PULLMAN, Wash. - The University of Colorado volleyball team suffered a tough loss to Washington State at Bohler Gym, falling 3-0 (25-21, 25-9, 25-19) on Wednesday night. Freshman Alexis Austin led the Buffs with 10 kills and Nikki Lindow and Nicole Edelman each added seven kills for the Buffs in the effort.
"Tonight's match was the toughest loss we have taken this year, specifically because we have been making progress in each of our matches, regardless of the outcome, and we did not do that tonight," coach Liz Kritza said. "Our first contact faltered significantly and as a result our offensive production was subpar."
CU was held to a .108 hitting percentage with 30 kills and 19 errors on 102 attacks. Defensively they tallied 43 digs, 13 of which came from Chelsey Keoho.
Ver'leea Hardaway amassed a match-high 15 kills and hit .577 for the Cougars and Marcelina Glab was also in double-digit kills for WSU with 11. They hit .359 with 48 kills and eight errors on 103 attacks.
The Cougars took a 15-6 lead in the first set before the Buffs put together three straight points. The Cougars again pulled away from the Buffs, taking a 10-point lead at 21-11. At that point, the Buffs started to make a run to get back into the set, taking nine of the next 11 points (20-23). WSU took the following point to get its first set point which the Buffs fought off before losing the following point to drop the set 25-21.
WSU took the lead from the start of the second set and never let go. CU couldn't get much of its offense going, falling 25-9. The Buffs had just seven kills in the set, but had six errors on 34 attacks to hit .029. WSU recorded a .378 hitting efficiency with 15 kills and one error on 37 swings.
After the intermission, CU took a 5-3 lead to start the third set before the Cougars took four straight points to take a 7-5 advantage. The Buffs kept the score close and were within a point at 15-16. At the point, WSU recorded a 5-2 run to go back up 21-17, forcing CU to use a timeout. After the break, the Cougars finished the match with a 4-2 run (25-19).
"Washington State was tough tonight and credit to them for keeping the pressure on us throughout the entirety of the match," Kritza said.
Colorado is now 14-11 on the season, 4-9 in the Pac-12 and Washington State improved to 11-14 overall, 1-12 in the conference.
"Tough losses can spur some players to do great things, and we have some of those in the making; so we now look to turn this difficult night into a big positive for us as we prepare to do battle with another top Pac-12 team on the road," Kritza said.
The Buffs head to Seattle, Wash. for a contest against No. 8 Washington on Friday, November 2 at 7 p.m. MT. It will be broadcast regionally on the Pac-12 Network.