Volleyball: No. 15 Colorado rallies, still suffers loss to Wyoming

Down 0-2 against Wyoming on Saturday night, the No. 15-ranked University of Colorado volleyball team fought back to take the following two sets to force a deciding fifth set, but was unable to complete the comeback, falling 15-13 in the final set.

The first two games were close, with Wyoming winning 25-23, 25-21. The Buffs came back and won the third and fourth sets 25-21, 25-16, respectively, to force the fifth game. CU was down 13-10 in that fifth, and strung together three straight points to even the set, but the Cowgirls managed to side-out and closed out the match with the last two points.

The Buffs are now 2-1 on the season, while UW improved to 3-0.

What happened

Despite the loss, several players shined for CU. Justine Spann recorded a career-high 16 kills to lead both teams and had five digs. Alexa Smith was just behind Spann with 15 kills of her own and added eight digs and three blocks.

The Buffs, who have been playing many new faces this season, saw many record career nights.

Anyse Smith recorded a career-best 10 kills and also hit a career-high .562 with just one error on 16 swings. She also posted four blocks. Lillie Klemmer had seven kills, seven blocks and hit .455 (all career numbers).

Rachel Whipple got in on the career-high action with 19 digs and freshman Jenna Ewert recorded her first collegiate double-double with 16 assists and 10 digs. Lauren Dorrell also had a nice match with six kills and four blocks, while Brynna DeLuzio played a solid match with 31 assists and seven digs.

“Hats off to a very disciplined and well-coached Wyoming team,” CU head coach Jesse Mahoney said. “They put pressure on us from the service line and their block and defense frustrated us early. I was pleased that our team responded after going down 0-2 to take it to the fifth set where we had our chances to win. Despite the loss, it was good to see young players like Anyse Smith and Jenna Ewert play well. Matches like this highlight how precise our execution needs to become and we will get back in the gym this week and go to work.”

Next up

The Buffs head to Seattle for the Pac-12/Big Ten Challenge. They are slated to face No. 12 Illinois on Friday, and have Iowa on tap for Sept. 1. Both matches are scheduled for 6 p.m., and will be televised on Pac-12 Networks.