Colorado volleyball coach Jesse Mahoney described Saturday's Black and Gold scrimmage a dry run for his team's season-opener.
If it had been a practice instead of an intrasquad scrimmage at the Coors Events Center, the exercise would have crawled along at a far slower pace.
"If this was a practice, I would have stopped it a while," Mahoney said.
Fortunately for the Buffaloes, whatever kinks Mahoney noticed as his team scrimmaged beneath the newly-unveiled high-definition video board above center court, there remains a full work week ahead in which those issues can still be addressed. After spending the past week training at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, the Buffs will begin preparations for their season opener Friday against Northwestern State in the Oklahoma Invitational.
"This is a dry run. We go through our match warmup. We're playing in front of other people and we're in the big arena," Mahoney said. "We try to have some energy and make it feel like a match. And then really working on some individual things. Everyone has their specific goals, and they're getting some game-time coaching where you don't have time to stop it and talk about it for a long time."
The Buffs went through their intrasquad scrimmage shorthanded, as Stephanie Shadley, Taylor Joachim, Frankie Shebby, and Anyse Smith all remained on the sideline due to injuries. Shadley, a senior, ranked second on the team last year in kills.
"Right now, we're not expecting any of them back (next) weekend," Mahoney said. "But it's not out of the realm of possibility that a couple of them could be there."
Edelman pitches in
With the Buffs shorthanded due to those injuries, a friendly neighborhood alum was able to lend a hand.
Nicole Edelman, a senior for the Buffs in 2015 and a Boulder native, answered Mahoney's call to participate in Saturday's scrimmage. Edelman spent her first professional season last year with a club in Switzerland and will play in Spain this upcoming season. She ranks fourth among CU's all-time leaders in assists.
"It was amazing and I had a really fun time," Edelman said of her first season in Europe. "I think the hardest thing was the language barrier because everything was in French. But it's so much fun playing volleyball over there and I had fun traveling with volleyball. I'm happy to be going back over."
After opening the season against Northwestern State on Friday, the Buffs face Seton Hall and the host Sooners Saturday on the final day of the Oklahoma Invitational...CU hosts Wake Forest (1 p.m.) and Rice (7 p.m.) for their home opener on Sept. 2 on the first day of the Omni Invitational.