Senior Nicole Edelman recorded her 4,000th career assist on Friday night against No. 2 Southern California but the University of Colorado couldn't pull off the upset and fell 3-1 (25-12, 25-14, 25-27, 25-23) at Galen Center.
Edelman's 23rd assist in the match was her 4,000th-career assist and it came on the final point of set three when she set Gabby Simpson for a kill. Edelman is the fifth Buff to reach the milestone, just the second since Ashley Nu'u (2003-06). Edelman ended the night with 32 assists.
The Buffs hit .136 in the match with 45 total kills and 25 errors on 147 attacks.
Alexis Austin led the Buffs with 12 kills and Gabby Simpson and Joslyn Hayes each added another 10 kills. Anna Pfefferle led the team with a .250 hitting percentage (five kills) and Hayes was second with a .219 hitting efficiency.
Defensively the Buffs recorded 48 kills. Cierra Simpson led the way with 20 digs, while Edelman was second with nine digs. Austin also helped out with seven digs. Austin and Naghede Abu each put up three blocks as the Buffs posted 9.0 team blocks. Austin had one solo and two block assists, while Abu had three block assists. Edelman and Katelyn Cuff each had two block assists and Gabby Simpson posted one solo and one assist.
Samantha Bricio led the Trojans with 21 kills and six aces. Bricio leads the NCAA in aces and is third in kills. USC had 58 kills in the match and hit .312. The Trojans also had 65 digs, 18 from Taylor Whittingham and 17 from Victoria Garrick. Two Trojans put up six blocks, Alicia Ogoms and Elise Ruddins.
The Trojans improved to 24-1 overall, 12-1 in the Pac-12, while the Buffs are now 14-12 (6-8 Pac-12).
The Buffs got within a point of USC at 7-6 in the first set, but the Trojans answered with five straight points (12-6), forcing CU to take a timeout. The Trojans added another five consecutive points before the Buffs had to take their final timeout of the set (17-6). USC came out of the break and recorded two more points before CU sided-out with a kill from Pfefferle (19-7). The Buffs didn't give up but the deficit was too great and USC took the set 25-12.
CU played a better second set. The Buffs were within a point at 5-4 and played the Trojans very close until USC pulled away to an 11-7 lead. CU took a timeout and out of the break, Gabby Simpson hammered her fifth kill of the set (11-8), but USC answered right back. The Trojans went up 18-9 before CU took another timeout. Austin recorded a kill to side-out, but again, USC responded with a kill of its own (19-10). The Trojans went on to finish the set 25-14.
The third set was tied 7-7 when USC took three straight points to go up 10-7. CU took a timeout after the Trojans increased the lead to four (12-8). The Buffs rallied back to even the score at 12-12 out of the break. CU kept the set closer, but USC started to separate itself from the Buffs, going up 17-13. The Buffs cut the lead back to one at 18-17 and this time it was USC that needed a timeout.
CU tied the frame again three times before USC had match point (24-23), but Austin answered with a kill to even the set again at 24-24. CU took a timeout one point later after USC answered with a kill, but the Buffs went on to finish the set 27-25 with three straight points, including kills from Austin and Gabby Simpson.
The fourth set got off to a great start for the Buffs. They led 15-13 at the media timeout and didn't slow down after the break, increasing the lead to 20-15, which made the Trojans take a timeout. USC took the next two points, but Austin fired back to put CU up 21-17 late in the set.
The Buffs had to take a timeout a short time later after the Trojans got within a pair of points (21-19). Bricio served up two aces for USC to even the score (21-21). The set was tied two more times (22-22, 23-23) before USC had match point at 24-23. The Buffs took a quick timeout, but they weren't able to slow down the Trojans as USC took the set 25-23.
The Buffs return home to the Coors Events Center next weekend. They will host No. 20 Arizona State on Thursday, Nov. 12 and on Saturday, they will take on No. 19 Arizona. Both matches are set for 7 p.m. starts.