with force, eventually winning the set 25-18.
The Bruins had momentum on their side going into the second set as they formed a 15-5 advantage. CU rallied with a 7-3 run, closing the gap to just six points at 18-12. UCLA protected their lead, however, taking seven of the next 11 points to win the set 25-16.
The third set was close, with the score tied five times. Colorado began the set with a 5-3 lead, but UCLA tied the score quickly at 6-6. The two teams remained neck in neck until UCLA pulled away at 12-9. After that, the Bruins did not give up the advantage and took the set 25-20 for the overall victory.
Head coach Liz Kritza said in a news release that she is proud of the effort her players have shown against tough competition. The match against UCLA is Colorado’s fifth with a ranked opponent and fourth against a top-five team in six matches.
“We have the ability to play competitively with teams at this level,” Kritza said. “It’s just a matter of consistency.”
With the loss, CU’s record drops to 5-10 overall and 0-7 in the Pac-12. UCLA is now 13-2 overall and 6-1 in conference play.
The Buffs leave the Coors Events Center for the first time in four matches next weekend, heading west to take on No. 3 Washington on Friday and Washington State on Saturday. Both matches are scheduled for 8 p.m. MST. CQ!
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Caryn Maconi at Caryn.email@example.com.