Facing their second straight top-20 opponent in as many nights, the Colorado Buffaloes looked to be on the verge of another upset after taking a 2-1 lead (17-25, 25-15, 25-18) against the No. 13 UCLA Bruins.
But UCLA did not give up and took the final two sets (28-26, 16-14) to hold off the surging Buffs on Saturday night at the Coors Events Center.
With the loss, CU finished the first half of Pac-12 play with a 5-5 record, but is also 15-6 overall. The Bruins improved to 6-4 in conference action and are 13-6 overall.
The Buffaloes gave UCLA everything they had including a career-high 27 kills from junior Alexa Smith. Smith took 72 swings on the night and hit .250 while adding 17 digs.
The Buffs had two other players with double-digits kills. Frankie Shebby was second on the team with 16 kills and Naghede Abu tallied 12. Abu hit a team-best .409 with only three errors on 22 attacks.
Colorado's block started off strong and finished the match with 14.0 team blocks. Shebby and Abu each posted seven blocks, while Joslyn Hayes added another six. Anna Pfefferle added five and Lauren Dorrell posted one.
For the Bruins, Jenny Mosser led the way with 28 kills and Reilly Butchler added 23 kills.
The Buffs start the second half of league play on the road. First they will head to Oregon State on Friday, before taking on Oregon on Oct. 28.
UCLA 3, Colorado 2
Colorado (15-6, 5-5 Pac-12) 17 25 25 26 14
Kills — UCLA: Mosser 28, Buechler 23, Gates 10; CU: Smith 27, Shebby 16, Abu 12
Blocks — UCLA: Rogers 6, Sponcil 6, Buechler 3; CU: Shebby 7, Abu 7, Hayes 6
Assists — UCLA: Sponcil 68, Muno 2, Mosser 1; CU: DeLuzio 55, Shebby 2, DeMure 2.
Aces — UCLA: Mosser 1, Simo 1; CU: DeLuzio 2, Shebby 1, Pfefferle 1.
Digs — UCLA: Muno 28, Sponcil 25, Simo 15; CU: Carta-Samuels 25, Smith 17, Shebby 16.