BOULDER- After recording a 10-2 non-conference record, the University of Colorado volleyball team will open up the Pac-12 Conference schedule this week with matches against Utah (9-4) and California (6-4) at the Coors Events Center. The Buffs will host Utah on Wednesday, Sept. 19, at 8 p.m. and Cal on Saturday, Sept. 22, at 7 p.m.
The match on Wednesday will be CU's first on the Pac-12 Mountain network. Chris Marlowe will handle the play-by-play duties and Amy Gant will provide the color commentary. Please check your local listings for the proper channel. Saturday's match will be on the Pac-12 Digital platform and will be free. Live stats for both matches are available at CUBuffs.com.
The Buffs will be looking for redemption against Utah after dropping their Pac-12 opener in three sets in 2011. They are off to the third best start in school history, tying the 10-2 record from the 1992 season. The only two losses of the season came in the second weekend at the Omni Hotels Colorado Volleyball Classic against Northern Arizona and Fresno State.
Nikki Lindow and Alexis Austin are leading the way for the Buffs this season with 2.69 kills per set. Each has played in 45 sets this year with 121 kills. Lindow is attacking at a .343 hitting percentage. Kelsey English has the best hitting efficiency on the team at .381, which is ninth in the conference, and is adding 2.16 kills per set. CU is averaging 13.00 kills per set this season while hitting .237. Nicole Edelman is averaging the league's seventh best assists per set mark with 9.59 and is leading CU at the service line with 17 aces this season, fourth in the Pac-12.
Defensively Elysse Richardson has a team-best 2.95 digs per set and Chelsey Keoho is averaging 2.09 digs per set. Edelman is also active in the back row with 2.07 digs per set. CU has out-dug its opponents this season with 12.60 digs per set to 11.51. At the net, Lindow has a team-best 1.49 blocks per set, fourth in the league. Ana Pantovic, who has played in 20 sets for the Buffs, is posting 1.15 blocks per set. English is also important for the Buffs in the front row with 0.84 blocks per set. The Buffs are putting up 2.52 blocks per set this year.
Utah has a 9-4 record entering the conference season. The Utes have won the last three matches after dropping the previous four of five contests. Utah has a 2-1 road record, losing in straight sets to BYU. Nine of their 13 matches have been decided in three sets with Utah winning seven of those matches.
Chelsey Schofield is the top offensive threat for the Utes and is averaging 3.46 kills per set. Morgan Odale ranks second on the team with 2.76 kills per set and is second with 2.46 digs per set. Nikki Sim is the top back row player for Utah, averaging 2.93 digs per set. Utah ranks second in the conference with 3.11 blocks per set and have two players with more than 1.00 blocks per set. Bailey Bateman ranks third in the Pac-12 with 1.55 blocks per set and Erin Redd is averaging 1.09 blocks per set.
The Cal Bears are 6-4 overall and are fresh off a 0-3 loss to San Francisco. The Bears are 1-2 away from Berkeley, Calif., also dropping a five-set match at San Diego State.
Cal has two athletes averaging more than 3.00 kills per set. Adrienne Gehan leads the Bears with 3.39 kills per set and Correy Johnson is adding 3.11 kills per set. Joan Caloiro is averaging 9.50 assists per set while leading Cal to a .221 hitting percentage. Kat Brown has the 10th best blocking percentage in the conference at 1.26 blocks per set to lead the Bears and Shannon Hawari is posting 1.13 blocks per set. In the back row Mary McKennon is picking up 3.95 digs per set and Caloiro adds 3.11 digs per set.
The Buffs are 3-4 all-time against the Utes, including a 2-1 record in Boulder. CU is 2-2 against Cal; 2-1 at the Coors Events Center.
Wednesday's match is CU Residence Hall and club volleyball night. The CU dorm with the best attendance at the match will receive $500 for its dorm and all kids who wear their club volleyball jersey will receive $1 admission. Tickets can be purchased for $5 for each match and season tickets are still available for just $25 at CUBuffs.com or by calling 303-49-BUFFS.