BOULDER— The University of Colorado volleyball team is set to host the 2012 Omni Hotels Colorado Volleyball Classic this Friday and Saturday, August 31-September 1, at the Coors Events Center. The Buffs will host Cornell, Fresno State and Northern Arizona.
There will be three matches on each day. Friday’s schedule will begin at 11 a.m. with a contest between Cornell and Fresno State. At 4 p.m. Fresno State will return to the court to play Northern Arizona. The final match of the day will be at 7 p.m. between Colorado and Cornell. Saturday’s action will start at 11 a.m. with the Buffs facing off against Northern Arizona. Cornell and Northern Arizona square off at 4 p.m. and the final match of the tournament is set for 7 p.m. between the Buffs and Fresno State.
Admission will be free for the entire tournament and the first 200 fans to the 7 p.m. match on Friday will receive a mini volleyball.
Colorado is undefeated (3-0) to start the season for the first time since 2008. The Buffs won the Sam Houston Invitational last weekend with wins against Texas Southern (3-0), Louisiana (3-0) and Sam Houston State (3-2). Freshmen Alexis Austin and Nicole Edelman, along with sophomore Emily Alexis, were named to the all-tournament team. Austin was named the tournament MVP and led CU with 3.00 kills per set and also hit .253 in the three matches. She added 1.36 digs per set and 0.45 blocks per set. Edelman directed the Buffs to a team hitting percentage of .263 for the weekend, averaging 9.00 assists per set. She also had seven kills, 15 digs and six blocks. Alexis averaged 2.30 kills per set and picked up 0.90 digs per set at the tournament.
Defensively the Buffs were lead by junior Elysse Richardson, who recorded 41 digs (3.73 digs per set). Freshman Chelsey Keoho ranked second with 3.17 digs per set. At the net, Nikki Lindow posted a team-high 13 blocks (1.18 per set). Redshirt sophomore Ana Pantovic had 11 blocks in six sets (1.83 blocks per set) and sophomore Kelsey English had 10 blocks at the tournament.
This is the first week of action for Cornell, but they return four starters from the 2011 team that finished 5-21 (3-11 in the Ivy League). The Big Red also returns 10 letterwinners. This will be the first meeting between the Buffs and Big Red.
Northern Arizona is 3-0 after last weekend, winning the UNLV Invitational. The Lumberjacks defeated The Citadel (3-0), CSU Bakersfield (3-1) and UNLV (3-1). Senior outside hitter Kelli Dallmann was named the tournament MVP and Co-Big Sky Player of the Week after leading NAU with 4.00 kills per set (44 total kills). She also hit .366 during the tournament and added 17 digs. The Lumberjacks hit .356 on the weekend under the direction of Kalee Kirby who averaged 11.00 assists per set. Sydney Kemper and Jen Wilson each posted 1.00 blocks per set and Anna Gott led the team with 2.82 digs per set. NAU has won 12 straight non-conference matches dating back to the 2011 season.
Fresno State is 2-1 to start the season, defeating UTEP (3-2) and Idaho State (3-0) and losing to Arizona State (3-2) at the El Paso Sports Commission Invite. Marissa Brand led the Bulldogs with 3.82 kills per set and Korrin Wild was second on the team with 3.18 kills per set. Barbara Alcantara is averaging 11.18 assists per set and directed FSU to a .221 hitting percentage. Christina Lee recorded 3.00 digs per set and Maci Murdock posted 1.45 blocks per set.
FSU also has a CU connection as two of its coaches are former Buffs. Mallori Gibson is in her second season with the Bulldogs and graduated from Pacific, but she started her career with the Buffs. Gibson redshirted the 2005 season, but competed the 2006 and 2007 seasons for CU. During that time she recorded 679 kills, 206 digs, 61 aces and 781.5 points. Karlik, a volunteer coach in her first season with FSU, transferred to CU after two seasons at Colorado State. She played libero for the Buffs in 2006, recorded 442 digs which ranked fourth on the season leaders chart. Her season in 2007 was cut short due to injury, but she finished her career with the Buffs with 501 digs.
Season tickets can be purchased online at CUBuffs.com for $25 or by calling 303-49-BUFFS. Single match tickets are also available. Live stats will be available for free at CUBuffs.com. Due to our agreement with the Pac-12 no live streaming or replays of game events will be available on BuffsTV at any time. Live streaming options will be available through the Pac-12 after Sept. 10, and CUBuffs.com will update fans as information becomes available.