Sept. 13, 2011
BERKELEY - The No. 1 California volleyball team successfully defended its home turf with a 3-1 win over No. 2 Stanford in the 73rd Big Spike on Tuesday night. The Golden Bears dropped the first set before storming back to win three straight sets (23-25, 25-16, 25-16, 25-21) en route to the match victory over the Cardinal in front of a season-high 3,854 fans that absolutely rocked Haas Pavilion.
With the Pac-12 Conference opening win, Cal improves to 11-0 and 1-0 in conference play. The Bears dealt Stanford its first loss of the year, moving the Cardinal to 6-1 overall and 0-1 in the Pac-12.
Tarah Murrey led her Bears with 15 kills for 17.0 and made an impressive 12 digs. Elly Barrett set a new season and career high with 41 assists. Barrett also blasted her previous best of 10 digs in a match with 17 versus Stanford. Robin Rostratteralso hit a career high of 29 digs, improving upon her prior career best of 27 and a previous season high of 19.
Set one was a see-saw battle that saw 13 ties and two lead changes before Stanford earned the 25-23 win. With the triumph in set one, Stanford snapped Cal's 30-set winning streak, which was the best in Cal program history.
The Bears righted their course second set, opening on a 6-1 run and proceeding to lead for its entirety en route to a 25-16 set two win. In set three, the Cardinal built a 10-5 lead before it completely disintegrated, thanks to the Bears out hitting Stanford, .290 to -.025. Though the Cardinal out blocked the Bears in set four, it was the Bears that emerged victoriously, 25-21, with the 14 kills spread amongst six different Bears.
Set One - Stanford 25, Cal 23:
Cal opened the Big Spike by building a 7-4 lead before Stanford called timeout to talk things over. Rachel Williams knocked the ball out of bounds to put Cal up by one at 9-8. A pair of block assists returned the lead to the Cardinal at 13-11 before a couple of long and errant hits by Stanford knotted things at 13. Shannon Hawari attacked so ferociously on the right side that the rebound ricocheted into the second level of stands at Haas, tying it, 14-14. A service error by Jessica Walker brought Cal behind by just two at 19-17. Correy Johnson laid down a cheer-eliciting kill and Kat Brown followed with an ace to pull Cal within one, 20-19. After Tarah Murrey put down a kill off an Elly Barrettset to tie things at 21, and the two teams exchanged points before the Cardinal rattled off two unanswered points to take the set, 25-23.
Set One Highlights:
Shannon Hawari led the Bears with 6.0 points off four kills and two solo blocks
Set Two - Cal 25, Stanford 16:
The Bears started the second stanza with a 6-1 run. An attack by Shannon Hawari deflected off the block and out, giving Cal a 9-7 advantage. Three straight Stanford errors - one service and two attacking - upped the Bears' lead to 15-11. A dump by Elly Barrett off a Murrey dig brought the score to 17-12, still in Cal's favor. Shannon Hawari made an excellent save from the ground off her own block, and Adrienne Gehan laid it down thanks to a killer set by Elly Barrett to up the Bears' lead to 19-13. Jessica Walker attempted to tip the ball in, but Murrey was right there to deny her, inching Cal closer to set point at 21-13. It was then Murrey's turn for a tip, bringing the score to 23-16. Kat Brown set the Bears up for set point with a hearty smack from the middle. Correy Johnsongave the Bears second life with a well-time dig to continue play before Murrey eventually ended the rally and set by lacing a kill.
Set Two Highlights:
Cal led for the duration of the set
Set Three - Cal 25, Stanford 16:
The Cardinal commanded an early lead, pulling ahead, 11-8. Kat Brown notched her fourth kill of the night and Gehan followed it up with one of her own to move within one at 11-10. After a complete team effort kept the ball rolling for the Bears, Stanford's Rachel Williams racked up an attack error, knotting things at 11. Kat Brown and Correy Johnson teamed up on the right side to stop three sets of Stanford attacks before finally shutting them down to move ahead, 13-11. Gehan tallied her seventh kill of the night off a Murrey set to push the Bears ahead by five. Hawari and Gehan stuffed the Cardinal attack on the left side to up Cal's lead to 22-13. Next, Barrett stepped up next to Hawari on the block assists. Set point came when Tarah Murrey'sattack was blocked out of bounds.
Set Three Highlights:
Stanford reached a 10-5 lead before the Bears stormed back, scoring 20 points as compared to the Cardinal's six in the latter half of the set
Set Four - Cal 25, Stanford 21:
Shannon Hawari had the dig before going up for the kill to lessen Stanford's lead to just one. The teams traded dumps with Elly Barrettputting one down first and Karissa Cook responding with one of her own for the Cardinal to pull ahead, 10-9. Murrey capitalized on a Cardinal miscommunication, bringing her Bears within one at 18-17. Brown made a set-like dig, after which Barrett skillfully set the ball for Brown to lay it down to close in on Stanford at 19-18. Immediately after, Gehan knotted things at 19 all, prompting a Stanford timeout. Cal pulled ahead, 21-19, with Gehan and Brown teaming for a block before Walker hit it out of bounds on the right side. Facing the loss, Stanford quickly added two points, bringing it to 23-21, still in favor of the Bears before Gehan and Murrey finished off the Cardinal.
Set Four Highlights:
Murrey, Gehan and Hawari all had three kills apiece in a complete team effort
Big Spike Historical Notes:
Tuesday's match was the 73rd Big Spike in the programs' history