Buffs Begin ‘Texas Four' With Win

The University of Colorado volleyball team began its improbable quest for an NCAA Tournament bid with an unorthodox 3-0; 30-17, 30-23, 30-25 sweep of Big 12 Conference rival Texas Tech Saturday night at the United Spirit Arena in Lubbock.

Freshman setter Ashley Nu'u had three of her team's seven solo blocks, while senior middle blocker Monique Gerlach had three block assists in Colorado's second sweep in as many matches. Nu'u had seven blocks, all by the end of game two, just one shy of CU's single match record for a setter. Nicole Vranesh (1990) and Jennifer Sherlock (1988) share the record at eight.

Nu'u also had 16 assists and hit .669 with six kills and no errors on nine attacks.

"Texas Tech's sets were really tight tonight and we penetrated very well," Nu'u said. "Our middles (Gerlach and Allie Griffin) also closed the blocks well, not leaving any space for their hitters to find the seams."

Sophomore Nicole Carr recorded her Big 12 leading 14th double-double of the season, finishing with a team-high 12 kills and 21 digs. Carr's 21 digs are a team season-high and the second time this season she has reached the 20 dig figure.

The win was essential in CU's quest for a prolonged postseason, as head coach Pi'i Aiu after his teams 3-0 blanking of Baylor Wednesday night in Boulder. "We're probably going to have to win four of our last six to even be on the bubble," Aiu said. "It's something we can do, but it's not going to be easy."

Four of those last six games come in consecutive order, beginning with Saturday night's win. Colorado will begin preparations for the most important game they may play during the rest of the regular season, when they host No. 21 Texas A&M in Boulder Wednesday night. The match will be the first of three the Buffs will play against a ranked team in their next four outings.

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