Senior Courtney Karst (Centennial, Colo.) led the Arizona volleyball team (17-10, 9-9) past Colorado (17-10, 9-9) on Saturday night at McKale Center. The Wildcats edged the Buffs, 3-2 (25-15, 21-25, 25-14, 18-25, 15-12).
Karst led all players with 20 kills with a .314 hitting percentage. Freshman Madi Kingdon (Phoenix, Ariz.) posted her seventh double-double of the season with 14 kills and a season-high 13 digs.
Freshman Chloe Mathis (La Jolla, Calif.) also recorded a double-double with 12 digs and 48 assists and sophomore Candace Nicholson (Long Beach, Calif.) led the team in digs for the 18th time this season with 21.
Senior Marketa Hanzlova (Liberec, Czech Republic) also recorded a notable all-around match, posting eight kills, nine digs, three blocks and two aces for the Wildcats.
Arizona came out strong in the first set, roaring out to a 7-2 lead to start the match. The Buffs tried to make a comeback, but never got within three points and the Wildcats stretched their lead and took set one, 25-15. Kingdon and Karst each posted five kills in the set.
Colorado took charge in the second set, rallying out to a 9-6 lead and kept the margin steady until Arizona tied it at 15. The teams traded points, but the Wildcats could not overcome the deficit and the Buffs took set two, 25-21.
It was all Arizona in the third set, as the Wildcats jumped out to a 7-1 lead and did not look back the rest of the way. They won set three, 25-14 behind Karst’s five kills and freshman Rachel Rhoades’ three blocks.
In set four, Colorado channeled the team from set two and stormed out to a 3-0 lead. Arizona tried to come back, but the Buffs maintained the lead and closed out, 25-18.
In the fifth set, the Wildcats quickly jumped out to a 2-0 lead, but the Buffs answered right back and tied it up at two. Kills from Karst and Kingdon gave Arizona a three-point advantage, but Colorado would not go away and tied the game again at 6-6. Two-consecutive blocks and a Buffalo error put the Wildcats up, 10-7, but Colorado kept the score within two and tied it back up at 12. A service error, kill by Karst and service ace by Hanzlova gave Arizona set three, 15-12, and the match.
“We made a lot of unforced errors in the games that we lost tonight,” Arizona head coach David Rubio said. “In the games we won, we were pretty efficient, so it was pretty evident what we needed to do, but it was a struggle for us. We found a way to get it done. I thought Colorado really hung in there, we will certainly take the win at this point in the season and move on.”
Kerra Schroeder led the Buffaloes with 11 kills and 15 digs.
The Wildcats will hit the road to Los Angeles to take on No. 1 UCLA on Friday, Nov. 18 at 7 p.m. and No. 4 USC on Saturday, Nov. 19 at 7 p.m.
For complete results and continued coverage of Arizona Wildcat Volleyball, visit ArizonaWildcats.com.