V-ball Looks to Rebound Against A&M After Upset

The University of Colorado volleyball team (9-3) looks to avoid being swept on their current Big 12 road trip when they travel to College Station, TX to match up against No. 25 Texas A&M (8-3) Wednesday night at 7:00 p.m. The match will bring to a close CU's longest road trip until Oct. 18, and is necessary for the Buffaloes to regain momentum heading into the meat of their Conference schedule over the next few weeks.

After opening Big 12 play in impressive fashion, with CU overcoming a strong Texas Tech team and defeating the Lady Raiders 3-1 on Sep. 17, Colorado traveled to Lawrence where they were swept by Kansas (30-24, 30-28, 30-25) on Saturday. The loss broke a three-game winning streak dating back to Colorado's dismissal of Oregon in the first game of the Colorado Invitational on Sep. 12.

Wednesday's game will pit the Buffs against ranked competition for just the second time all year. CU's first taste of top 25 caliber volleyball came against Penn State during the Sea-Sun Invitational on Aug. 29 in the second game the team played all year. CU got a game in over the then-11th ranked Lady Nittany Lions before they ran the table on the Buffaloes for a 3-1 win.

Colorado has rallied around the senior leadership of Monique Gerlach for much of the season. The senior has not failed to live up to her legendary reputation on campus, leading the Lady Buffaloes in a handful of statistical categories, including kills (159) and kills-per-game (3.88).

Gerlach's play has been accented by that of junior Nicole Carr, who shares many of the same attributes and style of play as does her more senior counterpart. Carr brings a similarly explosive style to Colorado's lineup; so much so that most competition CU has faced early this season has simply been overwhelmed by the tandem which, combined, has tallied 662 total attacks and 23 serve attempts, more than any other two players on the Buff roster.

Meanwhile, Texas A&M enters Wednesday's contest riding a 3-1 win over the University of Houston Sunday. The win broke a relatively severe dry spell for the Lady Aggies, who before that had lost two straight matches to both USC and Big 12 Conference foe Nebraska the week before.

Their play in the last few weeks aside, A&M's early season performance in the initial stages of their 2003 season has earned them a place in the national spotlight. The Aggies' tallied nonconference victories over the likes of Pittsburgh, Duke, and Louisville in a period of a little more than two weeks, when Texas A&M went 7-1, including four straight victories to open the season, between Aug. 29 and Sep. 13.

By all accounts, the Lady Aggies just would not be in the position they are going into Wednesday's game against Colorado if not for the exceptional play of Laura Jones, who's nearly five kills-per-game total out to an incredible 187 on the year; which represents nearly a third of the teams' combined production.

Wednesday's game, which will be broadcast on College Sports Television (available through Direct TV or similar satellite providers), will be CU's first televised game of the season. Following the match, Colorado returns home to Boulder for just a single set this Saturday against Iowa State before again heading out on the road for a matchup against rival Nebraska on Oct. 1.

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