Smith, Shebby Notch 25 Kills Apiece in Colorado’s Five-Set Win

  0 Wendy Mayer | October 15th, 2017 | College - Women's Indoor, News, Pac 12


  • Colorado (RV) def. Arizona 3-2 (26-28, 25-21, 25-14, 23-25, 15-10)
  • Colorado moves to 14-5, 4-4 Pac-12; Arizona falls to 8-9, 2-6 Pac-12
  • Tucson, Arizona
  • Attendance: 1,158
  • Box Score


TUCSON, Ariz. – Junior outside hitters Frankie Shebby and Alexa Smith turned in 25 kills apiece to lift Colorado to a five-set road win over Arizona on Sunday.

The Buffs also had help from a .299 hitting effort and bested the Wildcats in kills (72-65), blocks (8-5) and digs (77-69) in the victory. Both teams served up six aces.

Colorado closed out the match with a .524 hitting effort in the final stanza. The Buffs jumped out to a 4-0 lead with help from two Smith kills and maintained the edge until 7-3. The Wildcats cut the margin to one at 7-6 as redshirt freshman outside Elizabeth Shelton added a kill and a block. Three Shebby putaways lifted Colorado to a 12-8 lead. The teams split the next four points with a kill by senior middle blocker Anna Pfefferle making it 14-10 Buffs. A kill by junior middle Naghede Abu grabbed Colorado the match.

Shebby and Smith each notched double double while hitting .339 or better. Shebby hit .357 and added 15 digs and a team-best three blocks to her 25 kills, while Smith hit at a .339 clip and pulled up a team-best 18 digs. Abu also posted double-digit kills with 10 to go with a team-high three stuffs. Junior libero Gabby Carta-Samuels chipped in 16 digs and freshman setter Brynna DeLuzio added 12 to round out a group of four players with double-digit saves.

Shelton downed 16 kills, while junior outside Kendra Dahlke (14) and freshman outside Paige Whipple (10) followed to pace Arizona. Freshman middle Candice Denny and sophomore middle Devyn Cross added eight kills apiece to round out the Wildcat offense. Denny hit at a team-best .462 clip, while Dahlke rounded out a double double with 13 digs. Sophomore libero Makenna Martin posted a match-high 21 digs, followed by senior defensive specialist Kimberly Gutierrez (16) and Dahlke.

The teams split the first 20 points of the match, including six ties. Colorado broke away with a 6-2 run to go up 16-13 as Arizona committed three errors. The Wildcats countered with a 6-1 run of its own to grab a 19-17 lead of its own. Two Denny kills and an ace by Dahlke aided the run. A pair of Shebby kills tied it up at 19. Down 22-21, Arizona got two ace from Katie Smoot to earn a set-point try at 24-22. Colorado scored three in a row, with kills by Smith and Abu and an ace by Justine Spann to go up 25-24. Another Smith kill gave the Buffs another attempt at 26-25. Errors dampened the rally with two helping Arizona to a 28-26 win.

Down 10-7 in Set 2, Colorado scored six of the next eight, including three Shebby putaways, to take a 13-12 lead. The teams tied at 13, 14 and 15 and three straight Dahlke putaways pushed Arizona in front 18-15. That sparked a 7-0 Colorado run, with two Abu kills and two Wildcat errors, making it 22-18 Buffs. Two Colorado miscues cut the margin to one at 22-21, but the Buffs wrapped up the win with three straight, including two Shebby kills and a Carta-Samuels ace.

Colorado built a 13-5 lead in Set 3 as Smith notched five kills and Arizona made four errors. The Buffs kept the rally going with an 11-5 run, setting up a set-point try at 24-10. Three kills and a block by Smith and a pair of Abu putaways buoyed Colorado in the stretch. The Wildcats held off the Buffs for four points, with help from three hitting errors, before Abu closed out the 25-14 victory to put Colorado up 2-1 in the match.

After a tie at 8-all in Set 4, Arizona scored six of the next nine, including two Gutierrez aces and two Patterson putaways to go up 14-11. Colorado cut the margin to one five times, last at 24-23, but couldn’t complete the comeback. Kills by Cross and Shelton lifted the Wildcats to a 24-20 lead, but Colorado scored three straight to keep the match going. A Shelton kill gave Arizona the win and forced the decisive fifth set.



Courtesy: Colorado Athletics

Colorado finished a weekend sweep on Sunday with a thrilling 3-2 win at the University of Arizona. Set scores were 28-30, 25-21, 25-14, 23-25, 15-10. The Buffs also defeated Arizona State on Friday (3-0).

The Buffs improved to .500 in Pac-12 play with the win (4-4) and are now 14-5 on the season. The Wildcats fell below .500 overall (8-9) and are now 2-6 in league play.

WHAT HAPPENED: Colorado’s outsides were on fire as both Frankie Shebby and Alexa Smith hammered 25 kills. The 25 kills were a career-best for Shebby and tied Smith’s career-best, which she has done two other times this season. The duo also hit well. Shebby recorded a .357 percentage with five errors on 56 attacks, while Smith hit .339 with four errors on 62 swings.

Both also picked up double-doubles as they played well on defense. Smith led the match with 18 digs, while Shebby added a career-high 15 digs. Shebby also posted three blocks in the effort, while Smith had one.

Naghede Abu recorded 10 kills in the effort and tied a team-best three blocks. Both Anna Pfefferle and Joslyn Hayes each recorded five kills. Pfefferle had a team high hitting percentage at .700 with no errors on seven attacks.

The Buffs hit quite well in the contest at .299, their highest in Pac-12 play this season, thanks in part to Brynna DeLuzio’s career-high 57-assist performance. She also added 12 digs and a pair of blocks.

Elizabeth Shelton led UA with 16 kills and Kendra Dahlke tallied 14 kills. Makenna Martin led the match with 21 digs.

SET 1: Colorado recorded a 14-11 start to the set before Arizona needed to take a timeout. Out of the break, the Wildcats used a 5-2 run to even the set, causing the Buffs to use a timeout of their own. UA took the next two points, but a short time later, the frame was tied again, this time at 19-19. The Buffs were able to regain a 22-21 lead, but two points later, the Wildcats led 23-22, which made CU take its final timeout. UA served up an ace on the following point (24-22), reaching set point, but the Buffs fought off the next two points with kills from Smith and Abu to tie it back up. After an Arizona timeout, the Buffs would have two set-point opportunities before the Wildcats came back to finish the game 28-26.

SET 2: Arizona was able to take 10-7 lead in the set, but the Buffs responded with a 6-2 run, which put them up 13-12. The Wildcats responded by retaking the lead, going up 18-15. At that point, CU was able to put together a 5-0 run for a two-point lead (20-18), forcing the Wildcats to spend a timeout. UA took the next three points, and this time, it was CU that needed a timeout to regroup. The break worked as the Buffs closed the game out with a pair of kills from Shebby and an ace from libero Gabby Carta-Samuels (25-21).

SET 3: The Wildcats used an early timeout after the Buffs started the game 7-4. CU increased its lead to eight out of the break with a 6-1 run (13-5).  Colorado did not let up and increased its advantage to 12-points at 21-9. The Buffs would eventually take the set, 25-14.

SET 4: UA took the lead from the start of the set, going up 4-1 before the Buffs evened the score at 6-6. The Wildcats kept the pressure on CU and would eventually have an 18-15 lead before CU would use a timeout. The Buffs used a 3-1 run to cut UA’s advantage to one (19-18), causing the Wildcats to take a timeout. UA was able to go back up by three shortly after (23-20), which gave CU no choice by to take a timeout. The Wildcats took the next point, but the Buffs were able to fight off the first two set points before UA needed to talk things over (24-22). The Buffs posted a block out of the timeout, but UA finished the set on the following point (25-23).

SET 5: The Buffs started the final game with four straight points before the Wildcats got on the board. CU had a slight 8-6 edge at the side-change and recorded the next point off a UA attack error (9-6), which made UA take a timeout. The Buffs were able to increase their lead to four at 11-7, causing the Wildcats to use their final break of the match. CU held its composure and was able to finish the final set 15-10.

NOTES: For the first time this season, the Buffs had two player record 20 or more kills in a single match. This was the fifth time this season Alexa Smith has recorded 20 or more kills, while it is the first for Frankie Shebby…Brynna DeLuzio has handed out 50 or more assists in seven contests this campaign… The Buffs are 8-4 in matches away from Boulder and are 4-1 in five-set contests this season…CU now leads the all-time series vs. Arizona 7-6…The Buffs also improved to 3-4 in Tucson, Ariz.

TEAM STATISTICS: Colorado hit .299 with 72 kills and 20 errors on 174 attacks and held Arizona to a .225 hitting efficiency with 65 kills and 25 errors on 178 swings. Both teams served up six aces, but UA had nine service errors to CU’s six. The Buffs had the edge in digs (77-69) and blocks (8.5-5.0).

NEXT UP: The Buffs return home to Boulder next weekend. They will host Southern California on Oct. 20 and UCLA on Oct. 21 at Coors Events Center.

Head coach Jesse Mahoney
“Every team in this league is a challenge, so getting a road sweep on the weekend is a big deal. Lex and Frankie carried the load for us in a big way and we played very clean volleyball in the fifth set. We are looking forward to playing in Coors next weekend.”


Courtesy: Arizona Athletics

Arizona fell to Colorado in five sets on Sunday afternoon in McKale Center (26-28, 25-21, 25-14, 23-25, 15-10).

“I think the simple answer for me obviously, is that they executed better down the stretch on all the sets that they won,” said head coach Dave Rubio. “In set two we were up 18-15, then all the sudden we got stuck in rotation, by the time we turned around it was 18-22. And that’s been one of our big issues; being able to finish sets. In game three, we completely rolled over so it wasn’t even a competitive game for us, but I was proud of the fact that we got back in the match with a win in the fourth. Then game five we just couldn’t execute.”

Three Wildcats finished with double-digit kills for the match. Elizabeth Shelton led the way with a career-high 16 kills, while Kendra Dahlke had 14 and Paige Whipple added 10. Dahlke had 13 digs as well for her fifth double-double of the season. Additionally, both of Arizona’s starting middle blockers, freshman Candice Denny and sophomore Devyn Cross had eight kills each in the match.

“We have to continue to get better,” said Shelton after her career performance. “It was a hard loss, coming so close in five sets. Finishing up five points short. At the end of the day, we have to practice to where those five points will not happen. Those runs for the other team do not happen. We have to practice with that mentality that when we get to that point in the game, when were up, we to stay up, we keep our leads, we minimize errors.”

Makenna Martin picked up her second-straight 20-dig match of the season after no Wildcat was able to accomplish the feat in the first 15 matches of the season. The sophomore matched her career high 21 from Friday night vs. Utah.

Julia Patterson dished out 54 assists in the match and also had a career-high five kills.

Arizona fell to 8-9 (2-6 Pac-12) while Colorado improved to 14-5 (4-4 Pac-12).

Four aces, two from Katie Smoot, helped Arizona take the opening set in a marathon, 28-26. UA scored the set’s final three points, fighting off two Colorado set points to take the set and take a 1-0 lead in the match.

Dahlke’s seven kills in the second set were not enough as the Buffaloes evened the match with a 25-21 victory.

The Buffaloes moved ahead with a convincing 25-14 win in the third.

Arizona won the fourth set 25-23 to force a fifth set. Patterson, who entered the match with a career-high of four kills in a match, had four kills in the fourth set to go along with 12 assists.

Colorado led wire-to-wire in the fifth, closing out the match with a 15-11 victory.

Up Next: Arizona faces a short turnaround as it will head north to face Oregon State (Wednesday) and Oregon (Sunday) in a pair of matches on the Pac-12 Networks.

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About Wendy Mayer

Wendy Mayer

Wendy Mayer has worked in athletics media relations for the last 20 years. The Northwest Missouri State alumna is currently senior writer for after spending the last 15 years with Purdue athletics.

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