FULLERTON, Calif. - The University of Colorado volleyball team had to go the distance but was able to defeat the University of Montana Grizzlies 3-2 at Titan Gym on Saturday afternoon.
CU had to play extra points in two of the three sets it won to secure the victory. Set scores were 21-25, 29-27, 25-14, 19-25 and 18-16. This was the second match for the Buffs at the Crowne Plaza Fullerton Titan Classic. They face Cal State Fullerton to close the tournament at 7:30 p.m. (PT)
Sophomore Kerra Schroeder recorded 20 or more kills in a match for the second consecutive match and also earned her first double-double of the season with 20 kills and 15 digs. Freshman Megan Beckwith picked up 30 digs to lead the Buffs defensively, becoming the first Buff since 2007 to reach that milestone.
Junior Anicia Santos hit a match-high .414, recording 15 kills and three errors on 29 swings. Freshman Nikki Lindow hammered 13 kills (.243) and put up three block assists. Junior Richi Bigelow also had a nice match for CU, picking up a double-double with 11 kills and 15 digs.
The Buffs hit .209 as a team with 68 kills and 25 errors on 206 attacks. Junior Alyssa Valentine and sophomore Michelle Miller spilt time in the match setting for CU. Valentine handed out 39 assists and Miller recorded 22. Each picked up seven digs as well.
Colorado also picked up 100 team digs in the contest for the first time since 2000. Freshman Elysse Richardson had a career-high 17 digs to add to the total. Every player on the floor recorded at least one digs in the win. The Buffs held Montana to a .179 attack percentage with 58 kills and 23 errors on 196 swings.
The Buffs took a five-point lead in the first set at 11-6, but the Grizzlies clawed their way back in the set to get within a point at 17-16. Montana tied the score up at 18 and then put together a 5-1 run to take a 23-19 lead. CU came back with two straight points, but the Grizzlies fired back to take the next two points and close the set out at 25-21. The Buffs hit just .140 in the set with 12 kills and six errors on 43 tries while UM hit .244 with 14 kills and four errors on 41 attempts.
CU once again got out to an 11-6 start in the second set. Off of a UM timeout, the Grizzlies took five of the next six points to get within a point of CU at 12-11. UM tied it up at 13 and then took a two-point lead at 15-13 before the Buff s could tie it back up at 16. Colorado took back the lead at 18-17, but once again the score was tied at 21. From that point the two teams fought tooth and nail and had to use extra points to win the set. CU won the frame at 29-27 after a pair of kills from Bigelow and Schroeder. The Buffs hit slightly better (.169) and hammered 18 kills. UM hit .200 with 15 kills.
Colorado took a 6-2 lead to start the third set. The Grizzlies got within a pair of points at 11-9, but then CU put together a 9-2 run to take a commanding 20-11 lead, forcing UM to use a timeout. After that, the Buffs kept the momentum on their side and took the next four points to get to set point. Montana fought off the following three set points before Schroeder and Lindow stuffed the UM attack to win the set 25-14. CU's offense hit .393 in the set with 12 kills and just one error on 28 attacks and the defense held the Grizzlies to below .000 at -.067 (seven kills and nine errors on 30 swings).
The fourth set started out with four straight points for the Grizzlies before CU got on the board. The Buffs rallied back to tie the score at 7. UM used a 5-1 run to take a 12-8 lead, but then CU strung together the next six points and a 14-12 lead. The two teams were again tied up at 16. UM took the lead at 18-17, forcing Kritza to use a timeout. After the timeout, the Grizzlies took the next six points to take a 24-17 lead in the set. Santos and Schroeder each hammered a kill to fight off two set points before UM closed the set at 25-19. CU was held to a .179 attack percentage, recording just 13 kills with six errors on 39 swings. The Grizzlies hit .220 (12 kills, three errors and 41 attacks).
The Buffs got on the board first in the final set, taking the first three points in the race to 15. UM fired back to take the following six points and the lead before CU took the next two points to get within a point at 6-5. The teams traded points until CU took two-in-a-row to tie the set at 9. CU took a 15-14 lead but UM wasn't going to let them win that easily, tying the set at 15. After exchanging another two points, CU finished off the set 18-16 with kills from Bigelow and Santos.
CSUF will provide free audio broadcasts and live stats of Fullerton matches only. The link for live audio is http://client.stretchinternet.com/client/csf.portal and live stats are available at fullertontitans.com.
And don't forget to check out the latest news and highlights with coach Liz Kritza on the Buffalo Stampede Volleyball Show, exclusively on BuffsTV at CUBuffs.com/volleyball. New shows air every Tuesday.