The first road test of the season proved to be little trouble at all for the Colorado volleyball team. And the Buffaloes will go into the finale of the Arkansas Invitational on the cusp of making team history.
The Buffs began play at the Arkansas Invitational on Friday with a sweep of Florida International (25-22, 25-19, 25-18). CU completed the doubleheader in Fayetteville, Ark., by sweeping Arkansas Little Rock to improve to 7-0.
With the back-to-back sweeps, CU tied the 2018 team record for consecutive sets won during the rally scoring era (since 2001) with 14 in a row. The Buffs have posted four consecutive sweeps and haven’t dropped a set since the third set of what turned into a five-set win at home against the University of Denver on Aug. 27.
The winless FIU Panthers put up a fight in the opening set, rallying into a 22-22 tie before the Buffs secured the final three points — the first on an FIU attack error, followed by a kill from Lexi Hadrych and an ace from setter Taylor Simpson.
CU used an early 10-1 run to take control of the second set and never trailed in the third after jumping to a 5-0 lead.
The Buffs posted a hitting percentage of .231 but held FIU to a .094 mark. It was a balanced attack for CU, with three five players posting at least six kills.
CU was equally impressive against Little Rock, recording a .333 hitting percentage while holding Little Rock to .125. Hadrych led the way offensively with 19 kills and Meegan Hart recorded five blocks.
“A little bit of a slow start to each one of the sets tonight but I was happy with how we finished,” CU head coach Jesse Mahoney said. “We found a way late in each set to put some pressure on them from the service line and finish. Huge match from Lexi Hadrych — when she lines up and is driving to the ball she is tough to stop.”
After an off day on Saturday, CU completes the tournament with a showdown against the host Arkansas Razorbacks on Sunday (noon MT, SEC Network Plus). It will be CU’s first matchup against Arkansas, and both teams received votes in this week’s AVCA Top 25 poll. Mahoney, in his seventh season at CU, will take aim at his 100th win with the Buffs.
Colorado 3, Florida International 0
CU 25 25 25
FIU 22 19 18
Kills — FIU: Morgan 10, Dimitriadis 6. Colorado: Tabron 13, Hadrych 9, Hart 8, Kuehl 7, Schneggenburger 6.
Assists — FIU: Nading 28. Colorado: Simpson 31.
Aces — FIU: Dimitriadis 1, Nading 1, Thibault 1. Colorado: Simpson 2.
Digs — FIU: Turner 21, Nading 9. Colorado: Lougeay 18, DeLuzio 11, Scheneggenburger 11, Simpson 10.
Blocks — FIU: Wissinger 4, Morgan 3, Dimitriadis 3. Colorado: Kuehl 5, Tabron 3.
Colorado 3, Little Rock 0
CU 25 25 25
UALR 16 19 20
Kills — UALR: Kamberovic 7, Harris 6. Colorado: Hadrych 19, Kuehl 11, Schneggenburger 6.
Assists — UALR: Spankus 14, Reynolds 12. Colorado: Simpson 36.
Aces — UALR: Reynolds 1, Cail 1, Spankus 1. Colorado: Schneggenburger 2.
Digs — UALR: Kimura 12, Harris 12. Colorado: Lougeay 12, Simpson 8.
Blocks — UALR: Willis 5, Cail 3. Colorado: Hart 5, Tabron 3.