The Buffs dropped the first two sets, but finished the match 24-26, 20-25, 25-15, 26-24, 28-26 to break a four-match losing streak and get their first road win of the season.
CU improves to 6-9 overall (3-6 Big 12) while the Red Raiders fall to 3-14 overall (1-7 Big 12).
Head coach Liz Kritza said she was elated by the hard-fought win and that it was a good example of the team’s determination and communication.
“At the onset of this match, we intended to put forth our maximum effort and to really get back to progressing towards our goal of being a championship level team,” Kritza said in a news release. “This hard-earned victory tonight was a good step towards that goal and I am proud of the way this group of young players fought with all they had to get the outcome they desired.”
Sophomore outside hitter Kerra Schroeder earned her sixth double-double of the season and ended the match with 35 kills – the most by a Buffalo since Amber Sutherland in 2006 – and 13 digs.
“Kerra’s performance tonight was excellent,” Kritza said. “She responded well to her team’s need for her to carry a load at times and really led the way with being an aggressive, complete and mature player tonight.”
Three other Buffs were in the double digits for digs, including freshman defensive specialist/libero Megan Beckwith with 20 – the fourth time she’s reached that number this season – freshman libero Elysse Richardson with 13 and freshman defensive specialist/libero Hannah Walker with 10.
As a team, CU hit .324 and recorded 80 kills for the first time since a match-up against Texas Tech in 2007. Junior setter Alyssa Valentine had a career-best 62 assists and added three kills. Senior outside hitter Rosie Steinhaus recorded 13 kills and hit .400, giving her her best match of the season.
The Buffs started the match out hot with an 8-6 lead. The Red Raiders came back with a 7-0 run to put them up 13-8. CU didn’t sit back and took nine of the next 15 points to narrow TTU’s lead to two at 19-17.
The rest of the set was hard fought, with CU taking the lead at 22-20 before the Red Raiders tied it up at 22, but CU earned the following two points to get to set point. Despite the Buffs’ effort, Texas Tech took the set at 26-24.
TTU took that momentum into the second set, starting with an 8-3 lead. Tech raised their lead to 12-4, but the Buffs went on a 5-0 run to narrow the score to 12-9. TTU made their way to 24-16. CU fought off four set points, bringing the score to 24-20, but the Red Raiders were too much to overcome and they took the set 25-20.
Colorado came out strong to start the third set with a 13-7 lead. After a TTU timeout, the Buffs increased their lead with a 7-4 run to raise the score to 20-11. The Red Raiders simply had too many errors – three service errors and five attack errors – and the Buffs easily took the third set 25-20.
CU took the lead at the beginning of the fourth at 8-5. The set remained close with 14 ties during the frame, but Colorado was unstoppable and wrapped the set up at 26-24.
A fifth and final set proved the pivotal point of the match.
After Tech took an early lead at 6-4, CU quickly answered after a timeout to tie the set up at six. The two teams battled once again, and CU fought to tie the score once more at 10. The Buffs made it to set point at 14-12, but Tech wouldn’t go down without a fight. Schroeder added 13 of her 35 kills in the frame, and CU took the win finishing out the long set at 28-26.
“Again this young squad pushed their way back in to the match after being down 2-0, and in that fifth set revealed our true character, which will be something that we can look back to as we push ahead in this tough conference season,” Kritza said.
The Buffs return to their home court at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 20 to face No. 13 Iowa State.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Marlee Horn at firstname.lastname@example.org.