Buffs Nab First Conference Road Win

In a season full of progressing benchmarks and eventual milestones, care and patience are two words that fans of the University of Colorado volleyball team (12-5 overall; 4-3 Big 12) have come to know very well in weeks past.

Following non-conference success that initially fueled notable interest in the team, Colorado and its fans were offered a rude awakening when the Buffs reached their Big 12 conference opposition, struggling to maintain a .500 league record after winning eight of the first matches they played.

After CU's 3-0 dismantling of Texas Tech to open conference play, the Buffaloes have been unpredictable at best, dropping matches to Texas A&M, Kansas and Nebraska since. Prior to Saturday night's game against the Baylor Bears, each of Colorado's four conference wins had come at home - which made CU's most recent benchmark of defeating a conference foe away from Boulder all the more pressing.

The Buffs did, in fact, manage their first Big 12 road win of the season in Waco Saturday evening and, in one of the most convincing performances they've offered all season, CU rode an all-round spectacular team effort to a 30-21, 30-25, 30-25 sweep of Baylor.

The Colorado attack showed no weariness from the team's 3-0 home win over Texas last week, as the Buffs combined to hit an even .300 for the match, finishing with 55 kills on 130 attacks with only 16 errors. Senior middle blocker Monique Gerlach hit .500 for the match, netting 13 kills on 26 attacks with no errors.

"In this match and the Texas match we have really started to battle teams by taking charge early and not letting them (the opposition) take control," Gerlach said. "We came out determined tonight."

Defensively, Colorado was arguably even more impressive, holding Baylor to a .202 hitting percentage, and just .138 through the first two games. CU had 9.5 team blocks, out-blocking an opponent for just the fourth time this season.

"We played a solid match," head coach Pi'i Aiu said. "We've tinkered with the lineup a little and that often gives us a spark. We passed well and were solid overall, but there are still some things we need to work on."

Riding the sudden momentum of back-to-back 3-0 sweeps of Texas and Baylor, respectively, CU returns to the friendly confines of Boulder to battle Oklahoma (12-5; 3-3) on Wednesday before embarking on a road trip that will take the Buffs through Kansas State (16-3; 6-1) and Missouri (13-4; 6-2).


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