It was an emotional match for the CU volleyball team on Wednesday night. The team managed to come from behind to beat the Baylor Bears in the last regular season home game for seniors Lara Bossow, Amber Nu’u, Ashley Nu’u and Austin Zimmerman.
The team won in five games ( 28-30, 30-23, 30-28, 23-30, 12-15) after falling behind to the Bears two games to one.
“Baylor is a good team and I don’t think we ever come into a match thinking anyone in the Big 12 is not good. So I think we came in just ready to go and expected that they were going to play really well against us,” setter Ashley Nu’u said. “I think we were a bit unfocused for some of it, but we pulled it together and it was a good win.”
Before the match started, the team was honored with a game ball from Athletic Director Mike Bohn commemorating the team’s victory over No. 1 ranked Nebraska Cornhuskers on Nov. 11. The win over the Huskers was the first time in the program’s 21-year history that CU beat a No. 1 ranked school.
The Buffs were fired up and ready to play in game one. It was a close game, but CU managed to pull out a win of 30-28.
Both outside hitters, Amber Sutherland and Mallori Gibson, had a team-high of five kills. Defensive specialist Kristen Karlik had eight digs.
But the team dropped the next two games, forcing the Buffs to win two games in a row to win the match. Ashley Nu’u fired up the team with some encouragement before game four started.
“I was just reminding everybody that we (had) to put a lot more effort and heart into it, and I think everybody knew that,” Ashley Nu’u said.
The Buffs won game four easily with 20 team kills and a hitting percentage of .292.
In the deciding game, the Bears and the Buffs exchanged points with each other to tie the contest at 10. The Buffs started to pull away and eventually won the match 15-12.
Gibson set a new career high in kills with 28. It was the second straight game she managed to set a new career high in kills.
The team has been playing with a lot of confidence since the win over Nebraska, but confidence is something they feel they’ve had all along.
“I don’t think anything has really changed. Like I said, everyone in the Big 12 is a threat and I think we go into every game like we did before, expecting a battle,” Zimmerman said. “Definitely we feel like we can justify walking in with a swagger.”
The team improved to 16-10 overall and 12-7 in the Big 12 Conference.