Sept. 2, 2011
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - With a target on their backs, the No. 1 Golden Bears swept their fourth straight match, earning a 3-0 win (25-14, 25-20, 25-16) over Long Island on Friday afternoon. Beginning its play in Virginia's Holiday Inn Jefferson Cup with a win, California improves to 4-0 while the Blackbirds now stand at 0-4.
Tarah Murrey paced the Bears with 10 kills (5e, 19att, .263) and 11 digs. Setter Elly Barrett contributed 37 sets and three kills. Shannon Hawari had five block assists with freshman Christina Higgins right behind her with four.
"I'm not sure how much worked well for us today," Cal head coach Rich Feller said. "Long Island was a really feisty team. They made us work for a lot of points. Today we showed that we have some work to do to get to the level of play we want to be at, but I am happy that we went 3-0."
Overall, Cal hit .407, which was bolstered by a .560 outing in set one. The Bears completely outshined the Blackbirds on blocks, amassing eight team blocks to LIU's three and 16 block assists to the Blackbirds' four.
Set two saw the Bears out hit the Blackbirds, .385-.091, thanks in no small part to six kills (9ta, 1e, .556) by Shannon Hawari.
Barrett had 10 assists in set three, along with two of her three kills, with Murrey, Robin Rostratter and Higgins all making three digs.
Set One - Cal 25, LIU 14:
Both teams came out strong, tying things up at five all before the Bears went on a 9-1 run to earn themselves a 14-6 lead. The arms of Adrienne Gehan were no match for the Blackbirds, upping Cal's lead to 18-9. LIU's Annika Foit smacked the ball past a pair of Bears to earn her squad its 10th point. With freshman Marlee Davis in to serve, the Bears brought the score to 22-12 courtesy a kill by Tarah Murrey off the set by Elly Barrett and a dig by Robin Rostratter. Kat Brown laced a ball past the extended arms of Hanna Gibeau and Bianca Muniz, and then set point came off a Barrett ace.
Set Two - Cal 25, LIU 20:
Correy Johnson and Adrienne Gehan teamed up to deny an LIU attack on the near side to make it 3-2, Cal. With deft reflexes to react off a dig by the Blackbirds, Johnson dumped the ball, bringing the tally to 4-2. After a first attempt by Shannon Hawari was denied and returned to the Cal side, she easily downed the ball to tie things at 10. Correy Johnson found an unprotected piece of the hardwood to which Jessica Rice responded immediately, bringing the score to 16-13 with Cal still in the lead. Rice brought her Blackbirds within one at 16-15 with a push that landed just inches shy of the end line. Barrett and Hawari blocked the LIU offensive, bringing it to 19-17. Elly Barrett laid down a pancake to give the Bears second life, and Tarah Murrey put down the kill off a Hawari set, putting Cal up by three at 17-20. Correy Johnson laid down the set-point kill.
Set Three - Cal 25, LIU 16:
It was an all-freshman block team of Lillian Schonewise and Christina Higgins to make it 8-2. The next point came courtesy Christina Higgins attacking on the right side. Elly Barrett dumped the ball to up her Bears' lead to eight. Barrett and Brown blocked an LIU attempt, bringing the score to 14-5. With Cal holding a 16-8 advantage, Kat Brown and Christina Higgins laid down back-to-back kills to up that lead by two. After LIU tacked on five points, Lillian Schonewise contributed two kills, bringing the score to 21-13. A service ace from Tarah Murrey put the set and the match away for the Bears.
Cal returns to action at 4 p.m. PT on Friday against host Virginia. The game will be carried via live stats and a live chat on CalBears.com.