The University of Colorado had a disappointing night in Los Angeles Friday after a facing a tough sweep by the University of Southern California. But Sunday afternoon the Buffs found redemption in Malibu, where they conquered the No. 17 UCLA Bruins in four sets. This weekend’s trip brought Colorado’s record to 11-7 on the season and 3-3 in the Pac-12.
Sitting at ninth in their conference, the Buffs have many talented players rounding out their roster, but the standout this weekend was senior outside hitter Taylor Simpson. Against USC, Simpson recorded a double-double, with 12 kills and 11 digs. Her digs alone accounted for a third of the Colorado total (33). Despite an early lead to start the match, the Trojans were able to secure a late streak of points that would end the first set in their favor. With that momentum, USC took early control of the following two sets. The Buffs contested these, but couldn’t turn them around.
The first set did not influence the outcome of the match on Sunday. The Buffs fell in the first after the Bruins broke a 23-23 tie with two unanswered points, but Colorado’s early domination of sets two, three and four ultimately decided their second conquest of a ranked opponent this season. With 46 digs, eight service aces and 59 kills across several players, the Buffs seemed to play their best team volleyball of the year. Head coach Liz Kritza cited blocking, digs and an ability to go “blow for blow” with any opponent as reasons for the afternoon’s success.
Aside from Taylor Simpson, senior outside Neira Ortiz Ruiz has led the Buffs in offensive showings. She had 11 kills on the game. Sophomore defensive specialize Cierra Simpson also recorded notable statistics, with 12 digs and only one reception error (of 26 service receptions).
Colorado returns home this weekend to play No. 1 Stanford Friday, Oct. 17 and faces California on Sunday, Oct. 19. The Buffs and Cardinal take the floor at 7 p.m. and Sunday’s match begins at noon.
Contact CUIndependent Sports Editor Jordyn Siemens at Jordyn.email@example.com