BOULDER— The University of Colorado volleyball team will hit the road this weekend for a pair of matches against ranked opponents in Los Angeles. The Buffs will face off against No. 6 UCLA on Friday, Oct. 19 at 8 p.m. MT and will take on No. 7 USC on Sunday, Oct. 21, at 12 p.m. MT.
Sunday’s match will be broadcast on the Pac-12 Network. Anne Marie Anderson will once again handle the play-by-play duties and Holly McPeak will provide the color.
The Buffs are 13-7 overall this season and are tied for sixth in the Pac-12 with a 3-5 record. The Buffs spilt two matches last weekend at the Coors Events Center; earning a come-from-behind five-set victory against Arizona State and falling to Arizona in four sets.
Freshman outside hitter Alexis Austin is pacing CU with 2.96 kills per set this season. Junior middle blocker Nikki Lindow is second on the team with 2.25 kills per set and is hitting .279 this season. Sophomore Kelsey English is attacking at a team-best .331. Freshman setter Nicole Edelman has directed the Buffs to a .213 hitting percentage and has passed out 9.49 assists per set this year, which is sixth in the conference.
Junior Elysse Richardson and freshman Chelsey Keoho are averaging 2.48 digs per set. CU has been a force at the net, recording 2.38 blocks per set. Lindow leads CU with 1.41 blocks per set, which is 22nd in the NCAA and fifth in the conference. Sophomore middle blocker Kelsey English is just below 1.00 blocks per set (0.83).
UCLA has recorded a 13-4 record this season and tied for fourth in the Pac-12 standings with a 5-3 record. The Bruins are currently ranked sixth in the AVCA Coaches Poll. They are 4-0 at home this season which includes four three-set sweeps.
The Bruins are attacking at the second best clip in the Pac-12 at .297 and have two hitters in the top-five of the league. Karsta Lowe is second in the conference (.392) and Zoe Nightingale ranks fifth (.370). UCLA averages 14.52 kills per set, third in the Pac-12. Tabi Love is recorded the fifth best individual total at 4.21 kills per set and Rachael Kidder is ninth with 3.98 kills per set. Megan Moenoa has handed out 10.62 assists per set this year, which ranks fourth in the conference.
Bojana Todorovic is the Bruin’s defensive leader with 3.93 digs per set to rank seventh in the Pac-12. The team is averaging 14.00 digs per set. The Bruins are also posting 2.81 block per set behind Nightingale’s 1.40 blocks per set. Mariana Aquino is second on the team with 0.92 blocks per set.
The Trojans are 17-3 this season and are tied for fourth in the Pac-12 with a 5-3 record. USC is 9-1 at home this season. The only losses the Trojans have this year have come to top-eight opponents: No. 8 Oregon, No. 5 Washington and No. 4 Stanford. They are currently ranked seventh in the AVCA Coaches Poll.
USC is lead by Samantha Bricio, who ranks eighth in the conference with 4.09 kills per set. The team is averaging the second best mark in the Pac-12 at 14.68 kills per set. The Trojans are hitting .263 (fifth in the league) and Alexis Olgard leads USC at .353 (seventh in the Pac-12). Hayley Crone is directing the offense with 11.36 assists per set, which is third in the conference. She is also serving up the eighth best service aces in the league at 0.30.
Defensively the Trojans are led by Natalie Hagglund. She ranks second in the conference with 4.65 digs per set. Bricio is second on the team with 2.45 digs per set. At the net, USC is averaging 2.29 blocks per set. Olgard has recorded 1.00 blocks per set and Natasa Silijkovic adds 0.93 blocks per set.
UCLA leads the all-time series against the Buffs 5-0 and USC has a 2-0 edge against the Buffs.