BOULDER— The University of Colorado volleyball team is looking to snap a three-match losing streak this weekend against Arizona State and Arizona. The Buffs will face ASU on Thursday, Nov. 14, at 7 p.m. and on Sunday, Nov. 17, they will square off against UA at 2 p.m.
Thursday’s match will be streamed live on CUBuffs.com as part of the Pac-12 Digital platform and Sunday’s contest will be televised regionally on the Pac-12 Networks. Kevin Barnett will handle the play-by-play duties and Al Scates will provide the commentary.
CU is currently 15-9 overall (7-7 Pac-12) this season. The Buffs are tied for fifth in the league standings with Arizona and Oregon. Last weekend, the Buffs suffered their first two conference losses of the season at the Coors Events Center. They fell 3-0 to No. 6 Stanford and 3-1 to No. 22 California.
Junior Taylor Simpson leads CU with 3.50 kills per set and ranks eighth in the Pac-12. Sophomore Alexis Austin is second on the team with 2.65 kills per set. The best hitting percentage on the squad belongs to junior Kelsey English at .364, which is fifth in the Pac-12. She has recorded 162 kills and 37 errors on 343 attacks this season. She is also second in the league in service aces, averaging 0.38 per set.
The offense is directed by sophomore Nicole Edelman. She is averaging 10.31 assists per set this season, the fourth best in the league, while helping the Buffs to a .231 attack percentage. Edelman has also added 69 kills of her own and is hitting .412.
Defensively, true freshman Cierra Simpson has recorded 3.13 digs per set. Kerra Schroeder is second on the team with 2.53 digs per set and Taylor Simpson is third with 2.57 digs per set. At the net, senior Nikki Lindow ranks fifth in the Pac-12 with 1.27 blocks per set. English adds 0.73 blocks per set and Taylor Simpson posts 0.68 blocks per set.
Arizona State is 16-10 overall this season and is ninth in the Pac-12 standings with a 5-9 record, which includes a 3-4 record at Wells Fargo Arena against league opponents. Last weekend, the Sun Devils split a pair of matches. They swept Washington State before falling in four to No. 3 Washington.
Macey Gardner leads the Pac-12 with 4.54 kills per set this season, while BreElle Bailey is the second best hitter on the team with 2.91 kills per set. Whitney Follette is attacking at a .348 clip for the Sun Devils with 167 kills and 40 errors on 365 attacks, the ninth best hitting percentage in the conference. The Sun Devils are hitting .214 with Bianca Arellano handing out 10.57 assists per set.
Defensively, ASU is led by Stephanie Preach, who is fourth in the Pac-12 with 4.57 digs per set. Arellano is second on the team with 2.96 digs per set. The Sun Devils are led by Follette at the net. She is averaging 1.128 blocks per set this season.
ASU has a 4-2 lead in the all-time series against the Buffs. CU defeated the Sun Devils earlier this season 3-1 (25-22, 17-25, 26-24, 25-23) at home. The Buffs are looking for their first win in Tempe, Ariz. this weekend.
The Arizona Wildcats have compiled a 17-9 overall record and are 7-7 in conference play. They are 5-1 this season when playing at the McKale Center.
Madi Kingdon is second the Pac-12 with 4.49 kills per set and Jane Croson ranks second on the team with 2.85 kills per set. Olivia Magill is attacking at a .332 clip, the best for UA. As a team, the Wildcats are hitting .211 under the direction of Penina Snuka. She is averaging 10.09 assists per set, which is sixth in the league.
Defensively, Candace Nicholson has picked up 4.26 digs per set, the sixth best mark in the conference. Kingdon is second on the squad with 3.02 digs per set and Croson adds 2.87 digs per set. The Wildcats have a pair of blockers averaging over 1.00 blocks per set in Halli Amaro and Magill. They have both put up 1.13 blocks per set this season.
Earlier this season, the Buffs defeated the Wildcats with a sweep (25-18, 25-19, 25-23) at the Coors Events Center for their first conference win against UA. UA leads the all-time series 5-1.
And don’t forget to check out ‘This Week In Colorado Volleyball,’ online now at CUBuffs.com.