The Colorado Buffaloes started off the season hot, but they have struggled throughout conference play, slowly eliminating their postseason chances. Although it may be possible to be selected, chances are slim to none.
The Buffs began their season in late August, where they looked to be serious competitors within the Pac-12. After winning their first nine games of the season, their first loss came at Washington State, which is when the downward slope began.
Despite head coach Jesse Mahoney’s extremely talented and experienced team, errors and lack of consistency became Colorado’s enemy. Of the Buffaloes 15-13 record, all 13 losses have come within the conference.
The Pac-12 is known as one of the top volleyball conferences in the nation. Currently, six of the twelve teams in the conference are within the NCAA DI Volleyball Top-25 Rankings.
Even with the team’s struggles, Mahoney made the best of the situation. After losing outside hitter Leah Clayton, one of the best players in the Pac-12, to indefinite suspension in late September, multiple underclassman got significant playing time.
One of the stars of the season, sophomore outside hitter Maya Tabron thrived in the absence of Clayton. Tabron has led the team in kills in nearly every match since Clayton’s suspension and has put up 343 kills this season. She had just 38 during last years pandemic-shortened season.
Freshman outside hitter Jahara Campbell made a massive impact in the opportunities she was given. In just her first season in the program, Campbell had 146 kills. In combination with Tabron, as well as outside hitters Meegan Hart and Jill Schneggenburger, Mahoney had a stacked lineup to make up for the loss of Clayton.
It’s been a difficult season to say the least and Mahoney and his staff made the best of the situation they were given. But with a lot of young talent getting valuable experience this season, the future for the program is bright. Regardless of the outcome of their final match at Utah this upcoming Sunday, the Buffs will finish their season over .500, and have plenty to look forward to next year.