Sept. 16, 2011
BERKELEY - Fueled by a perfect outing by Shannon Hawari and 13 kills from Tarah Murrey, the No. 1 California volleyball team welcomed Colorado to the Pac-12 with a 3-0 sweep (25-17, 26-24, 25-15) on Friday evening at Haas Pavilion.
With the win, the Golden Bears move to 12-0 overall and 2-0 in the Pac-12 while the Buffs drop to 5-5 and 0-2 in conference play. In the third all-time meeting with Colorado, the Bears notched their first-ever win over the Buffs, bringing the series record to 1-2. Excluding the match with Pac-12 rival Utah on Tuesday, it was the first Pac-12 match for the Buffs.
Overall, the Bears out hit the Buffs, .343-.198, bolstered by a .552 outing in set one. The second set was slightly lackluster with Cal hitting only .188 with things ending in a 26-24 victory. The match turned around for Cal in set three, in which they led for the duration and hit .318. Regardless of the outcome, for the Bears and head coach Rich Feller, it was not the outing they would have liked.
"I thought we weren't as crisp or clean as we had wanted," Feller said. "I thought that some of the things that we did Tuesday night to win didn't happen tonight. We need to be more focused. I thought the team felt like they were a little bit off. Things weren't clicking quite as well, and as a result, set two took longer than it should have. Set three was a little more like the way we should be playing."
Hawari hit 1.000 with eight kills in as many attempts. The junior is now hitting .416 on the season, which is second on the team amongst hitters with more than 100 attempts. Hawari is on pace for the second highest season hitting percentage after setting that record by hitting .419 last year. Six of Hawari's eight kills came in set one.
"It was good to see," Feller said of Hawari's performance. "We needed to have somebody with some offensive pop, and Shannon picked up the slack. Elly found her really well so that was good. That was a high point."
Murrey posted 14.0 points off 13 kills (4e, 42att, .214) and two blocks. Kat Brown put up a team-high four blocks along with five kills (2e, 11att, .273). Contributing on all fronts, Elly Barrett had 39 assists, four digs, two blocks and two kills.
"I thought that once we got going, our defense picked up a little bit," Feller said. "We started making some transition plays. But there are a lot of things for us to get better on."
Set One - Cal 25, Colorado 17:
After the Bears and Buffs traded points and lead ownership, Shannon Hawari put the Bears up, 6-5, with a cut shot off an Elly Barrett back set. Hawari's kill was the second point in a 6-1 run to distance Cal for the rest of the set. A double stuff by Shannon Hawari and Adrienne Gehan upped Cal's advantage to 18-12. A kill by Tarah Murrey put the Bears up for set point, which came off an attack error by Kerra Schroeder.
Set One Highlights:
Shannon Hawari was perfect on the attack, with six kills off six attempts
Set Two - Cal 26, Colorado 24:
The Buffs rang up three unanswered points to build an early 4-2 lead. Kelsey English and Anicia Santos stuffed a Murrey attempt, distancing the Buffs, 11-9. Kat Brown tied it up at 14 all with an attack that caused a Colorado campfire. Brown's kill jumpstarted a 4-1 rally, pushing the Bears ahead, 18-15. A swing down the line by Schroeder edged the Buff's to within one at 20-19. Cal moved ahead by two, capitalizing when Emily Alexis hit the ball into the net. Facing a Colorado set point, Higgins put down her sixth kill of the night to tie things at 24. Two straight CU attack errors later - the latter of which coming off a Kat Brown block - handed the Bears the set, 26-24.
Set Two Highlights:
The Bears spread the kills around with Lillian Schonewise and Christina Higgins putting down three apiece and Kat Brown, Adrienne Gehan and Tarah Murrey with two
Set Three - Cal 25, Colorado 15:
After long rally, highlighted by a sensational dig Megan Beckwith on a powerful Murrey swing, Kat Brown and Elly Barrett ended things with a double block to pull ahead, 5-1. An ace from Erin Freeman put the Bears up, 11-5. Back-to-back kills by Tarah Murrey and a kill from Kat Brown sandwiched an Anicia Santos' attack that brought the score to 15-9, still in the Bears' favor. Christina Higgins, who started the match, laid down her seventh kill of the night to put the Bears ahead, 21-14. The last two points of the set, and match, came off classic Murrey swings, the second of which was a power alley kill.
Set Three Highlights:
The Bears owned set, leading for its entirety
The Bears close out their epic seven-match homestand on Saturday evening versus Utah at 7 p.m. At 6:20 p.m. in the Club Room at Haas Pavilion, everyone is invited to hear head coach Rich Feller speak at the pre-match chalk talk.