OMAHA, Neb. – Cal’s women’s volleyball team won’t win any awards for its artistic performance Friday, but the Bears still ended the afternoon with another sweep.
Cal got offensive production from Christina Higgins and Adrienne Gehan and pulled away during the second half of each set to register a 25-17, 25-20, 25-20 victory over South Florida during the first day of action at the Bluejay Invitational.
It was the Bears’ third straight sweep to begin the season, although they never seemed to get their offensive rhythm and only notched three blocks for the match.
“I’m certainly happy to get a 3-0 win,” Cal coach Rich Feller said. “I’m not happy with some of the things we tried to execute and weren’t able to. Hopefully we get better as the tournament goes on, but I’m happy with the win.”
Higgins had 14 kills at a .333 hitting percentage while Gehan added 12 kills and hit .357. The Bears hit .311 as a team, the third consecutive outing they have hit at least .300.
“It was a little tense at times,” Higgins said. “There were some weird plays. We can’t get caught up in what the other team is doing. We have to play our game.”
The first set was tied at 15-15 before Cal scored 10 of the next 12 points to close it out. The Bears established a 15-8 advantage in the second set before South Florida (3-2) cut it to 21-17. After the Bulls closed within 22-20, the Bears scored the next three points to end the set.
The third set was the most competitive. When it was 20-20, neither team had established a two-point lead at any point during the set. But the Bears then reeled off five straight points to finish off the match.
“We let the tempo get dictated,” Feller said. “We want to control that. It shouldn’t matter what they are doing on the other side for us to maintain our own system on our side. I’d rather have our team control our own destiny a little more. But South Florida is a good team. They battled, they fought.”
The Bears continue the Bluejay Invitational on Saturday with a pair of matches. Cal plays Northern Colorado at 8 a.m. PT and then No. 19 Creighton at 5:30 PT.