Colorado volleyball couldn’t survive a slow start on the road against No.22-ranked Washington State Thursday evening, falling to the Cougars in Pullman, Wash., 3-1 (25-14, 25-16, 19-25, 25-22) for its first loss of the season.
The Buffs (4-1 Pac-12) dropped an 18-12 lead in the fourth set, allowing WSU (5-2 Pac-12) to finish on a 13-4 run to win the match, including the final six points of the match. The Cougs defense was on display early, putting up 14 blocks to CU’s eight while out-digging the Buffs by a 22, 67-45.
Colorado had numerous self-inflicted errors, including eight times being called in the net on block errors and sending 10 serves out of bounds. Despite this, Colorado dominated the third set and held Washington State to a .000 hitting percentage, then had a commanding 18-12 lead slip away in the fourth set.
The brightest moment in the match came when redshirt senior Leah Clayton entered the match for the first time in a CU jersey after Elissa Alcantara was subbed out of the first set after posting no kills and five errors on a dozen swings. Clayton put up 13 kills with only a pair of errors to hit .355 in her debut. She also was one dig shy of a double-double and had two blocks.
Clayton was joined by Rachael Fara who hit .350 with 11 kills and Jill Schneggenburger who had 10 kills. Jenna Ewert had 25 assists and four kills to tie with Sterling Parker for the fourth-most kills on the team. Defensively, Brynna DeLuzio had 16 digs and Meegan hart had four blocks.
Washington State was led by freshman Julianna Dalton who hit a career-best .300 with 13 kills. Pia Timmer added 12 kills, but the Buffs struggled most against Magda Jehlarova’s six blocks and setter Hannah Pukis’ four.
The Cougars back row was also flying all over the place with Pukis and Julia Norville both posting 13 digs while two other Cougs had 11 and 10 digs.
The rematch comes Saturday at noon in Pullman.
Washington State 3. Colorado 1
Colorado 14 16 25 22
Washington State 25 25 19 25
Kills – CU: Clayton, Leah (13), Fara, Rachael (10), Schneggenburger, Jill (9); WSU: Timmer, Pia (11), Lusby, Alexcis (9), Dalton, Julianna (8)
Aces – CU: DeLuzio, Brynna (1), Neverdowski, Zoe (1), Schneggenburger, Jill (1); WSU: Timmer, Pia (2), Tusa, Penny (1), Jehlarova, Magda (1)
Blocks – CU: Hart, Meegan (4), Ewert, Jenna (2), Clayton, Leah (2); WSU: Jehlarova, Magda (5), Pukis, Hannah (4), Timmer, Pia (4)
Assists – CU: Ewert, Jenna (33), DeLuzio, Brynna (3); WSU: Pukis, Hannah (31), McComber, Aria (4), Jehlarova, Magda (2)
Digs – CU: DeLuzio, Brynna (14), Clayton, Leah (9), Ewert, Jenna (8); WSU: Pukis, Hannah (13), McComber, Aria (11), Norville, Julia (11)