It’s an exciting time for the Colorado Buffaloes volleyball team.
Colorado is entering deeper into the Big 12 Conference portion of its schedule — with arguably the best teams in the country coming to Boulder — by playing Texas on Wednesday and Oklahoma on Saturday.
The Texas Longhorns are ranked second in the nation, but that doesn’t scare the Buffs.
“That will be [the Longhorns’] advantage, being bigger and being able to score at such a high pace,” said CU head coach Liz Kritza. “We need to lessen that advantage as much as possible.”
Because of this advantage, the Buffs are expected to play a more intelligent game on their side of the net.
Kritza knows the challenge the Buffs will face when Texas comes into the Coors Events Center.
“They have some of the most dynamic, athletic, powerful hitters in the country,” Kritza said. “So for us, we have to be the aggressive one in our defense.”
This doesn’t scare Kritza. She said she is confident that the smaller CU team will deliver.
“Our hitters, who will be smaller, but they have to be faster, more aggressive and intelligent,” Kritza said.
Senior setter Kaitlyn Burkett and freshman middle blocker Nikki Kinzer said scouting the opponent is a big change they have made this year in comparison with previous years.
“We watch a lot of film,” Kinzer said. “Both of our opponent and ourselves, and it helps because there was stuff I didn’t know I was doing.”
Burkett said watching film has made the team more prepared for matches.
“You get on the court and you feel like you already know what they are going to do,” Burkett said.
Burkett, the only senior on the team, said she expects the squad to improve even more after their match with the Longhorns.
“I’m expecting another big step,” Burkett said. “We’re going in with a mindset that were going to improve.”
Texas is really going to test the Buffs, and they know that.
“Every point is going to be a fight, but we’re really starting to enjoy and understand the accomplishment in fighting for points against arguably the best team in the country,” Kritza said.
If one thing is guaranteed, it is that the Buffs are going to fight, and we can expect this throughout the rest of the Big 12 season, Kritza said.
“Most nights they are going to be bigger than us,” Kritza said. “Most nights they are going to jump higher than us, that doesn’t mean we can’t beat them. It just means we have to be more disciplined and intelligent in our approach to the game.”
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Gina Yocom at Gina.firstname.lastname@example.org.