Ranked 15th in the nation and coming off the program's first appearance in the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 in 20 years, the Colorado volleyball team is harboring big expectations in 2018. The Buffaloes kick things off with three matches over two days at the Rumble in the Rockies hosted by the University of Wyoming. A look at the opening weekend:

Colorado volleyball at Rumble in the Rockies

Schedule: Friday — vs. Oral Roberts, 10 a.m.; vs. North Florida, 5 p.m. Saturday — vs. Wyoming, 7 p.m.

2017 records: CU 24-10; Oral Roberts 15-14; North Florida 13-19; Wyoming 17-14.

CU top returning leaders (2017 stats): Kills — OH Alexa Smith, Sr., 3.97/set; Blocks — MB Naghede Abu, Sr., 1.20/set; Assists — S Brynna DeLuzio, So., 11.02/set; Digs — D/L Gabby Carta-Samuels, Sr., 3.51/set; Aces — DeLuzio 29 total.


Notes: Coach Jesse Mahoney begins his third season at the helm of CU's program with a record of 38-26. In six seasons overall as a Division I head coach Mahoney is 126-67...The Buffs are 3-1 all-time against Oral Roberts but have never played North Florida. CU hasn't played Oral Roberts since Sept. 2, 2001...Mahoney expressed concern about Saturday's matchup against a Wyoming squad that finished second in the Mountain West Conference last year and returns a wealth of experience. "It's a tough setting against a team that returns all their starters and is senior-laden," Mahoney said. "So that's going to be a test for us on the road. We're still trying to figure out the team we're going to be this year."...The Buffs' season-opening run of five consecutive road matches continues next weekend in the Pac-12/Big Ten Challenge with matches against Illinois and Iowa at the University of Washington.

Follow us on Twitter: twitter.com/BuffZone