The Colorado volleyball team took on the Washington State Cougars Sunday afternoon in a close match, forcing five sets. But in the end, the Buffs prevailed.
“At the end of the day, we just had to assert ourselves as the team that was more aggressive and could play at a high level,” said head coach Liz Kritza.
The Buffs took the win in the first set by a score of 26-24. The Buffs were down most of the set by only one or two points, but came back for the win. Senior outside hitter Taylor Simpson had a kill late in the set to cut the Cougars lead to one point (23-22). By the end, the Buffs pulled together to get the win.
The Cougars took the second set, 26-24. The set was close throughout the beginning, but a kill by junior outside hitter Alexis Austin kept the Buffs within one point (11-10). Simpson had a kill later in the game to keep the Buffs moving forward causing Washington State to take their first timeout of the set. At the end of the set the Buffs took the lead, but the Cougars overcame them and won the second set.
The Cougars gained the win in the third set, winning 25-19. The score was close in the beginning of the set with back-to-back kills by Austin, but the Buffs couldn’t keep up with the Cougars toward the end. The Cougars had a steady five-point lead over the Buffs through the rest of the set.
Things turned around in the fourth set. The Buffs dominated with a 25-16 win and had a strong start and an even stronger finish to the set. Initially, Austin had six kills back-to-back to give the Buffs a seven-point lead over the Cougars (17-10).
“I just had to turn it on and go out there and play for my team,” said Austin. “I know how mentally strong I am, and I know how to play the game.” The Buffs only gained momentum from that point on, giving them a huge fourth set win and tying the game 2-2.
The fifth set was close between the Buffs and the Cougars, but Colorado came out on top to win the final set 15-12. Freshman setter Gabby Simpson had a block in the end to win the set and the game.
The Buffs go to Berkeley next week to play California Friday, Nov. 21 and then over to Stanford to play the No. 1-ranked Cardinal on Saturday, Nov. 22. Both matches start at 8 p.m.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Lisa Marcum at Lisa.email@example.com and follow her on twitter @lisamarcum14.