In what was easily their least impressive performance of the 2003 season to date, the Buffs dropped their first Big 12 loss since Oct. 1 to No. 8 Kansas State 30-25, 30-27, 30-16 in Manhattan, KS.
Ironically, CU started the game apparently ready for the inherent challenge the faced in the Wildcats. Neither team led by more than two points in the opening frame until the Buffs rallied around initially exceptional defensive play to build a 20-17 lead, and would later lead by 25-23, before Kansas State scored seven unanswered to close out the set.
The CU woes began to compound as the teams entered the third game of the set. The Buffs scored just 16 points in Game 3, its lowest output of the season. Kansas State hit .400, the first time a Buffs opponent has even reached .300 this season.
Sophomore Maragda Santillana led the Buffs with 10 kills, while Austin Zimmerman had the team's best hitting night at .455, with five kills of her own on 11 attacks. Setter Allison Barnes had 30 assists and topped the Buffs with six digs.
Kansas State had several outstanding individual efforts that helped lead to their dismantling of the Buffs. Valeria Hajjas topped the Wildcat attack list with 22 on the match, while hitting a lethal .455 from the floor. Hajjas also lead the game in kills (13), and serve aces (4). State setter Gabby Guerre helped to control the tempo of the match for the Wildcats, tallying a match-high 37 assists, while also contributing with 11 attacks, seven kills, and a .545 kill percentage.
The Buffaloes wrap up the first half of their Big 12 schedule Wednesday when they close out their current road trip against Missouri. Colorado then returns home to Boulder the following Saturday after a short turnaround.