Jenna Ewert led an impressive offensive output by the Colorado Buffaloes Volleyball team that led to a 3-0 sweep of the Cal Bears, 25-17, 25-11, 25-14, Sunday afternoon at the CU Events Center.
Colorado moves to 4-0 to open a season for the sixth time in history and open with a 4-0 record in conference play for the seventh time, but first since 1998 when the Buffs opened Big 12 Conference play 7-0. Cal drops to 0-6 on the season. Colorado is now just one of two undefeated teams remaining in the Pac-12 along with Utah.
“It was a great match and a fun weekend. It is rare to get two wins in this league in the same weekend. It is rare to get sweeps in this league,” head coach Jesse Mahoney said. “I am really proud of our team and how they came out with a lot of focus and a lot of fire to start the match. The challenge for us was to keep that fire and focus throughout the entire match which we struggled with a little bit Friday night.”
The Buffs hit .337 as a team and held Cal to just .106 in the three-set match. The Buffs, who also hit .386 on Friday against the Bears, hit over .300 in consecutive matches for the first time since the start of the 2019 season in the Pac-12/Big Ten Showdown, hitting. 334 at Iowa and .462 the next day against Illinois.
CU’s defense has been solid to open the season, holding their opponent under .200 in each of the first four matches of the season, also the longest stretch since the 2019 pre-conference schedule and longest stretch in Pac-12 play since the middle of the 2018 season.
Ewert conducted the offense efficiently, which was led by Elissa Alcantara, who hit .464 with 15 kills, and Alexia Kuehl, who hit .545 with six kills on 11 swings in just her second career start. Ewert herself had four kills in six attempts and in all had 28 assists. CU also served extremely well with 11 aces, including four from Taylor deProsse and three from Katie Lougeay. Ewert also added two aces.
Defensively, the Buffs were also impressive, holding Cal to just .106 with 12 blocks as a team, including four each from Ewert and Rachael Fara. Ewert also led the way for CU with 12 digs while Brynna DeLuzio added 10. Jill Schneggenburger added seven digs and two blocks.
Colorado will now hit the road for the first time this season, traveling to Pullman, Wash., for two matches against the Washington State Cougars next Thursday and Saturday.
Colorado 3, California 0
California 17 11 14
Colorado 25 25 25
Kills – Cal: Lilomaiava, Sydney (7), Pantovic, Katarina (5), Taumoepeau, Sam (5); CU: Alcantara, Elissa (15), Parker, Sterling (7), Schneggenburger, Jill (7)
Aces – Cal: None; CU: deProsse, Taylor (4), Lougeay, Katie (3), Ewert, Jenna (2)
Blocks – Cal: Grote, Lydia (3), Taumoepeau, Sam (2), Lilomaiava, Sydney (1): CU: Ewert, Jenna (4), Fara, Rachael (4), Parker, Sterling (2)
Assists – Cal: Potter, Isabel (15), Jensen, Kendall (9), Clark, Darian (1); CU: Ewert, Jenna (28), DeLuzio, Brynna (5)
Digs – Cal: Bellizzi, Gabby (11), Pantovic, Katarina (7), Jensen, Kendall (7); CU: Ewert, Jenna (12), DeLuzio, Brynna (10), Schneggenburger, Jill (7)