TEMPE, Ariz. — The University of Colorado volleyball team suffered another close loss, this time to Arizona State, on Thursday night 3-0 (25-23, 28-26, 25-14) at Wells Fargo Arena.
“The scores don’t reflect the whole story of this match,” coach Liz Kritza said. “It was a closely fought battle for the first two sets, and a few plays falling the wrong way determined the outcome of both of those sets. A complete season has some tough matches as well as great ones, and this will not deter us from our overall goals for the season.”
Taylor Simpson recorded 13 kills in the match to lead the Buffs and also had 11 digs for her eighth double-double of the season.
Alexis Austin and Kelsey English each recorded eight kills in the effort. English led the Buffs with a .333 hitting percentage with three errors on 15 attacks. CU had 39 kills in the three sets and hit .154. Nicole Edelman had 32 assists and added a kill.
“There was some very strong play tonight, but unfortunately, it was not enough for us to come out with the win against a tough ASU team tonight,” Kritza said.
The Buffs out-dug ASU 48-46. Cierra Simpson had a team-best 13 digs and Kerra Schroeder added eight digs while Edelman picked up six digs. Each team had 6.0 team blocks. Nikki Lindow posted four blocks, two solo and two assists, to lead both teams.
“The defensive play needs to be recognized and we need to keep progressing in this phase of the game,” Kritza said.
The Sun Devils were led by Macey Gardner’s 18 kills. She also hit .533 with two errors on 30 attacks and picked up 10 digs. Stephanie Preach led ASU with 14 digs. ASU hit .292 in the match with 47 kills and 14 errors on 113 attacks.
With the loss, the Buffs are now 15-10 overall, 7-8 in the Pac-12, while ASU improved to 17-10, 6-9 in the Pac-12.
The Sun Devils led CU 16-11 in the first set, but the Buffs chipped away at the lead and came back to even the score at 21-21. CU took the lead on the following point before the Sun Devils rattled off three straight points, forcing the Buffs to call timeout. The Buffs fought off the first set point with a kill from Taylor Simpson, but weren’t able to hold off ASU as it took the first set on the following point (25-23).
The Buffs lead set two 15-11 before ASU recorded two straight points, which forced CU to call a timeout. The Buffs continued to own the lead until the Sun Devils tied it up at 19-19. The two teams traded off the next four points, but then ASU recorded two straight to take a 22-21 lead. CU took back the lead with two straight kills from Taylor Simpson (23-22) and had set point at 24-23, 25-24 and 26-25 with ASU answering back and evening the score each time. The Sun Devils went on to take the set 28-26.
ASU took an 8-5 lead in the third set and increased it to 16-8, forcing the Buffs to spend both of their timeouts. CU tried to get back in the set, but was unable to close the gap and fell 25-14.
The Buffs will stay in Arizona for a contest against the Arizona Wildcats on Sunday, Nov. 17, at 2 p.m. in Tucson, Ariz. The match will be televised regionally on the Pac-12 Network.