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The University of Colorado women’s volleyball team lost their 17th straight match in a 3-1 loss to No. 7 California (25-23, 20-25, 25-15, 25-20). Despite continuing their losing streak, the Buffs made many positive moves.
“People respect us now, we are Colorado,” said junior Kerra Schroeder. “We’re taking games off the top teams in the nation.”
Colorado has now taken 5 sets from their opponents, all coming in the last three weeks against some of the top teams in the conference.
“It felt good,” said sophomore Nikki Lindow, “The atmosphere felt good on the floor, but we are going to keep working hard as we can and that will be a ‘W’ by the end of the day.”
Colorado came out fast in the Saturday afternoon match. Schroeder recorded blocks for the first two points of the game.
“We fought, obviously,” Schroeder said. “There were nervous about us too you could tell. Our game plan was pretty solid.”
The Buffs were up by as much as five, 7-2, early in the set before Cal responded. They tied the game at ten apiece and it remained close until the latter stages of the opening set. The Golden Bears won a rally to take a 20-19 lead and never let go. They held off the Buffs for a 25-23 victory.
Undeterred by the opening set the Buffs jumped out to another lead, this time 11-7. Colorado continued to play well as they pushed the lead to seven at 16-9. Support from a 2,060 person pro-Buffalo crowd and some sloppy play by the Bears helped the Buffs retain momentum.
“Also I think the altitude messed with Cal,” said Lindow, “They are not used to this. A lot of errors benefited us.”
The Bears committed an uncharacteristic 17 errors in the opening two sets. Schroeder added four to her team’s 16 kills in the second set as the Buffs took the set 25-20 heading into intermission.
Rich Feller, a volleyball coach with a history of winning, lit a spark into his players as the Bears came out firing on all cylinders for the third set. The Bears took the initial point and never allowed the Buffs to gain any sort of traction. Junior Correy Johnson racked up eight kills in the set for the Bears as Cal took it handily 25-15.
“Johnson’s hitting efficiency was fantastic,” said CU head coach Liz Kritza. “We didn’t have an answer for her, and we tried to match up our line-up a little bit so we could get a stronger block on her, but it’s a combination of the match-up we had on the block and also that we weren’t aggressive with our serving.”
Cal also took the fourth set, 25-20, to win the match.
The Buffs, now 5-20 (0-17, Pac-12) say they are starting to see improvement.
“It’s a glimpse of greatness every single time so we know we can do it,” Schroeder said.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Andy McDonnell at Andrew.firstname.lastname@example.org.