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Matches thread - Volleyball goes to L.A. to face #23 UCLA (Thurs., 11/7, 8:00 PM MT) and (RV) USC (Sat., 8:00 PM MT)

AztecBuff

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Hope the team can keep their momentum going as they visit 2 pretty hot teams in L.A..


Direct link - https://cubuffs.com/news/2019/11/5/volleyball-buffaloes-ride-momentum-to-los-angeles.aspx

"
BOULDER – The University of Colorado women's volleyball team rides a weekend sweep of the two Arizona teams into Los Angeles this week for a pair of matches against No.23-ranked UCLA and Southern Cal.

The Buffaloes (10-12, 2-10 Pac-12) begin the daunting task of trying to finish the season eligible for postseason play at .500. Things start off with the first of six possible ranked matches to close out the season when the team heads into Pauley Pavilion to take on UCLA (13-8, 8-4 Pac-12) Thursday evening at 8 p.m. MST. Colorado clinched a postseason bid with a sweep of the Bruins in Westwood last year and are hoping to spark a run there. After that, the team heads to Pasadena Saturday evening at 8 p.m. MST to take on the Women of Troy (13-9, 7-5 Pac-12) where the Buffs have never won in eight attempts.

Despite the previous 10-match losing streak, the Buffs are ranked 60th in RPI. With the current ranking, the team still has a shot at postseason play but needs to be at a .500 winning percentage at the minimum to qualify. With four home matches and four road matches, the Buffs need at least one road win in the next two weeks to have a chance to hit .500.
...

SCOUTING THE BRUINS
After the first CU vs. UCLA matchup, the Bruins have had a streaky up-and-down schedule at best. They lost to Oregon in a sweep in Eugene and allowed Oregon State to force a five-set match after UCLA took the first two and barely won the fifth 16-14. Something clicked at home as the team swept Stanford and handled Cal in four sets, but after sweeping Washington State on the road, the Bruins were swept by Washington in a performance that included two 25-14 set losses.

Mac May continues to be a problem for Pac-12 opponents at 4.67 kills per set and a .261 hitting percentage. She will be the main focus for the Buffs but Savvy Simo is the second performer to watch at nearly three kills per set. UCLA's 6-2 system spreads the ball around well on defense with three players with 43 or more blocks and four with 100 digs or more. May is second in the conference in kills per set at 4.71 in Pac-12 play while Emily Ryan has the highest hitting percentage at .400.

SCOUTING THE TROJANS
The Trojans have suffered three ranked losses since escaping Boulder, five-set losses to Utah and Stanford and a four-set loss at Washington State. The team does have a five-set win over Washington and a four-set over Cal under their belt.

USC is led by Khalia Lanier who leads Pac-12 play with 4.92 kills per set. Jasmine Gross is another factor with a .365 hitting percentage and second in the conference with 1.42 blocks per set. The Buffs will have to fight through the blocks but if they can they have a good chance at a win with USC 10th in the conference at under 14 digs per set.
"
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Match Media links -

Vs. UCLA (Thursday, 8:00 PM MT) :
Live video - Match will be viewable via a free live stream available at https://pac-12.com/live/ucla (as well I assume somewhere on the Pac 12 App?).

Live stats - http://stats.statbroadcast.com/broadcast/?id=269529

Vs. USC (Saturday, 8:00 PM MT) :
Live video -
Match will be viewable via a free live stream available at https://pac-12.com/live/usc (as well I assume somewhere on the Pac 12 App?).

Live stats - https://usctrojans.com/sidearmstats/wvball/summary
 

AztecBuff

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And the Buffs get the 2nd in OT on I believe their 4th set point opportunity to go up 2 sets to 0, with set 2 being 28-26
 

AztecBuff

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Buffs call a timeout down 15-18.

Scary moment when the Buffs were down 5-7, as setter Ewert came up limping after a block. CU called a timeout, and she was able to come back out on the court and seems OK.
 

AztecBuff

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Article after tonight's win-

Direct link - https://cubuffs.com/news/2019/11/7/volleyball-buffs-extend-streak-with-sweep-of-no-23-ucla.aspx

"
LOS ANGELES – The Colorado Buffaloes women's volleyball team extended its winning streak to three-straight with a 3-0 (25-21, 28-26, 25-22) sweep of No.23-UCLA in Pauley Pavilion Thursday evening.

The Buffaloes (11-12, 3-10 Pac-12) move to one match away from a .500 record as they take down the Bruins (13-9, 8-5 Pac-12) in Los Angeles for the second-straight sweep after doing so for their final win in 2018. This is the first time CU has won twice in a row in Los Angeles in school history.

Sophomore setter Jenna Ewert was the key to success today with a double-double 37 assists, 10 digs, three kills and three blocks. She led the Buffs to an outstanding .448 hitting percentage in the second set before she went down hard on the court in the third set. Despite limping after the fall, Ewert got back up and led CU to a comeback in the third set after being down by three numerous times.

The greatest benefactor to Ewert's night was freshman Elissa Alcantara. She finished with a team-high 13 kills and .393 hitting percentage after going the first two sets without an attacking error. She was joined by Justine Spann who had 10 kills and Sterling Parker who had eight and a .400 hitting percentage. The trio all stepped up in the third set with four kills each as the Bruins began to key on Meegan Hart who had eight kills and a .615 hitting percentage with an errorless 13 swings.

The match began to look like it was going to be Alcantara and Spann against UCLA's Mac May as the three took swing for swing through two sets. The Pac-12 leader in kills put down an outstanding 20 kills for a .366 hitting percentage but it wasn't enough as CU's defense held the Bruins to a .189 hitting percentage that included a .088 third set. Colorado put down seven blocks, led by Hart's four along with Danielle Price and Ewert's three. Libero Rachel Whipple had another solid night with 13 digs.

Another large reason for the sweep was Colorado's extraordinary service game. The Buffs didn't allow an ace until the third set as UCLA finished with two aces and eight service errors. CU put down four key aces and gave up nine service errors.

Colorado has a day of recovery before taking its winning streak to USC Saturday at 8 p.m. MST where the Buffs have never won.
...

QUOTES
Head Coach Jesse Mahoney
On The Match

First of all, that's a really big win for our team this year. Coming off of two wins and feeling good about ourselves along with a good week of practice and getting healthy helped. We played really solid, disciplined volleyball. If we do that and pass well, limit our unforced errors, we are as good as anyone we play. We had really nice end games tonight where we were able to withstand UCLA's runs and close it out.

On Justine And Elissa
The first set especially and for most of set two they played great. We tried to lose it in set two with service errors but other than that we took care of the ball attacking. Jenna did a great job moving the ball around. The third set she got injured and gutted it out. Our two outsides were very efficient taking swings when they could and keeping the ball in and putting the ball on them when we were a little out-of-system.
"
 

Bmixer

Well-Known Member
really like the future for this team. While this year has been a little disappointing, I like what I see for the future. Parker, Alcantara and Jill S have shown they can play high level volleyball
 

AztecBuff

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It's match day as the Buffs try to extend their 3 match winning streak and get their 2nd win EVER vs. the Trojans (They are currently 1-17 lifetime). It would also be their 1st road win ever against USC.

The Buffs will need to bring their best to have a chance for the win as I assume the Trojans, who like much of the Pac is dealing with injuries to key players, will be extra hungry for a win after a tough 5 set loss to Utah Thursday night where they lost the last 2 sets in overtime (26-28 and 16-18) after winning a marathon 2nd set (33-31).

Be interesting for me to see how USC's star hitter Khalia Lanier (for any old-time bball fans, the daughter of Piston HOF center Bob Lanier) is doing after having one of the best and busiest offensive nights in the history of the Pac 12. Assume as one of the best players of the nation she'll be fine, but she put in an incredible effort Thursday night as she had 82 (over 16 per set) of the Trojans total 165 kill attempts en route to becoming the 1st Pac 12 player to reach the 40 kill mark since NCAA volleyball changed its rules (I believe around 2008?) and shortened the point total needed to win each of the 1st 4 sets from 30 to 25. Assume that, like Utah, the Buffs will also be trying to tire her out some and occasionally remove her as an offensive option on a play by serving her a lot. (Against Utah I believe, when they were available, live stats showed her with around 38 (???) serve receipts for the match, with the next highest player for USC receiving somewhere in the mid-20's. Also want to note she and Buff senior Justine Spann probably know each other VERY well, as they were part of the same top in the nation (Arizona Storm) club team for MANY years (which was coached by Ms. Spann's mother).)

Go Buffs!

 

AztecBuff

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The Buffs going to have to work on some things to make it competitive in the later sets- they're down 14-23 as they call timeout #2.
 

AztecBuff

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The 2nd set has been VERY tight, but the Buffs earn their 1st 2 point lead at 20-18, which leads to a usc timeout.
 

AztecBuff

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Buffs were I believe down 3 (around 7-10?) in the 3rd, but have come back strong to lead 18-15. Timeout USC.
 

AztecBuff

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Trojans got within 1, then the Buffs get 2 in a row leading to another USC timeout. Buffs up 20-17 in the 3rd.
 

AztecBuff

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Buffs finally use their 1st timeout as they face their 1st set point against down 26-27 after being unable to quite convert on their own 1st 3 set points.
 

AztecBuff

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Buffs lose a tough 3rd set 26-28 as they hit a slide attempt into the net. trojans are up 2 sets to 1.

Buffs still playing VERY well overall.
 

AztecBuff

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Note- One thing that didn't help the Buffs in the 3rd set- for the 1st time I remember, it looks like Spann had maybe hit a tip in at a crucial time late in the set, but it was called out. Coach Mahoney challenged, but after a few minutes his challenge was disregarded (he wasn't charged a challenge) due to "technical difficulties". The Pac or NCAA may want to adjust their rules so a home team is penalized for that kind of thing.
 
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AztecBuff

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Buffs lose an early 3 point lead and have some sloppy hitting errors, leading to a timeout down 11-13 in the 4th.
 
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