It has been a rough finishing stretch for the Colorado women’s volleyball team, but the Buffaloes made certain to send their seniors out on a winning note in the home finale.
Colorado ended a four-game losing streak with a much-needed victory on Sunday, sweeping Washington 3-0 (26-24, 25-20, 25-17) at the CU Events Center.
The Buffs entered the weekend with their backs against the wall for a potential NCAA Tournament berth while sitting at No. 58 in the RPI rankings. CU was swept by No. 11 Washington State on Friday and probably will need wins in their final two regular season games, both on the road, in order to have a shot at a tourney berth.
Colorado (15-14, 7-11 Pac-12) plays at California on Wednesday (2 p.m. MT, Pac-12 Network) before completing the regular season at Utah on Friday.
“We’re trying to play well, and you can’t be successful being super high and super low all the time,” CU head coach Jesse Mahoney said in a release. “At least for me, as a coach, I want to be steady and make sure that our staff is coaching the right way, and we want our players to be steady as they go through. It doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy great plays, but we certainly can’t get down after poor plays, so today was great to win. I was excited about how we played. And the fact that we got better through the match was really important to me. I know what we have to do in our next two matches. And I know if we play at that level with that focus, we will be competitive.”
The Buffs prevailed in a tight opening set after the Huskies took a late 23-22 lead, scoring four of the final five points to take a 1-0 lead. CU again dominated late with four of the final five points to take set two, and the Buffs rolled to the sweep after jumping to a 10-3 lead in the third set.
Lexi Hadrych, playing her second match after missing six in a row due to an ankle injury, led CU’s attack with 11 kills as the Buffs posted a .304 hitting percentage. Freshman Lily Dwinell enjoyed a solid all-around game with eight kills and three blocks, while Alexia Kuehl posted a team-high five blocks.
Prior to the match, the Buffs honored their five departing seniors — Hadrych, Kuehl, Maya Tabron, Morgan Riddle and Skyy Howard.
“ I don’t think it’s quite hit me yet because I didn’t cry, which was surprising,” Riddle said. “But it’s cool to have been here the last four years and have some great teammates and great coaching and all that kind of stuff, and I’m thankful for the opportunity I’ve been given to be here; it was just great. So you know, getting a sweep to win on senior day is the perfect way to have it, so it’s pretty, pretty amazing.”
Washington 24 20 17
Colorado 26 25 25
Kills — Washington: Endsley 12, Barton 6, Pertofsky 6, Hani 6. Colorado: Hadrych 11, Howard 8, Dwinell 8, Tabron 7
Assists — Washington: Litzau 18, Wilson 12. Colorado: Simpson 40.
Aces — Washington: Zilbert 1, Bays 1. Colorado: Bolles 3, Riddle 1, Simpson 1.
Blocks — Washington: Hani 3, Wessels 2. Colorado: Kuehl 5, Dwinell 3, Howard 2, Simpson 2.
Digs — Washington: Barton 6, Bays 6, Wilson 6. Colorado: Riddle 9, Burilovic 8, Hadrych 6.
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