Mizzou next up for CU
The CU volleyball team beat the Kansas State Wildcats in five games (30-27, 35-37, 31-33, 30-23, and 12-15) to improve their season record to 13-8 overall.
Setter Ashley Nu’u set a new career high in assists with 74 and Alex Buth recorded 17 kills to set a new career high as well.
“I just felt really confident and everyone was just playing really well together. You (have) to give props to Ashley for getting the sets out there when they were needed. It was just a great team effort,” Buth said.
The Buffs came out a little flat in game one when Wildcats’ outside hitter Sandy Werner notched six kills. The team would drop the game 30-27.
After showing little life in game one, the Buffs sparked some fire and came out strong in game two.
“It was just dead in the whole area. That’s what we were talking about in the locker room. That we have to create our own fire and own energy, and it took awhile to do that,” Nu’u said.
The Buffs showed a lot of heart in game two by fighting off several game-point opportunities for the Wildcats. Outside hitter Mallori Gibson tied the score twice on game-point to save the Buffs.
The team would take a game two grudge match 35-37. Gibson had 11 of the 30 kills in game two and defensive specialist Kristen Karlik had six digs.
The Buffs took another close game when the Wildcats made an error on a CU game-point. Game three ended 31-33 in the Buffs’ favor.
After the first three games, it appeared the team had overlooked the Wildcats a bit in anticipation for their upcoming game against Missouri, ranked number 21.
“We talked about not overlooking them, I mean a team that is (1-12) right now is itching for a win,” Nu’u said.
The Buffs surrendered game four to the Wildcats 30-23 and recorded only 14 kills.
Game five was a different story for the Buffs. The team started off strong for the first time in the match.
“We need to keep starting every game off strong because once we are up, we keep going,” Buth said.
Game five and the match ended on a kill by Gibson. The kill tied a career high for Gibson, giving her 18 for the match. Even though the win didn’t come as easily as hoped, the team is happy with the outcome.
“I stopped judging wins as good or bad a long time ago. That’s a win, and we need wins down the stretch here,” said Head Coach Pi’i Aiu.
The Buffs have a potentially season-defining match against Missouri in Columbia on Saturday. Aiu said the team will prepare the same way they have been doing all season.
“We (have) to talk to our kids and see how they feel. We’ll probably just do the same things we’ve been doing all season: get after them hard for a short while in the gym and get out of there,” Aiu said.