PULLMAN, Wash. — The University of Colorado volleyball team notched a huge win Friday night to get back into the Pac-12 Conference race, handing No. 13 Washington State its first home loss of the season.
The Buffs defeated the Cougars 3-2 (25-15, 19-25, 25-19, 19-25, 15-13).
The win moved the Buffs to 11-6 overall this season and 3-4 in the Pac-12 Conference while the Cougars dropped to 15-4 and 5-2 in the conference.
"Winning is always fun. Winning when you play well is even more enjoyable," CU coach Jesse Mahoney said in a school news releases. "We are more excited about this match as our first true road win. This was a really hostile environment against the top team in the Pac-12.
"I told the girls that it wasn't so much the win that I was proud of, but how we played and how we responded to all of the pressure tonight."
Junior Gabby Simpson lead the way for the Buffs with a match-best 17 kills, but she received a lot of help from another junior, Stephanie Shadley, and sophomore Alexa Smith, who each hammered an additional 13 kills as the Buffs upset the top team in the Pac-12 standings entering Friday.
CU's middle blocker Anna Pfefferle recorded a .500 hitting efficiency with eight kills and one error on 14 attacks while sophomore Naghede Abu hit .455 with six kills and one error on 11 swings.
Simpson, along with senior Kiara McKibben led the Buffs to an overall .222 hitting percentage. Simpson recorded 26 assists, while McKibben added 25.
There was also trio of Buffs who recorded double-digit digs in the match, helping to hold WSU to a .156 hitting percentage. Senior Cierra Simpson led the way with 12 digs, while Shadley and McKibben each recorded 11 digs.
At the net, Pfefferle led CU with five blocks while Abu and Gabby Simpson each posted another four blocks for the Buffs.
In the fifth set, CU started with 4-1 run and was up 8-3 at the side change. The Buffs continued to attack, taking a 10-4 lead before WSU needed to take a break.
The Cougars used a 4-1 run out of the timeout to cut CU's lead to 11-8, and this time, it was the Buffs who needed to take a timeout. CU kept the lead, but WSU was able to cut the advantage to a pair at 13-11, forcing the Buffs to use their final timeout of the set. CU had set point (14-11) after a kill from Gabby Simpson, but the Cougars fought off the first two set points before CU was able to win the set off a service error by WSU.
CU now heads to Seattle for a 4 p.m. match against No. 7 Washington on Sunday. That match will be streamed live on CUBuffs.com.