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Sixth year player sees final chance at NCAA tournament with CU volleyball

Brynna DeLuzio helped the Buffs with an upset win at Baylor as a freshman in 2017 and will return to the same location six seasons later for her final chance.

BOULDER, Colo. — Brynna DeLuzio knows what it takes to play a first round NCAA tournament in Waco, Texas. Her freshman year, back in 2017, she and the Colorado Buffaloes created havoc on the Lady Bears' court to advance to the Sweet Sixteen.

"Man, that was a long time ago," DeLuzio said. "We were feeling really confident in our abilities in going to Baylor and we went in and played James Madison in the first round and then we had Baylor, and I think it was a little bit of an upset. We just played how we knew how to play and we came up with the sweep and it was kind of a surreal feeling at the end like, 'did we really just do that?' and we did! Waco was a really good time back in 2017."

When the Buffs heard their name on Selection Sunday six years later, they knew they were about to have a good time all over again -- and if nothing else -- have one last hurrah for their seniors and super-duper seniors.

"I didn't think we'd end up at Baylor when you do your whole where could we go, it was a little bit of a surprise to me, but when it happened, I kind of chuckled because this is a draw we've had before and I've seen this before and I think Brynna had the same thought most likely," head coach Jesse Mahoney said.

But at the end of the day, Mahoney was thankful to have a familiar face to fall back on. DeLuzio was the only player on his current roster who shared the highest moment of his coaching tenure.

"I've never coached any player six years before, right? This is Brynna's sixth year and she's done it all," Mahoney said. "She's set, she's liberoed, this year she kind of goes back and forth, she's a great competitor. I'm happy she came back and she's a big reason why we're having this bookend to her career."

It's a bookend that isn't lost on Brynna.

"It's kind of funny how I started my career and then how I'm ending my career in Baylor," she said. None of the other girls know what Waco is like besides me, so it'll be fun getting to experience it with them."

Although, she hopes Waco won't be the end of her story, and the Buffs can once again escape Texas. 

Colorado faces No. 20 Rice, the fifth seed in the tournament, in the first round on Thursday at 3:30 MT on ESPN+. The winner will face the winner of No. 17 Baylor and Stephen F. Austin. That match will be shown on ESPN+ Friday at 6 p.m. MT. 

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