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Jesse Mahoney’s 100th win at Colorado will have to wait for another night.

It was a festive night for the hosts in Fort Collins on Thursday, but not so much for the Buffaloes volleyball squad, which dropped a four-set decision against Colorado State at Moby Arena. The crowd of 8,396 was the first sellout at Moby for a volleyball match.

Mahoney, CU’s seventh-year head coach, was trying to become the third coach in program history to reach the 100-win mark. He will have another opportunity to reach that milestone against CSU, where he worked as an assistant for seven seasons, in the rematch on Friday night at the CU Events Center (7 p.m.).

It was the second consecutive loss for the Buffs after a 7-0 start, while the Rams (7-3) earned a little payback after getting swept by CU last year.

The Rams took the first set 25-18, but the Buffs were poised to pull even after taking a 17-12 lead in the second set. CSU rallied by scoring the next six points, and when the set was tied 19-19 the Rams promptly reeled off another 6-0 run to secure a two-set lead.

The Buffs stayed alive with a 25-21 win in the third set and nearly pushed CSU to a deciding fifth set. The Rams were up 24-21 but CU refused to go away quietly, scoring the next four points to take a 25-24 lead. The Buffs served at set point but couldn’t put away the Rams, who held on for a 28-26 match-clinching victory.

It was only the third time in nine matches the Buffs played more than three sets. The Buffs hit just .171 and recorded 25 attack errors. Maya Tabron (13 kills, 10 digs) and Jill Schneggenburger (12 kills, 11 digs) both posted double-doubles for the Buffs, while setter Taylor Simpson recorded 34 assists.

“It certainly was a competitive volleyball match, great match environment,” Mahoney said. “We struggled in the first set, kind of going down towards the end of that, I felt like we’re in a good place in set two. We were up a decent amount and started struggling with our serve and pass. Switched to the 6-2 in sets three and four. We did that mostly just because they were scoring really well with their left side hitters and we wanted to put a bigger block up as much as possible and I think that was successful in sets three and four. Came down to endgame in set four. Some plays we normally make we let go.

“The good thing is everything we struggle with tonight is under our control and we get to turn right back around and play a match tomorrow which I think it’d be really competitive as well and I expect us to play better.”

Colorado State 3, Colorado 1

CU   18 19 25 26

CSU 25 25 21 28

LEADERS

Kills — CU: Tabron 13, Schneggenburger 12, Hart 11. CSU: Jones 19, Stanford 16.

Assists — CU: Simpson 34. CSU: Pritchard 46.

Aces — CU: Lougeay 2. CSU: Pritchard 4, Stanford 3.

Blocks — CU: Hart 8, Hadrych 3. CSU: Weathers 7, Leber 5, Sullivan 5.

Digs — CU: Lougeay 13, Schneggenburger 11, Tabron 10. CSU: Stanford 16, Yoshimoto 13, Perez 11, Pritchard 10.

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