CU Volleyball Swept in First Round of NCAA's

The University of Colorado volleyball team could come no closer than eight points to close out any one game against the Michigan Wolverines, and the Buffs were swept 3-0; 22-30, 22-30, 11-30 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at Haas Pavilion in Berkely, CA Friday night.

The Wolverines owned the net from the onset, blocking 18.5 CU shots on the night compared to the CU's swatting just five. Michigan utilized its defensive dominance in establishing the tempo on the other side of the ball, outshooting the Buffs in each of its three wins, and holding Colorado to a dismal -.161 in the closing game. Colorado's highest output came in the first when they shot .128, far short of Michigan's lowest output.

"I am very disappointed with the outcome of the match," CU head coach Pi'I Aiu said. "I know we can play much better than we played tonight. I can only blame myself for what happened."

Maragda Santillana led Colorado's offensive effort, tallying a team-high 10 kills in the loss, while contributing with 25 attacks and a solo block.

Friday night's defeat marks the final time CU seniors Monique Gerlach, and Monica Vesanovic will see action after both were recruited into the Colorado program after being centerpieces in a bitter rivalry between their respective southern California high schools.

"We didn't know (we'd both been recruited to CU) until we got here," Gerlach said following the last home game of her career, an equally disappointing 3-2 loss to Nebraska in Boulder on Nov. 26. "At first it seemed a little weird, but our friendship really grew because, as freshmen, you really don't have a choice but to bond together."

Gerlach and Vesanovic were notably quiet in their final game, combining for seven kills, 14 attacks, and six defensive digs.

"We didn't come out in the right mindset," Gerlach said. "We definitely could have played better."

Michigan was the beneficiary of a very balanced attack in its first round win, as Erin Moore was the only Wolverine to tally double-figures in blocks with 13. They did see six players post at least 11 attacks on the night, including Moore's 23.

Moore's performance also established school records for single-season kills and blocks, adding seven block assists in the win as U-M held the Buffs to a .020 hitting percentage and out-blocked Colorado by 12.

The Wolverines (21-11) will move on to play Cal in second round play Saturday in Berkeley.


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