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The CU volleyball team finished its non-conference season 10-2 after a win against the Air Force Academy on Thursday and two wins at the CU Invitational on Saturday.
The 10-2 start ties the third best start in Buffs history; CU was also 10-2 in 1992. The best CU start is 13-1, which was in 1998.
CU head coach Liz Kritza said she is proud of her team’s record thus far as they have faced a lot of challenges already.
“To go 10-2 in the non-conference is a big change for this program because we did face some adversity early on and they responded,” Kritza said.
Buffs pull out five set win against Air Force
The Buffs were challenged on Thursday night against the Air Force Academy Falcons.
The match went into five sets, with the Buffs pulling out the win to give them a 4-0 record versus the Air Force Academy.
It was full of suspense, with three of the five sets requiring extra points (37-35, 28-26, 24-26, 21-25, 15-12).
The Falcons started the first set strong and went up 16-14 to start the match. CU would come back to tie the score at 16 and then would take the lead at 20-19. The Buffs had set point (24-23) before the Falcons took the next two points to get their own set point. Both teams fought back and forth until the Buffs eventually won it 37-35 with a kill from Alexis Austin.
The Buffs won the second set 28-26, but Air Force fought back and won the third and fourth sets.
The fifth set was also close, with the Buffs leading 8-7 at the side change. The Buffs added two more points to their score (10-7) before the Falcons called timeout. Air Force answered with a 4-1 run to tie the set at 11. The game would be tied again two points later at 12-12, but the Buffs finished the set and the match with the next three points (15-12).
Win streak continues at CU Invitational
At the CU Invitational in Boulder on Saturday, the Buffs took down both California State University Bakersfield and Norfolk State University.
In the first match of the day against the CSUB Roadrunners, Nikki Lindow led the way for the Buffs. She pounded 14 kills with only three errors on 25 attacks. She was also strong at the net with nine block assists.
The Buffs took an 11-3 lead to start the match and extended it to 17-8 before the Roadrunners put together a 5-0 run to cut the advantage to 17-13. CSUB got within two points at 21-19, but CU would finish it there, ending it with four straight points (25-19).
The second set started close and was tied at 10 before CSUB went on a 6-1 run. The Roadrunners would close the second set 25-23.
The Roadrunners got an early lead in the third set (15-7) and were able to use that lead to win that set 25-19. CU fought hard in the fourth set to win it 25-13 and push it to a fifth set.
The Buffs led 8-7 at the side change in the fifth set. CSUB used its first timeout of the set when CU led 10-9. The Buffs were up 13-11 when the Roadrunners used their second timeout. CSUB got within a point at 13-12 and then again at 14-13, but the Buffs finished the match 15-13.
CU has won all four five-set matches this year, and three of those were on the road.
The Buffs’ second match of the day was much easier, as they closed out their match against the Norfolk State Spartans easily in three sets (25-16, 25-22, 25-16).
Lindow and sophomore Ortiz Ruiz combined to hit .543 against the Spartans. Lindow had a match-best 11 kills and just one error on 17 swings (.588) and Ortiz Ruiz had 10 kills and one error on 18 attempts (.500).
The Buffs had a great start to the match, going up 12-7 in the first set. They increased their lead to 15-9 before Norfolk State was forced to call a timeout. Two aces by the Buffs helped them pull away (19-13), and they ended the set (25-16).
The Spartans came out strong in the second set with a 6-0 lead over the Buffs, forcing Kritza to call a timeout. CU fought back to a 14-14 tie, however, and eventually won the second set 25-23.
The Buffs took an early 11-6 lead in the third set before NSU called a timeout. The Spartans would take the next two points out of the timeout, but CU went on a stampede and recorded 8 points. This gave the Buffs a 19-9 advantage and forced NSU to call another timeout. The Buffs were ready to finish, though, and closed the set and match 25-16.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Jillian Arja at Jillian.email@example.com.