Buffaloes Drop Close Match To Trojans
LOS ANGELES — Colorado women's volleyball dropped a close four-set match (25-15, 23-25, 25-19, 28-26) here Friday night to USC.
The Buffaloes (10-3, 2-1 Pac-12) fall out of the Pac-12 lead after the Trojans (10-4, 2-1 Pac-12) put down 15 service aces.
Junior Maya Tabron kept the Buffs in the match late, picking up seven of her 13 kills in the fourth set while hitting .303 in the match. She was just one dig shy of a double-double with nine. Lexi Hadrych added 11 kills and was one of four Buffs with three or more blocks.
USC tried its best to slow down CU's middles, but Alexia Kuehl and Meegan Hart combined for 17 kills and seven blocks led by Kuehl's nine kills and four blocks.
On the defensive end, Katie Lougeay matched her career-best with 18 digs. Kuehl led the team in blocks with four, while Hart, Schneggenburger and Hadrych all had three.
The Trojans were led by Skylar Fields with 24 kills hitting .309. The largest factor in the match came from setter Mia Tuaniga who had a triple-double with 37 assists, 10 aces and 10 digs.
The Buffaloes fall to 0-13 in the Galen Center against the Trojans but will look to bounce back Sunday at 1 p.m. MT against UCLA in Pauley Pavilion.
HOW IT HAPPENED
USC opened up with a 5-2 run with three quick kills and an ace. A pair of Hadrych kills tied things up at five apiece. The Trojans pushed a three-point run to an 11-7 lead hitting .500. After a sideout, another three-point run by USC forced a timeout from the Buffs at 14-8 with the Trojans putting down three service aces. USC repeated the process again to a 17-9 lead behind a fourth aces as the Buffaloes tried to keep pace in the service game. The Buffs responded with a three-point run after a Simpson ace and Hart kill, cutting the lead to 17-12 before dropping two points and calling a second timeout. Out of the break USC put down their fifth three-point run of the set and extended it to six-straight before a service error ended the run a point shy of set point. Set point came at 24-14 and ended two plays later at 25-15 with USC outhitting Colorado .379 to .148.
The second set started the same with a 5-2 run, halted immediately but a CU timeout. Colorado responded with a three-point run to 7-6 with a pair of forced attack errors on the Trojans and a Tabron kill. Another three-point run put CU on top 9-8 behind a Simpson ace and a pair of Hart blocks. The Buffs pushed the lead to 15-11 on a third three-point run, holding USC to -.100 hitting in the set while hitting .308. USC called timeout at this point. Kuehl's fourth kill pushed the run to four as she was hitting .800. The Trojans responded with consecutive aces from Tuaniga, her third and fourth to cut the lead to 18-16. USC tacked on one more for a four-point run to force a CU timeout at 18-17. Hart had a pair of kills late to give CU a 21-19 lead as neither team had more digs than kills. A service ace by Jill Schneggenburger forced a Trojan timeout at 23-21 with CU hitting .375 with only two hitting errors. Set point came at 24-22 behind Hadrych's seventh kill, then was finished off two plays later on a Tabron kill, 25-23. CU outhit USC in the set .323 to .121.
The third set started with a five-point run before a service error ended the run at 5-1. The error was challenged by USC unsuccessfully. The Trojans built up a 10-3 lead to force a CU timeout. Colorado put together a three-point run to 11-6 to cut the lead down behind a solo block and kill by Tabron. Another set of consecutive aces by Tuaniga put down a four-point run to force a CU timeout at 16-9. Tuaniga's seventh ace pushed the run to five, but CU challenged the play unsuccessfully. She put down a fourth ace in the run, eighth of the match to cap the run at six before serving into the net. The Buffaloes put down a four-point run to 20-15, forcing a timeout by USC. Set point came at 24-18, finishing off a play later at 25-19. The Trojans had six aces in the set and hit .370 while the Buffs hit .296.
Tabron started the set with three kills to a 4-2 lead. Tuaniga set the USC school record with a ninth service ace at 6-5. Tabron earned her 10th kill of the match hitting .450 at 8-5. At 9-8, both teams finally matched their kills and dig counts at 37 for Colorado and 44 for USC. It turned into the Tabron show as she put down her sixth kill of the set at 11-10 hitting .500 thus far. Colorado built up a four-point run to a 15-12 lead at the media timeout. Colorado's fifth-straight point forced a USC challenge, this time flipping the play to 15-13. Tuaniga's 10th ace came at 16-15 as the Trojans closed in. Tabron's seventh kill of the set gave CU a 19-17 lead. USC took the lead on a three-point scoring run at 20-19, but Sterling Parker tied it back up a play later. CU reclaimed the lead at 22-21 to force a USC timeout. Schneggenburger put down another kill to force a final USC timeout at 23-21. Hart set up set point at 24-22 with her eighth kill of the match, but a block and kill tied things up at 24 and forced a CU timeout. A block off an overpass gave CU the lead out of the break, but the Buffs were out of substitutions late which gave CU a delay of game warning. Tuaniga earned a triple-double with a dig on the play that gave USC a 26-25 lead and forced a CU timeout facing match point. A service error from Tuaniga tied things up at 26, but a crazy two-touch rally had CU facing a second match point. An error ended the match at 28-26.
Head Coach Jesse Mahoney
On The Match
"A missed opportunity tonight. I thought it was a competitive match when the ball was in play. Unfortunately, we helped them out with 15 service errors and couldn't handle their jump server."