Less than 24 hours after suffering a tough loss to No. 15 San Diego, the No. 18 Buffs bounced back to earn a convincing 3-0 (25-15, 25-22, 25-11) win over UC Irvine on Saturday at the San Diego Invitational.
The win, which puts CU at 5-2 on the season, is head coach Jesse Mahoney’s 200th career win as a collegiate head coach. Of those 200 wins, 93 have been at a Division I school.
“After a tough loss last night, the team did a great job regrouping and coming out ready to play today,” Mahoney said. ” They executed the game plan well. We were able to get some new faces out on the court; it was nice having everyone able to contribute to this important win.”
Sophomore Alexa Smith and junior Gabby Simpson led CU with 11.0 points each. Smith recorded a team-best nine kills and added four block assists, while Simpson hammered eight kills, four block assists and an ace. Both also attacked at a good clip with Smith recording a .400 efficiency with one error on 20 attacks and Simpson tallying a .353 percentage with two errors on 17 attacks.
The Buffs hit .375 with 41 kills and five errors on 96 attacks, while UCI was held to a .134 hitting percentage with 37 kills and 24 errors on 97 attacks. Both teams had 35 assists and UCI had the advantage on digs (38-31), but the Buffs out-blocked the Anteaters 14.0-2.0 and had five service aces to UCI’s one.
“We are coming away from this weekend with a better understanding of what we need to work on before another big week ahead.”