Colorado’s Comeback Bid Falls Short Against USC
LOS ANGELES – Colorado women's volleyball team dropped a close 3-1 (25-19, 27-25, 20-25, 25-23) match here Sunday afternoon to Southern Cal to fall to 0-3 on the road in conference play.
No.24-ranked Colorado (11-4, 2-4 Pac-12) remains winless in the Galen Center despite a huge comeback in the fourth set as the Trojans (7-8, 3-3 Pac-12) had four attackers with double-digit kills.
After a slow start, Maya Tabron turned on the burners for a career-high 18 kills while hitting .213. She finished with a double-double 16 digs to tie Brynna DeLuzio for the most on the team. Tabron was joined by Jahara Campbell who finished with 13 kills and a .250 hitting percentage while Meegan Hart had 10 kills and hit .400. The Buffs put down 16 kills in the middle with a combined .419 hitting percentage as Alexia Kuehl added six kills.
Jenna Ewert also picked up a double-double with 40 assists and 11 digs. That is her 38th career double-double, moving her to 11th in CU history. Ewert also put down a pair of blocks while Hart finished with a team-best three. Jill Schneggenburger had an off-day hitting but put up 11 digs and was one of four players with an ace.
Colorado finished the match hitting .234 to USC's .265. The Trojans benefited at the line with 10 service aces and also owned the net with eight blocks compared to just three from CU.
For USC, Candice Denny and Shannon Scully each finished with 15 kills while Denny hit .632. Brooke Botkin had a double-double 11 kills and 12 digs while Emilia Weske had 11 kills as well. Setter Raquel Lazaro had more than five-set errors in the match but finished with 39 assists and 15 digs, while libero Sam Hastings had a match-high 19 digs. Weske finished with five blocks.
The Buffs look to rebound with a final trip to California for the season with matches at Cal Friday at 8 p.m. MT followed by taking on Stanford Sunday at 2 p.m.
HOW IT HAPPENED
SET ONE: Both teams fought out to a five-all tie. The Buffs went on an early three-point run, but the teams stayed even to 10 with CU hitting .214 to .167. USC switched that up quickly with a three-point run to 16-12, forcing a CU timeout with the Buffs hitting .111 to .238. The Buffs pulled within two behind Campbell's three kills on a .500 hitting percentage. Another timeout call for Colorado at 21-16 as USC was hitting .310. The run out of the timeout extended to five straight to set point but CU put down three straight before ending the set at 25-19. The Trojans hit .344 with four service aces led by Scully's six kills while hitting .455. Campbell finished the set with four kills hitting .444.
SET TWO: The Trojans started the set on a five-point run. CU responded with four straight of their own to pull within one. USC strung together another four-point run to take a 10-5 lead with six aces thus far. The first called timeout came from Colorado down 14-10 as Scully led with nine kills hitting .533. Tabron started to heat up with three kills out of the timeout to pull within two at 16-14. Southern Cal went on a four-point run to 20-14, then a CU challenge flipped the final sore to bring it to 19-15. The Buffs used the momentum change to put down four-straight to pull within one at 19-18 and force a USC timeout. Colorado pulled within one again at 22-21 with a Kuehl kill, forcing a USC timeout. The Trojans hit set point on a libero dump, forcing a CU timeout at 24-21. A service error and block pulled CU within one, then Tabron tied it up with a kill at 24 all. USC split the tie before serving for an error to tie it up again. The Trojans finished it off at 27-25 with USC hitting .276 in the match to CU's .211. Tabron finished with eight kills while Campbell had seven without an error hitting .412.
SET THREE: Both teams battled to a four-all tie. The tie continued to 12 all with USC hitting .429 in the set to .176 for Colorado led by Tabron's 10 kills while USC had six blocks and seven aces thus far. Colorado challenged a touch at 13 all. CU broke the tie at 17-15 after a pair of bad sets by USC. Colorado took a three-point lead at 21-18 to force a USC timeout off of the fourth ball handling error by the Trojan setter in the set. Colorado rallied to set point up 24-20, then finished it off on the fifth bad set by the USC setter in the set at 25-20. Tabron finished with 11 kills while CU was hitting .224.
SET FOUR: USC jumped out to a 7-4 lead in the fourth with five early kills. CU called an early timeout as USC went up 9-4 on a three-point run. After a quick sideout, USC went on another run to take a 13-5 lead off four-straight t force a timeout as Colorado was hitting just .091 in the set compared to .462. CU responded with a run of three to edge to 14-8, but quickly found themselves down 19-8 after USC went on a 5-1 run. The Buffs put together a run of three to 19-12 before USC could sideout. The Trojans called timeout after a Hart and Ewert block cut the lead to 20-14. Colorado extended its run to five to force another timeout at 20-17. Taking eight of the past nine points, Colorado cut the lead to two off the timeout on a Hart tip. Hart looked to tie it up with a kill but CU was called in the net. Colorado finally tied it up on a Campbell kill at 21 all. USC fought to match point on a three-point run. Campbell turned away the first with her 13th kills, followed by Tabron with her 18th to pull within one. The Trojans finally finished it off at 25-23.
Head Coach Jesse Mahoney
Certainly a tough match given we were in position to win set two and were playing well in set three. We put ourselves in a tough spot at the start of the fourth but played great volleyball to come back and almost steal it. Though we lost the match I was proud of the response our team showed after our match Friday - but these are the type of matches we need to win moving forward.