Discussion in 'University of Colorado News and Olympic Sports' started by cmgoods, Nov 2, 2014.
We've been splitting every weekend since conference play began. This would be a good chance to get them both, and get back to Boulder one above .500 in conference.
This will be another tough one for the Buffs against a top ranked team (#19 nationally); such is life in Pac 12 volleyball. (Makes it fun, if often nerve-wracking, as a fan!) A few random notes:
1) The Buffs lost the last match against ASU at home in 5 sets, although because of losing the 3 sets the Buffs did by only 2 points each, and winning the 2 sets they did relatively easily, the Buffs actually outscored ASU by 11 points.
2) If the Buffs can get a 2[SUP]nd[/SUP] win on the road against a 2[SUP]nd[/SUP] Top 20 team, I’d assume this will have been the best road weekend for the Buffs in MANY years, if not a decade +. It would also be the 2[SUP]nd[/SUP] time (looks like they were 7-5 11/1/13) they’d be 2 games over .500 since joining the Pac 12. Since they were also the 1st ranked team "receiving votes" in this past week's poll, I'd assume two wins would definitely get them into the Top 25. (Heck, depending on what other 20-25 ranked teams have done this week, even the AZ win Friday may have been enough.)
3) ASU is led by one of the best and most versatile players in the Pac 12, Macey Gardner. She kind of took over the 5[SUP]th[/SUP] set in Boulder, so hopefully the Buffs will be able to keep her under control today. (If I remember correctly, a LOT of her and other ASU player kills, especially early, were of the dink variety, so hopefully the back row players will be ready for that today.) They are also one of the better defensive teams (3[SUP]rd[/SUP] in kill % allowed in conference matches), so the Buffs hitters and offense overall will need to be patient, and not do what AZ did against the Buffs Friday night in making too many unforced errors.
4) Although they are having a tough year in conference (2-9 with FOUR 5 set losses), thanks once again to our travel partners Utah for taking ASU to the limit and hopefully fatiguing them a bit in today's match. (The Utes lost 15-13 to ASU in the 5[SUP]th[/SUP] set Friday night.)
5) It will be interesting to see what offensive configuration CU starts and ends the match with today. I’d assume it will be the 6-2, and it’s hard to argue with that given how well it’s working for the Buffs this year. (Last year, the Buffs averaged .202 kill % in conference play (8[SUP]th[/SUP] in the Pac), while they’re hitting SIGNIFICANTLY better so far this year at .263 (good for 4[SUP]th [/SUP]in the Pac.). However, the earlier ASU match was one of 2 (if I remember correctly) conference matches where the Buffs switched to a 5-1 offense with N. Edelman setting. This was after tough 2 point losses in set 1 and 2. After the switch, the Buffs proceeded to easily win sets 3 & 4 (25-18, 25-15) before losing set 5 by 2 points. So, if the start today is tough at all, will Coach Kritza switch over to the 5-1 sooner rather than later? or, will they stay with the 6-2 that has generally been working VERY well? (Unfortunately, my lack of knowledge of volleyball, and what constitutes setting up favorable match ups, means I have no idea if ASU’s team makeup would inherently for some reason make a 6-2 or 5-1 a better choice against them specifically.)
6) Last time CU and ASU met, Buff’s defensive specialist Gwen Herring was still out with her concussion, so the Buffs defense should be stronger today with her back. She also had the Buff’s 2 aces against Arizona Friday, and was serving when the Buffs went on an 11 point scoring run in the 1[SUP]st[/SUP] set that night to make that set a rout, so her serve could also be a big help today.
7) Last match against ASU, Middle A. Pfefferle had a nice match (11 kills/ hit .364), but her fellow middle K. Cuffe only had 2 kills in only 4 attempts. Hopefully, the Buffs can get solid offensive contributions from both middles today (unless of course T. Simpson and A. Austin are having GREAT days, in which case keep feeding THEM). Positively, the middles did have solid days Friday against AZ, with them combining for a VERY good .434 combined hitting % while getting 12 kills total in 4 sets.
8) Especially against a VERY good defensive team like ASU, it’s nice to have all elements of the offense working. IF the left sides (T. Simpson and A. Austin) are dominant as they’ve often been, and the middles give enough production (both of which thankfully happened against AZ), the Buffs can be OK without much production from the right side. However, it’s definitely preferable if the right sides can contribute. It was, statistically at least, a tough offensive night Friday for them, as they only combined for 7 kills while hitting -.022. (On the bright side, they contributed a lot defensively with a combined 7 block assists.)
Anyway, Go Buffs!
CU with an early 9-2 lead. TO ASU after 5-1
Was up to like 11-2 Buffs. ASU playing better but CU still comfortably up 20-12
Buffs 23-18. TO CU
Buffs get set 1 25-19!
Great job Buffs!!! Let's keep this up!!!
ASU up in set 2 11-7. TO CU
Buffs coming back some on Herring serve again- 11 all TO ASU
23-21 ASU. TO CU. (Bad server to hitter misconnect at crucial 21-22 score.)
23 all TO ASU
YES!!! Buffs get set 2 29-27 with an Ortiz Ruiz block!
Set 3- Buffs down a few early, but then come back to take a 11-9 lead. TO ASU
18-13 CU. TO ASU. The Buffs are blocking pretty much everything right now. 15 blocks for the match.
19-16 CU. TO CU after ASU gets a few blocks of its own
Oh Oh- ASU 23-21 TO CU. Sloppy CU defense and some nice ASU blocks turning the tide.
ASU gets set 3 25-23.
9-4 ASU. TO CU.
Epic collapse in progress
16-11 ASU in the 4th set
19-13 ASU. Last TO for CU
Buffs lose the set bad 25-15. Going to the short 1st to 15 game 5.
5-1 Buffs. TO ASU. Buffs have switched to an Edelman setting 5-1 configuration.
9-3 Buffs. TO ASU
Let's go Buffs!!!
12-5 Buffs- T. Sinpson kill
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