Colorado had a pair of attackers with double-digit kills, but it was not enough for the 19th-ranked Buffaloes to earn their first road win of the season as they fell 25-22, 25-23, 18-25, 25-21 to California on Sunday afternoon in Berkeley, Calif.
The Buffs fell to 10-6 overall and 2-4 in the Pac-12. Cal is now 7-9 on the season and 1-5 in the conference.
After narrowly losing the first two sets, Colorado stormed out to a 6-0 advantage in the third and held on down the stretch. The Buffs won it with an ace by Gabby Simpson, who had 12 kills on the night to go with 20 assists and eight digs.
The Buffs continued a trend of starting strong in the fourth set but were unable to force a fifth, as the Bears had an answer for each of their scoring runs.
Sophomore Alexa Smith had 14 kills and 14 digs to lead Colorado, which was coming off a loss at Stanford. Teammate Cierra Simpson also totaled 14 digs, while Anna Pfefferle added six blocks, one solo, and five asssits. Neghede Abu posted five blocks, one solo, and four assists, also for CU.
The Buffs continue Pac-12 play in Washington this week with a visit to No. 10 Washington State on Friday and No. 8 Washington on Sunday.