Oct. 10, 2009
BERKELEY - California volleyball head coach Rich Feller recorded his 200th victory at Cal as the No. 15-ranked Golden Bears (9-6, 2-3 Pac-10) defeated No. 25 Washington State (14-3, 3-3 Pac-10) in three sets, 25-14, 25-19, 25-20, Saturday, Oct. 10, at Haas Pavilion. Feller's next victory will be his 500th career win. Cal posted a season-high attack percentage of .396 as the Bears put down 54 kills on just 101 attacks (14e). Senior outside hitter Hana Cutura led the way once more as she logged 19 kills (2e, 30att) and a .567 attack rate.
Freshman opposite hitter Correy Johnson continued her display of offensive efficiency as she put in 10 kills (2e, 18att) to post a .444 attack percentage. Johnson also got in on two key blocks for the Bears. Senior middle hitter Mindi Wiley had nine kills (3e, 17att, .353) to go with a match-high four blocks and freshman middle hitter Kat Brown brought home three kills (0e, 4att, .750). Junior setter Carli Lloyd dished out 42 assists to go with six kills (2e, 10att, .400) and nine digs. Sophomore outside hitter Tarah Murrey led all players with 12 digs and added six kills (5e, 20att, .050).
Washington State senior middle blocker Cassie Robbins tied for team-high honors with six kills (1e, 17att, .294) alongside junior middle blocker Brittany Tillman (6k, 4e, 15att, .133).
Cutura put the Bears up, 23-18, in the third set with her 18th kill of the match; right before Johnson and Brown teamed up to block Cougar senior outside hitter Jackie Albright and set the Bears up with match point. Albright redeemed herself with a kill on the next play but Cutura had the last word as she got up and rocketed her last attack off the shoulder of Washington State freshman libero Oceana Bush to put the match away. The Bears attacked at a .394 rate in the final set as they posted 18 kills (5e, 33att) and staved off the Cougars' best offensive showing with 12 kills on 32 attacks (5e, .219).
The Bears blazed through the first set with a .630 attack percentage as they put down 20 kills (3e) on 27 attacks to earn an 80 percent sideout rate. Cutura led the way with six of those kills (1e, 9att, .556) but was trailed closely by Johnson, who nabbed five kills on six attacks without an error (.833). Cal created a 10-point gash at 22-12 when Johnson stepped out for a kill on a slide play. The Cougars took the next two points but Wiley stepped in to stop the run with a kill before teaming up for a block with Lloyd to set the Bears up with set point. Wiley and Lloyd got together once more to log the final point of the set and put Cal up, 1-0, in the match. The Bears held Washington State to just eight first-set kills (3e, 25att, .200) as they dug up 10 attacks.
Washington State claimed a 2-0 lead in the second set but the Bears wrestled the lead away to go up, 4-3, and never trailed again. The Cougars managed to stay within striking distance for much of the set until the Bears went up by five points on a service ace by Cutura. A Washington State timeout put the Cougars back on track as they pulled within three at 20-17 on an attack error by Johnson. However, consecutive kills by Murrey and Wiley put Cal back in front by five at 22-17. Murrey gave the Bears set point as she went up alone to block an attack by WSU freshman opposite hitter Rachel Todorovich. The Cougars answered with one more point but Wiley connected with Lloyd for her fifth kill of the night to give Cal a 2-0 lead in the match. The Bears continued their offensive barrage in the second set as they posted 16 kills (6e, 41att, .244) but it was their defense that made the difference as they dug up 19 balls to hold the Cougars to a .079 attack rate (11k, 8e, 38att).
The Bears hit the road again next week to take on Oregon in Eugene, Ore. (Oct. 16) and Oregon State in Corvallis, Ore. (Oct. 17). Please check CalBears.com for details and information.