On Friday, the Colorado volleyball team shook off a poor opening set to battle toe-to-toe with No. 8 Stanford, despite ultimately suffering a four-set loss.
It was a similar story for the Buffs on Sunday, although with much different results.
CU came out on top in three tightly-contested sets with Cal, getting back on track with a 3-0 win (25-17, 25-23, 25-22) at the Events Center.
It was the Buffs sixth consecutive win against Cal and improved CU’s Pac-12 Conference record to 4-2, one season after struggling to a 6-14 league mark.
“I’m obviously happy to get a win. We poured a lot of ourselves into that Friday night match,” said CU head coach Jesse Mahoney, whose team improved to 12-4 overall. “Recovering from that and getting ready to play today was something that we needed to focus on. Really happy with our offensive efficiency. We hit .340, I think we had eight or nine errors overall. We knew that Cal would need to score their own points, we didn’t want to give them any free points. Happy to get the win, for sure.”
CU used two early 4-0 runs to take control of the first set and held off the Golden Bears down the stretch of the second set. Cal was poised to extend the match after taking a 22-21 lead late in set three, but the Buffs scored the final four points to secure the sweep.
Senior Meegan Hart turned in a solid all-around performance with 11 kills and five blocks. Maya Tabron led the attack with 12 kills. CU matched a season-low with nine attack errors and posted a hitting percentage of .342, the Buffs’ second-best mark of the season.
After struggling in league play over the past three seasons — CU posted a combined 19-41 Pac-12 mark in that span — the Buffs will have another opportunity to show they might be ready for a stretch-run push during a home series that begins Friday against Washington State and continues Sunday against No. 16 Washington.
“I think in past seasons, we’ve started off strong and preseason, and then we kind of go down a little bit, once our conference play starts,” Hart said. “I’m really proud of how we responded this year. I know we have a lot of veterans, who just came in this year thinking we can be the best and we can win the Pac-12. We just have to have that mentality and that aggression. I’m really excited. It’s my last season. It’s been a while, but I just want to go out all hard and win.”
Colorado 3, Cal 0
CU 25 25 25
Cal 17 23 22
Kills — Cal: Schmidt 14, Grote 10. Colorado: Tabron 12, Hart 11, Hadrych 9.
Assists — Cal: Maeder 33. Colorado: Simpson 26, DeLuzio 9.
Aces — Cal: Maeder 3. Colorado: Simpson 2.
Blocks — Cal: Schmidt 2. Colorado: Hart 5, Schneggenburger 4, Kuehl 2.
Digs — Cal: DeSa 10, Maeder 10. Colorado: Lougeay 10, Simpson 8, DeLuzio 7.