A critical four-game road swing didn’t get off to a good start for the Colorado volleyball team.

The Buffaloes fell behind early and ultimately couldn’t complete a comeback in a wild fourth set, suffering a 3-1 defeat Friday night at Washington State.

CU dropped the first two sets, falling 25-23 in the first and 25-19 in the second. The Buffs started to rally with a 25-22 win in the third set but couldn’t quite draw even in a fourth set that went to the Cougars 30-28. CU reached set point twice in the frame, taking leads of 25-24 and 26-25, but the Buffs were unable to put the Cougars away.

WSU kept pushing, with CU surviving match points at 27-26 and 28-27 before the Cougars finally prevailed.

The No. 25-ranked Buffs had won their previous three matches at Washington State.

Junior outside hitter Alexa Smith recorded 24 kills, falling just one kill short of a career-best 25 she posted twice in the past month. Smith has recorded at least 20 kills in four of the past six matches.

Freshman setter Brynna DeLuzio finished with 53 assists, marking the sixth time in the past nine games she has recorded at least 50. Sophomore Justine Spann finished with a career-best 18 digs.

Friday’s loss was the first of four consecutive matches on the road for CU, which continues its visit to the Pacific Northwest on Sunday against No. 9 Washington. The Buffs are 0-7 all-time at UW.

Pat Rooney: or


Washington State 3, No. 25 Colorado 1

At Washington State

Colorado (12-4, 2-3) 23 19 25 28

Washington State (13-4, 2-3) 25 25 22 30

Kills — CU: Smith 24, Shebby 14; WSU: Mims 24, Schoenlein 13.

Blocks — CU: Abu 5, Pfefferle 4; WSU: Urias 7.

Assists — CU: DeLuzio 53; WSU: Tusa 29, Brown 20.

Aces — CU: Spann 2; WSU: Urias 2, Dirige 2.

Digs — CU: Spann 18, Smith 14, Carta-Samuels 12; WSU: Dirige 23, Tusa 16.