After a heartbreaking fifth-set loss to top-ranked Stanford on Friday, Oct.17, the Colorado volleyball team needed only four sets to defeat the Cal Golden Bears two days later. The win brings the Buffs to 12-8 on the season and 4-4 in the Pac-12. Being a .500 team in this conference puts Colorado at ninth, which goes to show just how good volleyball is in the West.
“This was one [game] that we had to have,” said head coach Liz Kritza.
The match against Cal marked Colorado’s sixth win against a ranked opponent, and its first victory over the Golden Bears, since 2007. Three players recorded double-digit kills, with junior Alexis Austin topping the stat sheet at 20 (she also recorded seven blocks, a career high). Freshman Anna Pfefferle’s 11 kills totaled a new career high.
But a strong offense is nothing without strong setting. Senior Nicole Edelman had 47 assists in the match, helping Colorado reach a .282 overall hitting percentage. Kritza understands Edelman’s success as more than athletic skill: “There is a reason that [Edelman] has been captain for so long, and for all her accolades,” Kritza said. “It’s because she will do whatever is asked of her if it is for the progress, victory and development of the team.”
After a close 23-25 set first win, Colorado dominated the second. Not only did the Buffs’ hitting percentage peak at .333, but their side out percentage also hit a high of 62 percent. The third set broke Colorado at 19-19, when the Golden Bears delayed their loss with two 3-0. Colorado received the match point and won the point because of a Golden Bear attack error. The fourth set ended 25-22 in favor of the Black and Gold.
Colorado has four road games to conquer before returning home to the Coors Events Center on Thursday, Nov. 6. The Buffs will tour Washington to take on the Cougars Friday night and the Huskies Sunday afternoon. Friday’s match begins at 8 p.m. MST.
Contact CU Independent Sports Editor Jordyn Siemens at email@example.com