In a lengthy five-set match, the University of Colorado volleyball team came up with a win against the Univeristy of Maryland, Baltimore County Retrievers.
After a long trip to the East Coast, the CU volleyball team tied their shoes, put on their uniforms and pulled their hair back, ready for game one of the Maddie Bingaman Memorial Tournament in Baltimore, Md.
The Buffs defeated the Retrievers in a grueling five-set match (25-17, 21-25, 25-23, 20-25, 15-6) on Friday night with CU head coach Liz Kritza winning her 100th career match.
Colorado now has a 5-2 overall record and is the only team in the tournament with an above .500 record. The UMBC Retrievers had a 2-6 record going into the match.
Although there is room for growth and improvement, Kritza said in a news release with the CU Sports Information Department that she feels confident about the team’s progression thus far and was very pleased with the win tonight.
“Despite the season being so young, it seems that we have already faced a number of challenges and tonight was another one,” Kritza told CUBuffs.com. “We ran into a feisty team who was playing some of their best volleyball of the season as part of a big promotion to start their home campaign. That team tonight played much stronger than their record indicates.”
Freshman Alexis Austin, outside hitter, led the Buffs with 16 kills, and hit .250. Fellow sophomore outside hitter Emily Alexis added 12 kills for the Buffs and hit .370.
The middles were strong as sophomore Kelsey English recorded a career-high 15 kills and hit a season-best .483, while junior Nikki Lindow achieved 12 kills and hit .478. English and Lindow combined for 27 kills and 52 attacks. Both players had only one hitting error, and their combined hitting efficiency was an impressive .480.
Kritza reasoned that the middles were why the team was so successful tonight.
“Our middle offense tonight was the key to our success, and when we were able to run our offense at full speed, we were scoring at the proper level,” Kritza told the Sports Information Department. “Our out-of-system offense was not very efficient tonight and thus we played more sets than we cared to.”
The Buffs started strong, with a 12-7 lead in the first set. However, the Retrievers fought back and got within two points to make it 15-13. CU wrapped up the first set by winning 25-17. UMBC won the second and fourth sets, causing the Buffs to play a decisive fifth set.
As the fifth set began, CU led 6-3, which forced UMBC to immediately call a timeout. The Buffs would continue to increase their score to 11-5. After UMBC scored its final point of the match, CU finished the set and match 15-6.
The Buffs are scheduled to play two more matches on Saturday, starting at 8 a.m. ET against Howard and at 2 p.m. ET against Robert Morris to finish the tournament.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Jillian Arja at Jillian.email@example.com.