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2023/24 VOLLEYBALL general off-season news thread (Season unofficially starts Aug. 24 - Black and Gold Scrimmage)


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I always like to set up these threads for all the sports to account for any off-season and spring (for this sport) scrimmage and training period news.

1st, just a quick look back with some summary numbers from this past season (All ratings are current as I type this on 11/28):
Record - 16-15 overall; 8-12 in Pac 12 play, which equated to a 7th place finish in their last season in the conference.
RPI - #69 RPI (per https://www.ncaa.com/rankings/volleyball-women/d1/ncaa-womens-volleyball-rpi).
KPI (available through a query at https://faktorsports.com/) - #69
Massey - #45

As a Buff fan, don't care much, but just an update on how other current and future current conference-mates did in getting selected to the NCAA Tourmey, which begins with 1st round matches this Thursday and Friday.. (An official NCAA release about the tournament selection is available at https://www.ncaa.com/news/volleybal...omens-volleyball-tournament-bracket-announced. The official interactive bracket is available at https://www.ncaa.com/brackets/volleyball-women/d1/2023.):

  • The Pac 12 had 5 teams selected, with Stanford leading the way as being named 1 of 4 teams named regional #1 seeds, while the Ducks are a #2 seed.
  • The Big 12 had 7 teams selected, the 2nd most of any conference (1 team behind the SEC). .Departing and defending National Champion Texas leads the way for the conference as a #2 regional seed.
Congrats to those Buffs who earned conference honors!

Article -

Direct link - https://cubuffs.com/news/2023/11/28...ll-freshman-team-three-earn-honorable-mention


Two Buffs Named to Pac-12 All-Freshman Team, Three Earn Honorable Mention​

November 28, 2023 | Volleyball

By: Tanner Kay, Athletic Communication Associate

BOULDER — Five different Buffs were awarded with Pac-12 postseason awards Tuesday morning.
Seniors Maya Tabron, Lexi Hadrych, and Skyy Howard all received Honorable Mentions to the All-Pac-12 Volleyball team.
Freshmen Cayla Payne and Lily Dwinell headlined the conference's All-Freshman team, with Washington as the only other school to boast at least two freshmen.


Hadrych ended the season with 288 kills on a .263 attack percentage. Hadrych improved in her kills per set over last season, increasing from 3.19 to 3.35.
Tabron closed out her esteemed career in Boulder as the team leader in kills for the last two seasons, including 331 kills this year. She posted a season-best .232 attack percentage in her final season.
Tabron will end her career as a Buff with the 14th most career kills at 1,083 total, passing up Janine Zumerchik, who played in Boulder from 1991-1994 during non-rally scoring.
Skyy Howard had a phenomenal final season at Colorado after transferring from the University of North Carolina. Howard posted a team-best .368 hitting percentage, the fourth best hitting percentage in a single-season in program history. It is also the highest percentage by a Buff since Kelsey English posted a .361 percentage in the 2013 season.
The middle blocker also logged 148 total blocks, which now ranks seventh-all-time in a single-season for the Buffs. Last Buff to post 150+ blocks in a season was Meghan Barkman in 2001 with 151 blocks.


Dwinell had 188 kills with a .229 hit percentage. The rookie had the fourth-most kills on the team, behind the three honorable mentions. Dwinell tacked on 83 total blocks for the season to go along with her promising scoring abilities.
Payne was the fifth and final Buff to reach the century kill mark this season, with 106 and a strong .276 hit percentage in her first season. Payne also had 71 total blocks.
Not CU related (I didn’t want to start new thread). I’m watching Oregon vs Wisconsin. Why does each team have one player with different color jerseys? Also the crowed is pretty impressive. No idea women’s volleyball is so popular
Not CU related (I didn’t want to start new thread). I’m watching Oregon vs Wisconsin. Why does each team have one player with different color jerseys? Also the crowed is pretty impressive. No idea women’s volleyball is so popular

They are called the libero, and are designated back row players who have special rules.

(The NCAA has a page which, although not super simple and clear to me, explain the position far better than I will below- https://www.ncaa.com/news/volleyball-women/article/2023-07-03/college-volleyball-libero-explained )

Sorry for this word salad, and hope I'm neither too simple or too complex - but my very inexpert impressions of what the libero is and some of their major differences to other players:
The main rule/ role for them is that, unlike all other players or rotations that always rotate through 6 rotations, 3 in the front and 3 in the back, the libero only plays in the back row, and gets to play almost*** full-time in the back row the whole match. From what I've seen, they play in the back row for both of the middle blockers, coning in when each middle's rotation's time comes to play in the back row.
(***Liberos are only allowed to serve one time per 6 rotations, so they always have to leave the court for at least 1/2 rotation per 6 rotations, when either one of the middles, or (as was typical for the Buffs this year) a serving specialist comes in for the middle for one serving turn.)

Because they play so much back row, the libero should be a team's best pure defensive player (assuming one or more of the 6 rotation outside hitters isn't great also on the defensive side).

A few other rules related to them:

1) In college (pro rules are different), a team is allowed up to 15 substitutions per set. The libero coming onto and off the court does NOT count as a substitution.
2) There is a line 3 meters/ 10 feet from the net on each side of the court. If the libero needs to set the ball on 2nd contact for any reason (usually if the setter has 1st contact), they canNOT set overhanded if they need to set the ball within the 3 meter line. (They can only bump set with their arm(s) in that case.)
3) Unlike any other back row player, the libero can NEVER attack over handed from the back row.

(Note - Just in case the next time you watch volleyball is either pro or Olympic matches (maybe next July/ August at the Paris Olympics, for example?), there a few BIG differences in the rules there vs. in the NCAA that can make it a different looking game- namely quite a few less substitutions allowed (believe 8 or 9) and, related to the libero, they aren't allowed to serve at all in the pro/ international game.)
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Not CU related (I didn’t want to start new thread). I’m watching Oregon vs Wisconsin. Why does each team have one player with different color jerseys? Also the crowed is pretty impressive. No idea women’s volleyball is so popular

Unlike at Colorado, volleyball is very popular in conferences like the Big 10. Wisconsin and **** Nebraska draw very well. Nebraska's matches are all sellouts. Many of Wisconsin's are.

I watched way too many volleyball matches the last two days. It seems all the tickets for this round of the NCAA tournament were general admission!
If I won the Powerball jackpot, I think I would try to bankroll/adopt the CU volleyball program. Dedicated facility, more paid player support/development staff, more resources for recruiting, etc. Colorado high schools produce a lot of volleyball talent, but the top athletes usually go out-of-state for college. CSU has shown that this sport can be popular and successful on the Front Range...we have yet to get the formula right in Boulder. It is possible, though.

I hate to say it, but the Huskers are about to start a dynasty. They are the #1 seed in the tourney this year and have ZERO seniors on their roster. Unreal.
CU volleyball definitely needs a facility for their own for practice and matches. Even when they get a decent crowd at Coors, it's doesn't feel like the chaos that happens in Stinkin Lincoln. The fans are right at the court and packed in. I think they also sell standing room only. tickets.

Wisconsin uses the old basketball facility and packs them in. I know they said on the broadcast that Wisconsin fans had been lined up in the cold since 6 AM to get good seats because it was general admithession.

Only Wisconsin has beat the Fuskers. I haven't looked at the bracket to see if it's possible for them to play each other in the national championship game.
Riley Simpson is in the portal as a grad transfer out of Baylor. She is the youngest of the Simpson sisters. Taylor just gave birth to a very sick baby. Might we hope that Riley wants to be closer to the baby and her sister?

I'm probablin dreaming, but I will keep dreaming until she announces where she is going.
hope Tayler daughter gets better. She is still one of my two favorite players with Kari Downey. I would not mind if she ends up in Boulder. Not holding my breath after Gabby but would not hate it
If Liz Kirtzka had not been fired, I don't think Gabby would have left. I don't think Riley would have gone to Baylor if Liz was still here. But she isn't and we have to live with that.

Taylor's daughter was not expected to live more than a few hours. This is day 33.
It's gonna be an "All-Bad-Guys" Championship game on Sunday. Corns vs. Horns. Neb swept Pitt and Texas beat Wisconsin 3-1. Makes me want to barf
I feel the same way. I could not believe how easily Texas beat Bucky. I think the Fuskers will take it all with all of those freshman.
Congrats to Ms's. Riddle and Tabron!

Link to article - https://cubuffs.com/news/2023/12/14...tabron-selected-to-academic-all-district-team

By: Courtney Huck, Assistant Director
BOULDER - Senior outside hitter Maya Tabron and senior libero Morgan Riddle of Colorado's women's volleyball team were selected for the 2023 Academic All-District Team by College Sports Communicators.

To be eligible for the academic team, a qualifying student-athlete must have a minimum 3.5 overall grade-point average and play in at least 66% of all season competitions or start in 90% of all the season's matches. A true freshman or a transfer student in their first season isn't eligible for selection.

Tabron, a business analytics and marketing major from Gilroy, Calif, has a 3.67 cumulative GPA. Tabron is a two-time Pac 12 All-Academic team member, and she was named to the Wichita St. Invitational All-Tournament Team this season. The outside hitter led the Buffs in kills this season, notching 331 while having a .232 attack percentage. Tabron shattered her previous single game kill record by earning 26 kills in a five-set match against Arizona. Tabron intends to use her degree to pursue a role within sports business at the collegiate or professional level.

Riddle, a Colorado native from Parker, boasts a 3.66 cumulative GPA. Like Tabron, Riddle is also a two-time Pac 12 All-Academic team member. Riddle set a new career high in digs in the Buffs' final match this season with 22 in a five-set match against Utah.Overall, the libero picked up 271 digs throughout the season and earned 19 aces. Riddle will graduate from Colorado with an Integrative Physiology degree and a minor in business.

Voting for the Academic All-America women's volleyball teams ends December 19th, and selected student-athletes will be announced later next month.
Congrats to Ms. Burilović for the MVP honor and her team for advancing, and best wishes to them at this summer's U20 Euro Cup finals!

Direct link to article - https://cubuffs.com/news/2024/1/9/a...ropean-championship-classification-tournament

By: Tanner Kay, Athletic Communication Associate

Over the holiday break, Freshman standout Ana Burilovic competed in the U20 Middle European Volleyball Zonal Association Qualifying tournament, competing for her home country Croatia. The tournament took place in Maribor, Slovenia.

Croatia finished first in the tournament, with CU's very own Ana Burilovic taking home MVP honors. The Croatian Women's team took down Slovenia in the gold medal match in four sets (3-1).

Ana propelled Croatia to victory thanks to her 16 kills, four services aces, and four blocks in the gold medal match. She had the second most kills in the match overall only trailing her teammate, but led in service aces and accounted for half of her teams' blocks.

Because her team won the tournament, they have earned direct qualification for the upcoming European Championship this summer. The European Championships will take place in Bulgaria and Dublin in July 2024.
I really liked Anna B game last year as a freshman. I think she can be a dynamic opposite. Has a whip of an arm
Riley Simpson is in the portal as a grad transfer out of Baylor. She is the youngest of the Simpson sisters. Taylor just gave birth to a very sick baby. wants to be closer to the
The news is that Riley Simpson is going to Pepperdine.

The very sad news is that baby Shea passed away. She spent her entire life in the hospital. My condolences to the Cook family. Taylor and her husband have a 2 year old son.
The team announced its spring scrimmage schedule with 5 April scrimmages in 3 separate days planned.-

Article - https://cubuffs.com/news/2024/3/30/volleyball-buffs-announce-spring-schedule

By: Tanner Kay, Athletic Communication Associate

BOULDER — The Colorado Buffaloes volleyball team has announced their 2024 spring schedule. Head coach Jesse Mahoney and his team will have five matches spread across three separate days in April. Three of those scrimmages will take place at home.

The Buffs only spring matches away from home will be their first two, that will take place at Northern Colorado on Saturday, April 6. CU will play back-to-back scrimmages against Colorado State and Northern Colorado at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. MST.

Colorado will play their first home match, available to the fans, the following Saturday on April 13 to play against Air Force. The event will start at 11:30 a.m. MST in the CU Events Center.

They will welcome Colorado State and Wyoming to Boulder on Saturday, April 20 for their final two scrimmages of the spring.

CU plays CSU at 10 a.m., CSU plays Wyoming at 12 p.m., then CU will close it out against Wyoming at 2 p.m. All three games will be available to the fans.
Wow - the Big 12 is (at minimum relatively( QUICK on releasing its conference schedule!
(The Pac 12 was "famous" (at least for hardcore fans on volleytalk) for always being the last conference to release its schedule, usually in June or Julyl Be curious if it takes Buff coaches and staff (and other former Pac 12 squads) a little time to get used to being able to schedule the non-conference slate so they can announce the full schedule earlier rather than later.)

Direct link to article - https://cubuffs.com/news/2024/4/4/volleyball-big-12-announces-2024-league-schedule


Big 12 Announces 2024 League Schedule​

By: Tanner Kay, Athletic Communication Associate

The Big 12 Conference announced the 2024 league schedule for women's volleyball Thursday afternoon. The Colorado Buffaloes will play 18 matches in their first year back in the Conference.

It will be the conference debut for Arizona, Arizona State, and Utah, while Colorado rejoins the conference.

The Buffs will play 18 matches over 10 weeks while playing 10 teams once and four teams twice. CU will play Arizona, Arizona State, BYU, and Utah all twice.

Conference play will begin on Wednesday, Sept. 25 and will conclude on Saturday, Nov. 30. The team that finishes with the highest winning percentage will be crowned the conference champion.

The Big 12 finished the 2023 season with five ranked teams, the most for the league since 2009 and tied for the most in Big 12 history. The five teams tied for the most of any league and the Conference was the only league with at least five ranked teams and seven teams selected to the NCAA Tournament.

Beginning this fall, the Big 12 volleyball lineup will consist of Arizona, Arizona State, Baylor, BYU, UCF, Cincinnati, Colorado, Houston, Iowa State, Kansas, K-State, TCU, Texas Tech, Utah and West Virginia.


Thursday, Sept. 26
Colorado at BYU

Sunday, Sept. 29
Colorado at Utah

Thursday, Oct. 3
Kansas at Colorado

Saturday, Oct. 5
Texas Tech at Colorado

Wednesday, Oct. 9
Colorado at UCF

Wednesday, Oct. 16
Colorado at Arizona

Friday, Oct. 18
Colorado at Arizona State

Wednesday, Oct. 23
West Virginia at Colorado

Friday, Oct. 25
BYU at Colorado

Wednesday, Oct. 30
Colorado at TCU

Friday, Nov. 1
Colorado at Baylor

Wednesday, Nov. 6
Utah at Colorado

Saturday, Nov. 9
Cincinnati at Colorado

Wednesday, Nov. 13
Colorado at Iowa State

Thursday, Nov. 21
Arizona at Colorado

Saturday, Nov. 23
Arizona State at Colorado

Wednesday, Nov. 27
K-State at Colorado

Saturday, Nov. 30
Colorado at Houston

Big 12's conference schedule release listing the schedule for ALL members - https://big12sports.com/news/2024/4/4/big-12-announces-2024-volleyball-schedule.aspx
I'm shocked that Oklahoma State doesn't have a volleyball team.
it is interesting seeing what sports schools sponsor. I know Ou for years did not do volleyball. Maybe it is not hat big in Oklahoma. I think they would rather spend there money on their softball programs
Oklahoma also spends big dollars on gymnastics.

I was happily surprised to see the schedule release so early. Always seemed like the Pac released the schedule very late.
Oklahoma also spends big dollars on gymnastics.

I was happily surprised to see the schedule release so early. Always seemed like the Pac released the schedule very late.
yeah. pac 12 was a day late and a dollar short in many areas. Gymnastics is a sport that should be on CU's short list when that time comes. Their fans are very passionate and you can get people to come watch it
I suppose a fan from Oklahoma would probably think it's weird that we don't offer softball or baseball (or men's soccer, tennis, and lacrosse). I agree that gymnastics would be a solid addition to our athletic department, along with wrestling. Relatively inexpensive and we have a lot of great local high school athletes in both of those sports. It just seems to me that CU was more affected by Title IX requirements than a lot of other schools...

Back to volleyball! Looking forward to seeing how this past years' freshmen progress on the court next season. I have to assume BYU will be the favorite to win in the new conference.
Kansas puts a good volleyball team together. Iowa State is usually decent.

Texas has been the dominate team, but they won't be in the Big 12 next season
Kansas puts a good volleyball team together. Iowa State is usually decent.

Texas has been the dominate team, but they won't be in the Big 12 next season
yeah Kansas and Iowa State are usually pretty good. I think BYU and Baylor seem to be the best since Texas is gone. CU has a chance to be a top program in this conference which they had very little chance of that in the pac 12.
The team has its 1st home scrimmage this Saturday, with the Air Force Falcons coming to town for a scheduled 11:30 AM start.