EUGENE, Ore. — Colorado sophomore Alexa Smith notched 15 kills Thursday night , but it wasn’t nearly enough against No. 16 Oregon, which handed CU a 3-1 (25-21, 20-25, 25-20, 25-16) defeat at Matthew Knight Arena.
Oregon improved to 18-7 overall with an 11-5 mark in Pac-12 play, while Colorado slipped to 13-12 overall, 5-10 in the Pac-12.
The Buffs played three very solid sets, but could not get much going in the fourth. Aside from the 15 kills, Smith also added seven digs and a block. Sophomore Naghede Abu recorded nine kills and hit .444 with just one error on 18 attacks. She also posted three block assists for 10.5 points in the effort.
Junior Joslyn Hayes had seven kills for the Buffs while hitting .263 with only two errors on 19 attacks. She too had a good evening at the net, posting five block assists.
Junior Anna Pfefferle was the top blocker for CU, putting up six with one solo and five assists, while adding five kills.
In the back row, senior Cierra Simpson recorded 21 digs to lead CU. This is the fifth time this season she has tallied 20 or more digs in a match.
“This was a tough loss tonight because our team played hard, and we were competitive in each of the first three sets,” CU coach Jesse Mahoney said in a school news release. “We lost some discipline in set four and gave Oregon too many free points on our own errors.
“The bright spots for us tonight were Cierra Simpson, defensively and from the service line, as well as a great offensive night from Naghede Abu. Oregon State is now a must win for us Saturday.”
In the fourth set, Oregon put together an 8-0 run to take an 11-3 lead. The Buffs answered with three straight points, but the Ducks kept adding to their lead, increasing it to 21-9.
Saturday’s match in Corvallis, Ore., is scheduled for 8 p.m. and will be streamed on Pac-12 Plus.