Buffs Solid At Points In 3-0 Loss At Washington State
PULLMAN, Wash.—The Colorado Volleyball team was solid at points but lapses in each of the three sets resulted in a 25-21, 25-18, 25-19 loss against No. 22 Washington State Saturday afternoon here at Bohler Gym.
The loss drops the Buffs to 4-2 and into a five-way tie for second place in the Pac-12 standings in the loss column. Because Stanford couldn't play the second week of the season, the Buffs have two fewer matches than most teams. Washington State is another one of the teams with two losses, improving to 6-2 on the season. Other teams with a pair of losses at this point of the season include Oregon, UCLA and Washington, although the Bruins and Huskies play each other Sunday and that will reduce that number by at least one.
"It was a disappointing match that I felt we played very well at times but couldn't sustain the level needed the last third of each set," CU coach Jesse Mahoney said. "We got a lot of good looks but WSU played great floor defense. We hit negative from the left pin and you won't win matches in this league doing that. That said, I'm confident in our players ability to regroup and learn from this experience."
After falling behind by six points in the first set, the Buffs did claw their way back to within two points at 23-21 before falling 25-21. The second set saw 12 straight ties, the final one at 17-17, before the Cougars pulled away late to win 25-18, and the Buffs held the advantage for the first half of the third set, holding a 14-10 advantage before the Cougars came back to tie the set at 15-15 and maintained that momentum for the 25-19 win.
The Cougars defense came up with 10 blocks and 41 digs and forced the Buffs to hit .147 in the match. When Jenna Ewert was in position to attack herself, she did so efficiently with five kills while hitting .571, and did have 29 assists. Rachael Fara hit .455 with six kills and just one attack error and Sterling Parker hit .385 with seven kills.
Defensively, Byrnna DeLuzio had nine digs and Jill Schneggenburger added seven. Taylor deProsse was solid serving with three aces and added a pair of digs.
The Buffs return home for a pair of matches against No. 10 Washington. The first match will be Friday at 1:30 p.m. followed by a 3 p.m. meeting on Sunday with both matches televised by Pac-12 Networks.
HOW IT HAPPENED
FIRST SET: The Cougars opened a quick two-point lead at 4-2 in the first set, where the lead remained until a 4-0 run pushed the Cougar lead to six at 15-9. The Buffs did claw back into the first set, coming within two points a 21-19, 22-20 and 23-21, but the Cougars scored the final two points of the set for a 25-21 win. The Buffs were outhit .263-.128 in the opening set and six different Buffs had two kills each for 12 in the first set. DeLuzio had seven digs in the first set and Ewert had 10 assists.
SECOND SET: WSU opened the second set with a 3-1 lead, but deProsse went back to serve and put the Buffs on a 4-0 run to take a 5-3 lead. In that run, she had two aces and another tough serve turned into an easy kill by Fara. The Cougars would tie it back up at 6-6 then the back-and-forth set was tied at each of the next 12 points, the final one at 17-17, before WSU opened a 20-17 lead and forced a CU timeout. That run started on an Ewert service error that upon review by the WSU live stream looked to be in. The Cougars would score two more to make it 22-17 and force the Buffs second timeout before the Cougars closed out the set, 25-18 to take a 2-0 lead.
THIRD SET: The Buffs got a quick side out and then deProsse again served two straight points for CU to open a quick 3-0 lead, including her third ace of the match. Consecutive kills by Ewert and Fara made it a 6-2 lead and then after Meegan Hart got a block to make it 8-4, the Cougars called their first timeout of the set. WSU scored two straight out of that timeout to come within two points at 8-6 and the match remained a two- or three-point Buffs advantage until the Cougars came within one at 11-10. That sparked a 3-0 CU run with kills from Fara and Ewert to make it 14-10. WSU then scored five of the next six points to tie it up at 15-15 and force a CU timeout. The Cougars maintained momentum out of that first time out pushed the lead to 21-16 with a 6-0 run and that proved enough as the Cougars held on for a 25-19 win and sweep of the match.