Sept. 2, 2011
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - After set one was the most heavily contested one of the young 2011 campaign for the No. 1 California volleyball team, the Golden Bears wasted no time in returning to peak performance in sets two and three to sweep Virginia (31-29, 25-14, 25-11) on Friday night.
"I think we were challenged a lot in this match," Cal head coach Rich Fellersaid. "We had to fight through some things, try to reduce our errors and work through the slower times. I think it was good for our team to have to battle. We played a lot better as the match went on."
Set one was the most exciting and closely fought set of volleyball that the Bears had played thus far with the two squads tying things 14 times and the lead changing hands five times before ending in a 31-29 Cal victory. Errors plagued both sides in the first set with Cal hitting .193 to best UVa's .143. However, Tarah Murreyput forth one of the best performances this year with seven digs and eight kills (1e, 20 att, .350).
"I was hoping that the players were saying to themselves, `We aren't losing this, we're not just defending this but we're going to get the win,'" Feller said of his thoughts during set one. "We had to do something proactive to make things work for us, and that is what happened. We settled down and made crucial points when we needed to and we started to reduce our errors."
After set one went down the wire, the Bears got back to their typical form in set two - out hitting the Hoos, .462-.200 - boosted by a .615 outing from Adrienne Gehan(8k, 0e, 13att). In set two, the lead only changed twice with the two squads thrice tying things to start before the Bears went on a 13-1 run to take control of the set for good.
"I think we found a little bit of comfort after we got rid of the jitters and just started to play," Feller said of the difference between set one and the rest of the match. "It was a great crowd, and it was a great showing by UVa and its fans. We just settled into playing error free and make the most of every opportunity and our serving got a lot better."
Senior Tarah Murrey had a season-high 16 digs in addition to her 12 kills while Adrienne Gehannotched a team-best 15 kills to power the Bears to their fifth straight victory.
Cal has now swept all of its opponents, improving to 5-0, while the Cavaliers drop to 3-2.
Set One - Cal 31, UVa 29:
Elly Barrett dumped the ball to bring the Bears within one at 9-8. Adrienne Gehan attacked from the near side to knot things at 12. Correy Johnson laid down a sneak-attack dump to make it 19 all. Correy Johnson came through with another kill for the Bears to pull ahead at 22-21. Tarah Murrey made the dig and then the kill to knot things at 24 all after a timeout. After the Hoos ignited their fans to take a 25-24 lead, Shannon Hawarilaid back-to-back kills down for the Bears to forge ahead, 26-25. In a seemingly never-ending, nerve-wracking exchange of points, the two teams tied things and traded the lead before Cal came away with the two-point victory.
Set Two - Cal 25, UVa 14:
After the set opened as even keeled as all of set one was, the Bears proceeded to go on a 13-1 run. Adrienne Gehan knew her attack was good the second it left her hands, giving Cal a 6-3 lead and plastering a smile on Gehan's face. The Bears scored four unanswered points to pull ahead 16-4. Emily Rottman and Jessica O'Shoney went up for the block to bring the score to 18-7. Murrey made her 10th dig of the night to set up Gehan for an eventual kill. A service ace by Kat Brown upped Cal's lead to 22-8. Shannon Hawari shot up in the middle of the net for a solo block, distancing the Bears by 12. With set point on the line, Marlee Davisfree balled it over the net to prevent a UVa score, only for Tori Janowski to hit it out of bounds for set point.
Set Three - Cal 25, UVa 11:
Shannon Hawari and Correy Johnson teamed on a block up to make it 6-2, Cal. An attacking error by Simone Asque - who hit the ball into the net - upped the Bears' lead to 15-7, but Asque recovered on the next attempt for a kill. Out of a timeout, Asque nailed another kill to pull within eight and then promptly served up an error to make it 18-9, Cal. A kill from Lillian Schonewiseon the far side brought Cal to within three of set point. Murrey and Schonewise went up for the block to make it 23-10.
The Bears close out their East Coast trip with a 10 a.m. PT match on Saturday against East Carolina in Charlottesville. The match will be carried via live stats and a live chat on CalBears.com.