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Junior libero Rachel Whipple posted a career-high 19 digs in last week's win against North Florida.
Lewis Geyer / Staff Photographer
Junior libero Rachel Whipple posted a career-high 19 digs in last week’s win against North Florida.

Ranked No. 21 in the nation, a shorthanded Colorado volleyball team continues its road-heavy start to the season at the annual Pac-12/Big Ten Challenge at the University of Washington. A look at this weekend’s action, which begins with a top-25 showdown:

No. 21 Colorado vs. 11 Illinois

Game time: Friday, 6 p.m. MT, Seattle, Wash.

Broadcast: Pac-12 Mountain.

Records: CU 2-1; Illinois 3-0.

Notes: The Buffs continue the Pac-12/Big Ten Challenge Saturday against Iowa (6 p.m. MT, Pac-12 Mountain)…The Buffs are 4-4 all-time against Illinois and have defeated the Fighting Illini in five-set thrillers in each of the past two seasons…Illinois already has taken care of business against teams from Colorado, posting five-set wins last week at Colorado State and Northern Colorado…Like last week, the Buffs will be without senior middle blocker Naghede Abu due to an injury. She is expected to remain sidelined the next three to four weeks…Junior libero Rachel Whipple recorded career-bests in digs (19) and assists (5) in last week’s win against North Florida…After five straight matches on the road to start the season, the Buffs will host Georgia on Friday and Oklahoma and North Carolina on Saturday next week in the Buffs Invitational.

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