The (8-12) University of Colorado volleyball team came up short again Sunday, losing 3-1 to the (16-4) No. 9 Washington Huskies and leaving CU 0-10 in Pac-12 play.
The Buffs came into Sunday’s game fresh off a loss to the Washington State Cougars on Thursday. It took the Cougars a quick three sets to finish off the Buffs 3-0.
Sunday proved to be a little more competitive, with the Buffs clinching one set. CU came out with energy in the first set and despite recording a service error in the first rally, eventually took a 7-6 lead. It was downhill from there for the Buffs as Washington rallied and pulled ahead. The Huskies went on to win the set 25-15.
“They are a really good team,” said CU head coach Jesse Mahoney. “I thought they served exceptionally well.”
CU came out with energy at the start of the second set, leading early on 7-3. The Buffs maintained their lead until Washington took over 15-14. Similar to the first set, Colorado was unable to recover and never regained control. Washington won the set on a CU attack error by a score of 25-20.
The third set was a different story. Tight from the start and with eight tie balls, the Huskies and Buffs stayed neck and neck. CU pulled ahead 19-17 later in the set and managed to hold onto their lead. A kill by sophomore middle blocker Meegan Hart ended the set and the Buffs won their lone set, 25-22. The Buffs knew after the first two set losses they needed to pick it up, and it showed in the third set.
“I think we needed to make a change,” Hart said. “We passed really well that set and had some momentum and energy.”
Hart, along with freshman right side/middle blocker Sterling Parker, recorded 10 kills while senior outside hitter Justine Spann led with 14.
Washington rebounded in the fourth set, taking control from the beginning. CU fought hard but it soon became clear the Huskies had a handle on the game. Washington won the final set by their largest margin, 25-13.
Halfway through conference play, CU has now faced every school in the PAC 12 except Oregon State. While the Buffs’ conference record is more than bleak, the team is motivated and ready for the second half.
“In the second half it’s going to be incumbent that we show up every day and continue to work hard regardless of what our record is,” Mahoney said.
Passing is a big area the team is looking to improve on as they search for their first conference win.
“If we execute the game plan and start passing better I think not only will we be competitive and play better sets, I think we can start putting up some wins,” said senior libero Rachel Whipple.
The Buffs will stay at home for their next two games, facing off against the Arizona Wildcats on Friday, Nov. 1 at 7 p.m. MST.
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