BOULDER – The Colorado Women’s Volleyball team will hold their annual Black and Gold Scrimmage this Saturday. The match will take place at 3 p.m. in the CU Events Center.

Head Coach Jesse Mahoney will enter his eighth season with the Buffs, coming off a 20-11 record last season and earning the program’s 19th NCAA tournament appearance. It is the second time Mahoney has reached the 20-win mark with CU and the first since 2017. He also notched his 100th career win against longtime rival Colorado State.

“We’re really excited about the upcoming season,” Mahoney stated. “We have a nice mix of veteran leadership and players that got quite a bit of time on the floor last year and then a lot of younger players that are searching for roles and we expect to be able to count on them this season as well.”

The team traveled to Europe back in June where they competed in Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia, and Italy. They went undefeated in a two-week span across five separate matches.

“We’re really lucky to have been able to go to Europe in June,” said Mahoney. “Selfishly for me as a coach, we got eight extra practices and five competitions and then also got an opportunity to really get to know each other and get to know this new team, so I’m excited about that.”

The Buffs will welcome back their two highest scorers, Maya Tabron and Lexi Hadrych. Both outside hitters recorded more than 350 kills with Tabron logging 362 and Hadrych with 361. That marks back-to-back years with Tabron as Colorado’s leading scorer, and she will look to accomplish that feat again this season.

Colorado enters this season with a different look compared to the beginning of last year, as they are rostering six new first years and one transfer, after seven Buffs graduated this last spring. The returners include Maya Tabron, Lexi Hadrych, Alexia Kuehl, Taylor Simpson. Kuehl will lead the charge in the defensive front of the net. Kuehl recorded 126 of the team’s 302 total blocks last season, while Simpson led the team in assists with 897.

“Maya Tabron and Taylor Simpson have done a great job. They were a big part of what we did last season. I expect them to be a big part of this season as well,” Mahoney said. “We have transfer Skyy Howard, who is the most athletic player on our team. I think she’s going to open some eyes for sure. Alexia Kuehl just got back last night from her trip to China playing with Germany’s Under-23 team. We have a couple of first years that are going to open some eyes as well. We have a large group of players that are going to compete, and I’m really excited about the athleticism of this group, and I’m looking forward to seeing who steps up for us.”

Colorado’s scrimmage is free to the public and will begin at 3 p.m. Fans who attend the match will receive a CU license holder.

After the scrimmage, the Buffaloes start the season at home with two-straight tournaments that include matches against UNLV, Campbell, and North Texas in the Buffs Invitational. CU will then host the Colorado Classic with UNC, Xavier, and Charlotte. CU will close out the non-conference part of the schedule with a trip to Kansas for the Wichita State Invitational before the home-and-home series with CSU for the Golden Spike Trophy.

UPDATE: The 2023 Pac-12 Volleyball Preseason Coaches Poll was announced Friday morning, with the Buffaloes being slotted sixth in the conference.

This marks the highest preseason Pac-12 ranking for the Buffs and Coach Mahoney since the 2018 season, when they were projected to finish fifth. CU ended last season with a 20-11 record, good enough for a fifth place finish in the conference and four spots higher than predicted from the 2022 preseason poll.


Content courtesy of the University of Colorado at Boulder and the PAC-12 Conference.