Colorado erased a two-sets-to-none deficit but fell just short of a comeback win against No. 12 UCLA on Friday night in Los Angeles, as the Bruins defeated the Buffs 25-16, 25-16, 19-25, 19-25, 15-9.
Alexa Smith led Colorado with 18 kills and had 16 digs for her 11th double-double of the season. Teammate Stephanie Shadley also had a double-double, her fifth of the season, with 15 kills and a career-high 19 digs. Gabby Simpson joined them with 10 kills and with 23 assists for her 12th double-double of the year.
Defensively, the Buffs had a good showing behind Cierra Simpson, who picked up 24 digs, her second highest single-match total of the season. Naghede Abu put up eight blocks, two solo and six assists, and junior Anna Pfefferle added another five block assists, also for Colorado (12-9 overall, 4-7 Pac-12).
After dropping the first two sets, the Buffs came out strong in the third, building a 12-8 lead that forced UCLA to call its first timeout. The Bruins answered with two straight points, but the Buffs went back ahead by four and kept the pedal down. They eventually led 20-14 and, after UCLA trimmed the deficit to 22-18, wrapped the set.
Colorado stayed in control in the fourth set, going up 10-5, before the Bruins used their first timeout. The Buffs strung together several long scoring runs to win the set and force a decisive fifth.
The Bruins (17-4, 8-3) reasserted themselves in the final set to close out the win.
Colorado will travel across town to take on No. 24 Southern California today at 6 p.m. That match will be streamed online on Pac-12 Plus.