The No. 19 ranked University of Colorado women’s volleyball team hosted Colorado State Friday night, at the CU Events Center. Colorado State defeated the Buffs 3-2 in five sets.
In Fort Collins on Thursday, mistakes plagued the Buffs who had traveled to Fort Collins and lost to the Rams in three sets. It was Colorado’s first loss of the season. The Buffs hoped to rebound against the Rams at home, especially since Friday night’s game in Boulder inaugurated the Golden Spike Trophy, a match between two of the top teams in the state.
“I think we just came together as a team and recognized that how we played last night wasn’t anywhere near our potential,” said senior libero Rachel Whipple. “We made sure we created a positive environment after that match and all throughout today. We really energized ourselves in the locker room and throughout our warmup and just believed in ourselves that we are a good team.”
Colorado started fast, courtesy of senior outside hitter Justine Spann. Spann recorded two straight blocks for the Buffs to give Colorado the edge early. Despite the sloppy performance Thursday night, the Buffs rebounded in the first set, winning 25-11 in part due to multiple service errors by the Rams.
Colorado State responded in the second set, scoring the first seven points. Two kills from CSU’s senior setter Katie Oleksak propelled the Rams to an early 9-2 start. For the Buffs, redshirt sophomore middle blocker Danielle Price provided a spark, recording two blocks and a kill. Colorado came back to tie the second set at 20, but a kill from CSU’s redshirt senior middle blocker Kirstie Hillier gave the Rams the second set 25-23.
Colorado State used the momentum following a victory in the second set to defeat the Buffs in the third set 25-19. Colorado responded and took the fourth set 25-20.
Redshirt junior outside hitter Breana Runnels starred for the Rams, recording a game-high 16 kills. It took all five sets for the Rams to defeat the Buffs and take the match.
“(Thursday night) was a really rough match for us,” said head coach Jesse Mahoney said. “We struggled to respond to the pressure that Colorado State put us in last night. I thought we responded really well today. I thought we played really good volleyball for long stretches. Unfortunately, we had multiple-point runs where we just couldn’t get out of certain rotations and that happened in every set that we lost.”
Next up, the Buffs will host the Colorado Classic beginning on Friday, Sept. 20. Campbell, Oakland University and UMBC will participate in the tournament along with Colorado. The first match for the Buffs will take place Friday at 7 p.m. against the Oakland Golden Grizzlies.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Adam Bender at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @adamwbender.