BOULDER- The University of Colorado volleyball team will finish the 2012 campaign this week with a pair of matches on the road. The Buffs will face-off against No. 2 Stanford on Wednesday, Nov. 21 at 9 p.m. MT in Stanford, Calif. and Utah on Friday, Nov. 23 at 7 p.m. MT in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Both matches will be televised live on the Pac-12 Network. Anne Marie Anderson will provide the play-by-play for Wednesday's match and Mike Dodd will assist her with the commentary. Friday's match will have Rich Cellini with the call and Amy Gant on color. Live stats will also be available for both contests. Stanford's link is GoStanford.com and Utah's is UtahUtes.CSTV.com.
The Buffs are 14-16 overall this season and are tied for ninth in the Pac-12 with a 4-14 record after dropping the last six matches. Freshman outside hitter Alexis Austin is pacing CU with 3.06 kills per set this season. Sophomore Neira Ortiz Ruiz is second on the team with 2.20 kills per set and sophomore Kelsey English is attacking at a team-best .311. Freshman setter Nicole Edelman has directed the Buffs to a .192 hitting percentage and has passed out 9.20 assists per set this year, which is eighth in the conference.
Freshman Chelsey Keoho is leading CU with 2.88 digs per set and junior Elysse Richardson adds 2.15 digs per set. CU is recording 2.22 blocks per set. Junior Nikki Lindow leads CU with 1.26 blocks per set, which ranks sixth in the conference. English is second on the team with 0.79 blocks per set and sophomore Ana Pantovic is third (0.75 bps).
Stanford is the No. 2 ranked team in the country according to the AVCA Coaches and Volleyball Magazine Polls. The Cardinal has recorded a 25-3 record this season and is 17-1 in Pac-12 play. The only loss for Stanford this conference season came last weekend when it fell to then-No. 8 USC in four set at Galen Center in L.A.
The Cardinal has five hitters with more than 2.00 kills per set. Jordan Burgess leads the way with 2.94 kills per set and Carly Wopat ranks second on the team with 2.93 kills per set. After those two are Inky Ajanaku (2.40), Brittany Howard (2.29) and Rachel Williams (2.01). Wopat is the leader when it comes to hitting efficiency with a .401 attack percentage. Ajanaku is second for the Cardinal with .372.
Stanford's offense is directed by Madi Bugg and Karissa Cook. Bugg is averaging 8.17 assists per set and Cook adds 5.70 assists per set. The team is attacking at a .269 clip.
Defensively the Cardinal leads the Pac-12 with 17.65 digs per set. Kyle Gilbert ranks fourth in the conference with 4.52 digs per set and Burgess adds 3.52 digs per set. The Cardinal is holding its opponents to a .169 hitting percentage, the best in the Pac-12. At the net, Stanford has posted 2.89 blocks per set, the third best in the Pac-12. Wopat is averaging 1.45 blocks per set (third in the Pac-12) and Ajanaku posts 1.15 blocks per set.
The Utah Utes are 13-19 this season and are 4-15 in the Pac-12. The Utes stopped a five-match losing streak last week after defeating Arizona State in four sets on Nov. 16 in Tempe. The following night they fell to Arizona in Tucson, Ariz., also in four sets. Utah finished a three-match road swing in four days with a five-set loss at Cal on Monday night.
Chelsey Schofield is the top attacker for the Utes, recording 3.19 kills per set this season. Morgan Odale ranks second on the squad with 2.68 kills per set and Erin Redd adds 2.17 kills per set. The team has recorded 12.69 kills per set this season while hitting .235 under the direction of McKenzie Odale and Kendal Cygan. Odale has dished out 6.13 assists per set and Cygan has chipped in 5.72 assists per set.
Nikki Sim has picked up a team best 2.75 digs per set and Lea Adolph ranks second on the roster with 2.36 digs per set. Scholfield and Morgan Odale are averaging 2.32 and 2.18 digs per set, respectively. The Utah block has posted 3.02 blocks per set this season to rank third in the Pac-12. Bailey Bateman is second in the conference with 1.57 blocks per set and Shelby Dalton adds 1.07 blocks per set.
Stanford owns a 9-0 lead in the all-time series against the Buffs. This is the first meeting this year for the two teams. The series against Utah is tied 4-4. The Buffs evened the series earlier this year with a three-set sweep of the Utes on Sept. 19.