Aug. 25, 2012
SAN DIEGO - Despite missing two starters due to injury and featuring three freshmen in the lineup, the Cal volleyball team rolled to a 25-11, 25-13, 25-20 victory over Delaware at the Aztec Invitational on Saturday afternoon in the 2012 season-opener.
Junior outside hitter Adrienne Gehan led the Bears with 18 kills, 10 digs, four blocks and a .438 hitting percentage. Christina Higgins added seven kills and freshman Lara Vukasovic added six kills in her Cal debut.
Vukasovic, outside hitter Nikki Gombar and libero Mary McKennon all started in their in their first matches at Cal. McKennon played in place of Robin Rostratter, who is sidelined with an injury. Opposite Correy Johnson also was physically unable to play.
"It's just so hard to know what to expect," Cal coach Rich Feller said. "You've only seen yourself for a couple weeks. You're playing a team on a neutral court. I was very happy."
Feller was especially happy because his team has had to mix and match lineups at practice due to injuries.
"We've spent the last week or so without our full team," Feller said. "We've never actually had everybody on the same side of the net. This was the first time everybody realistically played with each other and playing next to each other, and I thought we did an outstanding job."
After winning the first two sets easily, the Blue Hens - who advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament last season - stayed close in the third, closing to within 22-20. But the Bears scored the final three points to close it out, ending the match on a kill by Vukasovic.
Cal has a short afternoon break but is right back at it again tonight at 7 p.m. against host San Diego State.