BLOCK – The University of Colorado women’s volleyball team returns home to host No. 8-ranked Stanford on Friday at 7 p.m. and Cal on Sunday at 12 p.m.
The Buffaloes (11-3, 3-1 Pac-12) are tied for second in the Pac-12 and have one of the biggest tests coming to town Friday for the first game in the top 10 since 2020 at Boulder.
Colorado is third in the NCAA at three blocks per set, coming off the team’s second 20-block performance of the season. Mediums Alexia Kuhl and Meegan Hart are the force ahead with Kuehl 15e in the NCAA at 1.44 blocks per set and Hart at 1.24 blocks per set. Hart is also second in the NCAA in hit percentage at .464.
The Buffs are led offensively by Maya Tabron and Lexi Hadrych, who average over three kills per set. Tabron has a team record 166 kills and hits .235. Setter taylor simpson leads the offense which has three batters with 140 or more kills, and Simpson also leads the team with a dozen aces.
Katie Lougeay leads the back line with 3.42 recoveries per set, while CU has five buffs with 20 or more blocks led by Kuehl with 68.
Friday’s game against Stanford will be a mental health awareness game for the Buffaloes, while Sunday against Cal will be the CU Pride game.
The Cardinal (8-4, 3-1 Pac-12) faced a group of ranked opponents in the non-conference season, beating No. 13 Florida in five sets, No. 3 Minnesota in four sets and Nebraska #2 in four. together, all on the road. The team fell to No. 1 Texas in three sets, No. 20 Penn State in five and No. 3 Louisville in four, including two at home. The Cardinal also suffered a sweep in Eugene against No. 21 Oregon but responded with a four-set home win over No. 17 Washington.
Stanford is hitting .253 this season while keeping opponents .199 behind at 2.8 blocks per set. They average two more kills per set than their opponents and one more ace. Kendall Kipp is averaging more than four kills per set, hitting .271 from the outside with 24 service aces this season. McKenna Vicini and Sami Francis both have more than 50 blocks this season up front.
The Golden Bears (7-7, 0-4 Pac-12) haven’t won a power five this season and are on a four-game losing streak. Cal lost in five to Oregon State but was swept by Stanford, Washington State and Washington all at home. The team is hitting .203 this season and holding opponents to a .184 hitting percentage.
Lydia Grote has a team record 191 kills and is one of three players with 15 or more service aces. Bears libero Tara DeSa is averaging 4.25 digs per set this season while Sophie Scott is averaging 1.25 blocks per set in middle position.