The University of Colorado women’s volleyball team dropped a four-set loss (25-15, 23-25, 28-26, 25-19) to Southern California Saturday evening in Los Angeles to snap the Buffs’ three-match win streak.
Colorado (11-13, 3-11 Pac-12) recovered after a tough first set loss to take the second set, but USC (14-10, 8-6 Pac-12) stole the third set away from the Buffs after facing three set-points. Colorado couldn’t recover in the fourth set after hitting .000 as USC’s senior outside hitter Khalia Lanier put up 33 kills and a .452 hitting percentage.
The match looked to be a battle between Lanier and the Buffalo combination of Elissa Alcantara and Justine Spann. The two teamed up for 32 kills led by Spann’s 17 and Alcantara’s .278 hitting percentage. They were joined by Sterling Parker’s eight kills and .292 hitting percentage.
Sophomore setter Jenna Ewert had another strong day despite the team only putting down eight kills in the final set. She powered Colorado to a 20-kill third set behind nearly half of her 44 assists. She also added five kills of her own.
Defensively, Rachel Whipple shined with her fifth 20-dig performance of the season as she averaged five per set. Katie Lougeay added 10 digs and an ace while Spann put down a pair of solo blocks to tie Meegan Hart with a team-high three total blocks.
The Trojans weighed heavily on Lanier’s performance which would have tied her career-high had she not put down 40 kills against Utah this week. The other thing that lifted USC to victory was the team’s strong blocking that turned back 10 of Colorado’s attacks.
Colorado is still in the hunt to return to .500 and be postseason eligible and will look to pick up a pair of wins next weekend on the road against Washington and Washington State for the final road trip of the season.