BOULDER - Senior Anicia Santos and junior Kerra Schroeder earn recorded 13 kills to help the University of Colorado volleyball team defeat Northern Colorado 3-2 (13-25, 25-19, 25-28, 19-25, 15-6) at the Coors Events Center on Sunday afternoon. The Buffs improved to 2-1 on the season with the win, while UNC dropped to 1-2 overall.
"I was pleased with our overall team effort tonight," coach Liz Kritza said. "We showed great progress from last season, and that we were able to rebound when the chips were stacked against us. I think that this is a testament to the players as being a little more mature and experiences and the great attitude this team is showing.
"Northern Colorado was a very good defensive team and I'm sure they will have a very successful season moving forward. They did a good job of really making us push our in-system offense to be able to score points."
Santos hit .414 to lead CU and she also led the Buffs with seven blocks. Freshman Kelsey English finished a great first weekend with 10 more kills while hitting .409 and added six blocks. In total CU recorded 11.0 team blocks compared to UNC's 8.5.
"Anicia came up with a solid performance on both sides of the ball and it was nice to see Kelsey English continue to develop as an offensive threat tonight," Kritza said. "I saw progress in our blocking but we must work for a much greater consistency as we prepare for our upcoming opponents."
The Buffs recorded 58 digs and were led by sophomore Megan Beckwith with 18. Schroeder added 13 digs for her second double-double of the season in just three contests.
The first set started out with the two teams exchanging points until the Bears took an 11-8 lead. It was a lead that UNC wouldn't let go of as CU's offense would only put five more points on the board in the frame. The Buffs hit just .188 in the set with nine kills and three errors on 32 attacks. UNC put down 16 kills on 27 error-free attempts to hit .593.
UNC took the first three points to start the second set, but then the Buffs caught fire and scored the next six points. CU would never trail in the set again as it would go on win 25-19. Neither team hit very well in the set. CU hit just .106 but was able to hold the Bears to just .023.
The Buffs took the lead to start the third set, taking a 13-8 lead over the Bears. UNC would try to claw its way back in the frame, but the Buffs extended their lead to 21-14 and would go on to take it 25-17. CU hit .414 in the set, hammering 14 kills and just two errors on 29 swings, and held UNC to just .182 (13 kills and seven errors on 33 attacks).
The fourth set started out close until UNC took a three-point lead at 12-9 and then extended it to 19-13. The Buffs started to make a comeback, scoring the next three points to get within three, but then UNC rattled off four in a row to go back up 23-16. The Bears went on to take the set 25-19. CU hit just .171 while UNC hit .364.
The final set was all Buffs as CU took an 8-1 lead to start the race to 15. The Buffs finished the set with a 7-5 run (15-6). They recorded seven kills in the frame, while UNC committed eight errors.
"It's nice to pick up our first home win of the season and we look forward to defending our home court with a couple of tough matches this season," Kritza said.
The Buffs will host the Slovenian National Team on Friday, Sept. 2 at 7 p.m. and Albany on Sunday, Sept. 4 at 2 p.m. And don't forget to check out the latest news and highlights with coach Kritza on This Week in Colorado Volleyball, exclusively on BuffsTV at CUBuffs.com/volleyball. New shows air every Tuesday.