CORVALLIS, Ore.- Oregon State outhit the Buffs .309-.130 to defeat the University of Colorado volleyball team 3-1 (25-13, 25-14, 19-25, 25-14) on Friday night at Gill Coliseum.
"We give credit to our opponents tonight for their much improved offensive performance, but we will not make any excuses for falling short tonight," coach Liz Kritza said. "We simply did not terminate at a high enough clip tonight, nor did we slow them down enough to make up for the discrepancy in hitting efficiencies"
"We will rebound, and we must as we face one of the nation's top teams tomorrow night against Oregon. The captains of this team; Edelman, Miller, and Schroeder, have taken a strong stand to ensure this team is ready to battle tomorrow night."
Oregon State improved to 11-4 this season, 1-2 in the Pac-12, while the Buffs fell to 11-4 (1-2 Pac-12).
Alexis Austin led CU with 14 kills and Nikki Lindow also had a double-digit performance with 10 kills. Alexis also had the best hitting percentage on the team at .297. OSU recorded 51 kills compared to CU's 36.
"Alexis Austin showed up to play tonight and despite the tough loss, made great strides in her own development and it will prove positive for the future," Kritza said.
OSU's Camille Saxton notched a match-high 17 kills and hit .289. She also served up eight aces on the night.
The Buffs recorded 46 digs, three more than the Beaver's 43 in the effort. Elysse Richardson led the Buffs with 14 digs and Nicole Edelman and Chelsey Keoho each added seven digs. Lindow posted four block assists and Edelman was second on the team with three block assists.
The Beavers took a 13-11 lead to start the first set, but then strung together a 7-0 run to go up 20-11. The Buffs were not able to get much going and fell 25-13, hitting just .161 (nine kills and four errors on 31 attempts) in the set. The Beavers hit .520 in the game with 14 kills and just one error on 25 swings.
OSU started the second set with the lead, going up 11-7 before the Buffs called their first timeout. The Beavers added on four more points before the Buffs sided-out (15-8). OSU added an 8-2 run to increase its lead to 23-10. CU then put together its own 4-0 run to force OSU to use a timeout (23-14). After the timeout the Beavers finished the set with two straight points (25-14).
CU took a 9-6 start in the third set before the Beavers spent their first timeout to try to slow down the Buffs' momentum. After the break, CU recorded a 4-2 run to increase its advantage to 13-8. The Beavers started to close the gap and got within a point at 15-14, but CU kept attacking and put together a 4-1 run to take a 19-15 lead in the set. The Buffs were able to finish the set 25-19. They hit .226, but also held the Beavers to just .029.
OSU took control of the fourth set, going up 7-2, before the Buffs called their first timeout. After the break, the Beavers took the next four points. CU put together its own 4-1 run (12-6), but then OSU sided-out and went up 16-6. CU used a timeout, but again was unable to slow down the Beavers who finished the set 25-14 to win the match. OSU held CU to -.103 hitting percentage while hitting .344.
"I realize that at times we are very young compared to our opponents, but nobody is concerned with age or experience when the lights come on," Kritza said. "Competing in a league of this caliber as a collective group of mainly freshmen and sophomores is truly unique, but with the proper competitive approach, these young players are developing through competition and the end result will be superior.
The Buffs will be back in action on Saturday against No. 2 Oregon in Eugene, Ore. at 8 p.m. MT. The Ducks are one of three undefeated teams left in the NCAA Division I this season at 12-0.
"We will rebound, and we must as we face one of the nation's top teams tomorrow night against Oregon," Kritza said. "The captains of this team; Edelman, Miller, and Kerra Schroeder, have taken a strong stand to ensure this team is ready to battle tomorrow night."