BOULDER- The University of Colorado volleyball team will begin a four-match homestand this weekend against Washington State and No. 2 Washington. The Buffs will host the WSU Cougars on Friday, Oct. 5, at 6:30 p.m. and the No. 4 UW Huskies on Sunday, Oct. 7, at 3 p.m. at the Coors Events Center.
Both matches this weekend will be broadcast regionally on the Pac-12 Network. Chris Marlowe will once again handle the play-by-play duties and legendary volleyball coach Al Scates will provide the color.
The Buffs are off to an 11-5 start, 1-3 in Pac-12 play. They started the conference schedule with a convincing sweep of Utah at the Coors Events Center on Sept. 19 before falling in five-sets to Cal on Sept. 22. The Buffs dropped two matches last weekend in Oregon and are looking to bounce back this weekend at home.
Freshman outside hitter Alexis Austin is pacing CU with 2.80 kills per set this season. Junior middle blocker Nikki Lindow is second on the team with 2.43 kills per set and is hitting .310 this season. Freshman setter Nicole Edelman has directed the Buffs to a .216 hitting percentage and has passed out 9.24 assists per set this year, which is eighth in the conference.
Junior libero Elysse Richardson is averaging 2.79 digs per set and freshman defensive specialist Chelsey Keoho is averaging 2.19 digs per set. CU has been a force at the net, recording 2.53 blocks per set. Lindow leads CU with 1.48 blocks per set, which is 11th in the NCAA and third in the conference. Sophomore middle blocker Kelsey English is just below 1.00 blocks per set (0.88).
Washington State has started this season with a 10-6 record and is 0-4 in conference action. The Cougars played three of the same non-conference opponents as CU: CSU Bakersfield, Norfolk State and Air Force. WSU, as well as the Buffs, defeated all three of those teams.
WSU's top attacker is Jaicee Harris, who is averaging the fifth best mark in the conference (4.24 kills per set). Rachel Todorovich adds 3.02 kills per set while hitting .290. The Cougars are attacking at a .245 hitting efficiency. Camryn Irwin's 10.31 assists per set rank sixth in the Pac-12.
The Cougars are posting one of the best blocks in the Pac-12 this year, averaging the third highest mark at 3.06 blocks per set. Macelina Glab is fourth in the conference with 1.47 blocks per set and Ver'Leea Hardaway is eighth in the Pac-12 with 1.27 blocks per set. Kate Somer leads WSU in digs per set with 3.75 (seventh in the conference). Harris is also active in the back row with 2.18 digs per set.
The Huskies are one of two remaining teams in the NCAA that are still undefeated. They are currently tied at second in the AVCA Division I Coaches Poll with Oregon, which is also 13-0 this season. Washington has taken care of its opponents in quick fashion this year as 10 of the 13 matches have been decided in three sets. Only once this year has UW needed to go five sets, which was against then-No. 4 UCLA.
UW is hitting .309 collectively, which is second in the Pac-12. Kylin Munoz (.355) and Kaleigh Nelson (.344) rank ninth and 10th, respectively, in the league. Krista Vansant is averaging the league's sixth best kills per set total (4.12) and Munoz is second on the team with 2.47 kills per set. Jenny Nogueras and Katy Beals are directing UW's offense. Nogueras is averaging 6.10 assists per set and Beals adds 5.64 assists per set.
The Huskies are putting up 3.09 blocks per set to rank second in the Pac-12 this season. Amanda Gil is posting 1.37 blocks per set (fifth in the conference) and Lianna Subeldon ranks 10th in the league with 1.24 blocks per set. The Huskies are 12th in the conference with 11.88 digs per set. Jenna Orlandini is averaging a team-best 3.67 digs per set.
The Buffs lead the all-time series against WSU (2-1). Washington has a 4-1 advantage in series against CU.
Friday night's match against Washington State is CU Faculty and Staff night so all faculty and staff will get in free with a valid BuffOne Card. After Sunday's match against Washington, the Buffs will host a free clinic for all kids 13 and under.
Tickets can be purchased for $5 (adults) and $2 (13 and under) for each match and season tickets are still available for just $25 at CUBuffs.com or by calling 303-49-BUFFS.