CU spikers pull out five set victory to earn fifth victory of the season
The CU women’s volleyball team (5-3) carried over the momentum from its Colorado Invitational sweep to beat the 17th ranked University of Missouri (6-4) last night at the Coors Event Center.
The match was tied until the Buffs prevailed in the fifth game, going 30-24, 27-30, 30-24, 23-30, 15-9 overall.
Outside hitter Amber Sutherland contributed 35 kills for Colorado, a personal best. Her previous record for one match was 26 at Kansas State last year. Sutherland also drove home the last kill of the game for CU.
“It’s the best feeling in the world to set that last shot,” Sutherland said after the game.
Colorado Invitational MVP Ashley Nu’u added 69 assists.
“Ash did a phenomenal job setting tonight,” Sutherland said.
The victory was the Buff’s fourth straight. Over the weekend, they hosted and swept the Colorado Invitational, beating Cincinnati, Central Connecticut State and Southern Mississippi.
The Buffs started the first game fast and never looked back. After opening the game with five straight points, Colorado didn’t even let Missouri see a lead until the second game. The Buffs held the Tigers as a team to an abysmal .048 hitting percentage in the first game.
“We came out tonight determined to win,” said Nu’u.
The teams traded games for the rest of the night. Missouri rebounded in the second game, as outside hitter Jessica Vander Kooi had 13 kills and one ace for the Tigers. Up 22-18 in the third game, Missouri had all the momentum until CU coach P’i Aiu called a timeout.
“We are going to win or lose this match right now in the next five points,” Aiu told his team during the timeout.
The Buffs responded to Aiu’s challenge, going on a 12-2 run to win the game and take a 2-1 match lead. Missouri rallied again in the fourth game to tie the match and set up a deciding fifth game.
After dropping the first two points of the fifth game, the Buffs stormed back to score eight of the next nine points and take a commanding 8-3 lead. Colorado never looked back from there, winning 15-9 on Sutherland’s spike.
“This one is a good measuring stick,” said Aiu. “Hopefully people are going to take notice.”
The Buffs will continue their conference play on Saturday as they travel to Lubbock, Texas to take on the Texas Tech Red Raiders (7-2).