The University of Colorado women’s volleyball team swept Arizona State, 3-0, Friday in Boulder. The Buffs were led by senior Alexa Smith’s 16 kill performance.
The Buffaloes made quick work of ASU (25-21, 25-19, 25-22) to improve to 15-11 overall with a 7-8 record in conference play. With the loss the Sun Devils fall below .500 at 13-14 with a 4-11 record in the Pac-12.
“We did a lot of things really well,” said Coach Jesse Mahoney. “We passed extremely well for most of the match. I thought we served extremely well for most of the match. We got into some places where we gave up some free points on hitting errors, but we put the clamp down on that. We were able to limit those errors and force Arizona State to score their own points. Once we did that, we created some separation. It is always good to get a win. It is always better to get a sweep.”
Slow starts in sets by CU kept ASU in the match, but a slow start couldn’t contain Smith who finished with more than five kills per set and a .353 hitting percentage. Smith caught fire in the final set, finishing with seven errorless kills and a .538 hitting percentage to send Arizona State home. This is the third time in four matches Smith has hit greater than .350.
“I got off to a little bit of a rough start and got some errors early on,” said Smith. “After that, I was in my own head. I continued to get better and [setter] Jenna (Ewert) made it really easy for me.”
Pac-12 Freshman of the Week Jenna Ewert continued to improve as she leads the team solo without fellow setter Brynna DeLuzio. Ewert dished out 33 assists (11 per set) and was a dig away from a double-double with nine. She also was a part of three blocks. Ewert has averaged about 11 assists per set in the past three matches.
Defensively, Colorado had 10 total blocks as a team, all coming from block assists. Anyse Smith, who was second on the team with 11 kills, led the team in block assists with seven. Danielle Price joined in with five blocks, while Naghede Abu added in four. Rachel Whipple cleaned up the back row as the only player in the match with double-digit digs at 10.
With the sweep under their belt the Buffs turn to No.20-ranked Arizona Sunday at noon for senior day.