Aug. 27, 2010
BERKELEY - California volleyball junior outside hitter Tarah Murrey was the model of efficiency as she logged 21 kills (4e, 43att, .395) to lead the 11th-ranked Golden Bears (1-0) to a sweep of UC Santa Barbara (0-1) in the first match of the 2010 Cal Molten Classic on Friday, Aug. 27, at Haas Pavilion. Cal has won 10 of its last 11 season openers under head coach Rich Feller.
Murrey's efficiency allowed All-American senior setter Carli Lloyd to post a 40-assist evening. Sophomore libero Robin Rostratter led all players with 12 digs and netted three points for the Bears with three service aces. Cal was able to hold the Gaucho attack to a .133 rate (35k, 21e, 105att) as it put up 12 blocks. Sophomore middle hitters Correy Johnson (6) and Shannon Hawari (7) each played a large part in the Bear defense. UCSB middle blocker Stacey Schmidt led the Gaucho attack with nine kills (2e, 15att, .467).
The Bears wasted little time getting off to a hot start as they built a 4-0 lead in the first set. Cal continued to pull away to claim a 16-10 advantage as Murrey blasted one of her kills down the line. UCSB found itself down by six once again, 24-18, when Murrey claimed her seventh kill of the opening stanza on a pass from senior defensive specialist Meagan Schmitt. A Gaucho service error handed the first set to the Bears, who attacked at a remarkable .448 rate with 16 kills (3e) on 29 attacks. On the other side of the net, UCSB put up 12 kills but was saddled with seven errors on its 29 attacks (.172).
The story started differently in the second set as the Gauchos seized a four-point lead at 7-3. The Bears responded to tie the score at eight all on two straight service aces by Rostratter, but it was another kill by Murrey that put the Bears out in front for good. Murrey logged her own service ace to help Cal pull out to an eight-point advantage at 21-13 to cap an impressive 16-5 run. Johnson earned Cal's next point on a set from Lloyd, before she stuffed a pair of Gaucho attacks to end the set, 25-15, for the Bears. It was an efficient offense and stifling defense that led Cal out of its four-point hole and to a 10-point victory. The Bears had 13 kills on 31 attacks (2e) to log a .355 rate in the second set. Defensively, the block helped hold the Gauchos to a .054 attack percentage on 37 swings (11k, 9e).
With the score knotted at eight-all in the third set, the Gauchos flipped the script on the Bears and ripped off a 10-2 run to claim an 18-10 lead. Murrey connected on a Lloyd set to stop the bleeding and set Cal off for four straight points of its own. The Bears slowly chipped away at the UCSB lead until Lloyd and Hawari teamed up to turn away the Gaucho attack and tie the set at 23 all. The Bears went in front to take the first set-point serve, but the Gauchos continued to claw and went up, 25-24. Cal would not be turned away on this night as two consecutive kill shots by Hawari put the set away, 28-26, for the Bears. Cal committed nine hitting errors in the final set, thanks to five blocks by the Gauchos, but still managed to record a .213 attack rate with 19 kills (9e, 47att). UCSB had its most efficient set with 12 kills (5e, 39att, .179), but it wasn't enough to overcome Cal's comeback bid.
The Gauchos will face Manhattan College in the second match of the Cal Molten Classic at noon PT on Saturday, Aug. 28, at Haas Pavilion. The Bears return to action in a 7 p.m. against Manhattan College later that day. Please check CalBears.com for more information and links to live stats.