Oct. 7, 2011
EUGENE, Ore. - Behind 19 kills from Tarah Murrey and 69 team digs, the No. 4 California volleyball team rolled to a 3-0 victory over No. 15 Oregon on Friday night. The Golden Bears swept the Ducks in front of an Oregon home-court record 6,210 fans - 25-23, 25-22 and 25-12.
With the key conference win in hand, the Bears now stand at 16-2 overall and 6-2 in the Pac-12 while the Ducks suffer their second Pac-12 loss to fall to 12-3 and 5-2.
Overall, the Bears out hit the Ducks, .269-.042. Set one saw 13 ties and there were 10 in set two before the Bears absolutely unleashed in set three. In that final set alone, the Bears tallied a .333 attack percentage compared to Oregon's -.081.
"Oregon plays a really fast offense, and they're really good and deceptive," Cal head coach Rich Feller said. "As we learned what they were doing, we got better and better on blocking and defense. Our big thing is trying to wear teams down. I thought we did a good job of keeping balls in play when we needed to, reducing our own errors and making plays when we had an opportunity to."
Robin Rostratter had a match-high 24 digs, five shy of her season best. Tarah Murrey had 15 digs. Setting a new career record in digs was Lauren Loerch, who had 14 to double up her previous best of seven, which came in the Bears' last outing.
The crowd of 6,210 smashed Oregon's previous home record of 3,817, which was set against Washington on Nov. 6, 2008. The fans in attendance made for a great first experience for the Bears at Matthew Knight Arena.
"It was wonderful," Feller said of the atmosphere. "It's a great volleyball venue and it was a super crowd. It made us feel a lot like Regionals last year in Seattle, where there were 10,000 people. I think our team responds well to that. It was fun to play in front of an appreciative crowd."
Set One - Cal 25, Oregon 23:
Christina Higgins brought her Bears within one at 9-8 off a Robin Rostratter bump. A pair of Tarah Murrey kills sandwiched a Cal block to push the Bears ahead, 14-13. Cal earned its biggest lead of the set at 20-17 thanks a kill by Tarah Murrey and a double stuff by Kat Brown and Murrey. Out of a timeout, Oregon dished off three unanswered points to knot things at 20. With the set tied at 23, Murrey put down a kill. Despite two successful free balls, the Ducks failed on the third try, giving Christina Higgins the kill and the Bears the set.
Set Two - Cal 25, Oregon 22:
To start things off, Tarah Murrey put down two kills and then went up for the block with Shannon Hawari for a 3-2 Cal lead. Elly Barrett and Christina Higgins put up back-to-back kills to briefly distance the Bears, 7-5. A pair of Oregon errors handed Cal a two-point lead at 16-14. Shannon Hawari and Christina Higgins had themselves a block party to earn a three-point advantage, 18-15. Kat Brown got herself a kill, the Ducks committed an attacking error and then Brown and Correy Johnson put up a double block for a 22-18 lead. The Ducks thrice managed to avoid set point before a tip by Murrey closed things out.
Set Three - Cal 25, Oregon 12:
The Bears opened with a 6-0 run, by which point the Ducks had exhausted both of their timeouts. A dump by Elly Barrett brought things to 8-2. From there, the Bears continued to just unload on Oregon to build 14-6 lead. A tip by Tarah Murrey put the Bears up, 21-8. For the second consecutive set, the Ducks staved off set point before Tarah Murrey put down her 19th kill of the night.
In its first Sunday match of the season, Cal plays Oregon State on Oct. 9 at 1 p.m. in Corvallis before returning home.