The 2017 season got off to a solid start Friday for the University of Colorado women's volleyball team as the Buffaloes notched a 3-1 win over Northwestern State on the first day of play at the NIKE Invitational at the University of Oklahoma in Norman.
The Buffs started the match strong, winning the first set 25-14, before losing a tight second frame 28-26. Colorado then rebounded to take the next two sets, 25-17 and 25-15, to start the season 1-0.
Junior Alexa Smith shined for CU, recording 18 kills and hitting .280. Frankie Shebby, a redshirt junior, also had a stand-out openr for the Buffs with 13 kills and a .281 hitting efficiency. She also recorded a double-double with a team-best 11 digs while posting five block assists.
Another junior, Naghede Abu, was a force at the net for Colorado, recording 10 total blocks, one solo and nine assists.
In her collegiate debut, CU freshman Brynna Deluzio handed out 43 assists and added nine digs and a pair of aces while leading CU to a .310 hitting percentage.
The Buffs dominated the team stats. CU hit .310 with 53 kills and 13 errors on 129 attacks and held the Lady Demons to a .103 efficiency with 48 kills and 33 errors on 145 swings.
The Buffs recorded 51 assists to NSU's 46 and also had the advantage in blocks (15.5-3.0). Both teams served up four aces.
"We're excited to get this first win of the season," Colorado coach Jesse Mahoney said in a CU press release. "Except for the hiccup towards the end of the second set, I was pleased with our level of play. Brynna ran an efficient offense in her first collegiate start, and it was great to have Frankie Shebby finally get a chance to see the floor in a Buff uniform as well.
"Tomorrow's matches will be tougher tests."
Speaking of which, the Buffs will begin the day in Norman with a 9 a.m. (MDT) matchup against Seton Hall and will cap off the tournament at 6 p.m. against tourney-host Oklahoma.