Oct. 12, 2012
BERKELEY -- At a boisterous Haas Pavilion at "Think Pink, Dig Pink" Night, the Cal women's volleyball team fell to No. 6 USC, 25-22, 25-21, 25-20 in front of a crowd of 1,423 on Friday.
Already without starting libero Robin Rostratter and outside hitter Michelle Neumayr, who are out with season-ending injuries, the Bears played their second straight match without starting outside hitter Adrienne Gehan, who injured her knee last week against Oregon. To make matters worse, Johnson and Hawari came down with a case of the flu Wednesday and hadn't practiced for a couple days.
"Correy was pretty off all day. She had to go home and sleep most of the day. She was 60 percent, maybe," Cal coach Rich Feller said. "Shannon was a little better, but neither of them had a practice and neither of them felt very well all day yesterday. To have our biggest offensive threats and our best blockers be subpar was not a good situation to have. It was hard."
The Bears (9-8, 3-4 Pac-12) were in position to win each of the first two sets. The teams were tied 21-21 in the first set before the Trojans (17-3, 5-3) scored four of the final five points to close it out.
Despite falling behind 7-0 in the second set, Cal stormed all the way back to take a 20-17 lead after a kill by Higgins. But three points in a row by USC tied it at 20-20, and after another kill by Higgins put the Bears up by one, the Trojans scored five straight points to take command.
Cal fell behind quickly in the third set and couldn't recover. USC led 15-8 before the Bears stabilized things, cutting the deficit to 23-20 on an ace by setter Joan Caloiaro. But the Trojans scored the final two points to end the match.
"To compete that hard and play that well for periods of time and to let it go was really disappointing," Feller said. "I'm proud of the way we fought, but I'm disappointed that we didn't at times. It's a shame because I think we had a chance to win a set or two off of that team, and that may have changed the outcome of the match. Hopefully we learn from it and get a little better."
Cal will be back in action Sunday afternoon against No. 7 UCLA on Sunday at 2 p.m.