LOS ANGELES- The University of Colorado volleyball team fought hard but wasn't able to knock off No. 7 USC as the Trojans defeated the Buffs 3-0 (25-16, 25-19, 25-18) on Sunday afternoon at Galen Center.
The Trojans are 19-3 overall (7-3 Pac-12), while the Buffs fell to 13-9 on the season, 3-7 in the Pac-12.
"The key element of today's match was offensive production," head coach Liz Kritza said. "When our ball control was stable, we were able to keep pace with USC; but it simply was not consistent enough today. We have a number of young players who are continuing to learn and are competing at a high level at times, but the consistency of that play still eludes us."
Alexis Austin and Neira Ortiz Ruiz led the Buffs with nine kills apiece and Kelsey English added three kills in the effort. The Buffs recorded just 24 kills against USC and also had 17 errors on 89 swings to hit just .079. Ortiz Ruiz had the best hitting percentage for CU at .208.
Elysse Richardson, Chelsey Keoho and Michelle Miller each had six digs to lead the Buffs. English and Ortiz Ruiz each put up three block assists.
Samantha Bricio recorded a match-high 12 kills for USC. The Trojans had 43 kills and 16 errors on 106 swings to hit .255 in the match. Alexis Olgard hit a match-high .438 with nine kills and two errors on 16 attacks.
USC started out the first set with a 10-5 lead. After the Buffs used their first timeout, CU took three of the next four points to cut the Trojans' advantage to just three (11-8). USC jumped ahead of the Buffs with a 4-0 run (15-8) and got the score to 24-14, but CU wasn't ready to end the set and fought off the first three set points before USC closed the set 25-16.
The Trojans took a 13-7 lead to start the second set, forcing the Buffs to call a timeout. USC increased its lead to 20-10 before CU took its final timeout of the set. The Buffs pulled together and rattled off six straight points on English's serve to get within four points (20-16), but it wasn't enough as the Trojans finished the set with a 5-3 run (25-19).
The third set started off much better for the Buffs as they were within a point or two of USC several times in the beginning. CU was down just 15-13 at the first timeout of the set, but USC took the next two points out of that break to make Kritza use her first timeout of the set (17-13). The Trojans took the next three points and once again Kritza called timeout (20-13). After two more USC points, CU attempted to get back into the set with a 4-1 run, but was unable to hold off the Trojans and fell 25-18.
CU returns home next weekend to the Coors Events Center. The Buffs will host No. 3 Oregon on Friday, Oct. 26 at 7 p.m. and Oregon State on Sunday, Oct. 28 at 1 p.m. Both matches will be televised live on the Pac-12 Network. Tickets are just $5 for adults and $2 for kids and can be purchased at CUBuffs.com or by calling 303-49-BUFFS.