Oct. 30, 2009
BERKELEY - The No. 14-ranked California volleyball team (12-8, 5-5 Pac-10) fell to No. 11 UCLA (17-6, 7-3 Pac-10) in four sets (25-20, 25-20, 16-25, 25-19) Friday, Oct. 30, at Haas Pavilion. Cal stayed on pace with the Bruin attack and out-blocked UCLA, 13.0-11.0, but it wasn't enough to overcome several miscues as the Bears dropped their first match to open the second half of conference play.
Senior outside hitter Hana Cutura led Cal with 15 kills (9e, 40att, .150) with sophomore outside hitter Tarah Murrey in tow with 12 kills (7e, 44att, .114). Murrey added eight digs and five blocks; two of them solo. Senior libero Kristen Kathan had a match-high 21 digs while junior setter Carli Lloyd put up a match-high 45 assists to go with five kills (0e, 9att, .556), eight digs and three blocks. Senior middle hitter Mindi Wiley led the Bears with six blocks and had eight kills (2e, 16att, .375) and freshman opposite hitter Correy Johnson reached the 10-kill mark (5e, 25att, .200) for the fifth time this season. Freshman middle hitter Tia Gaffen added three kills (0e, 6att, .500) and four blocks.
UCLA senior outside hitter Kaitlin Sather (11k, 9e, 31att, .065) and sophomore middle blocker Sara Sage (11k, 3e, 17att, .471) shared team-high honors with 11 kills apiece. Sather posted a double-double with 12 digs. Bruin junior outside hitter Dicey McGraw added 10 kills (7e, 35att, .086) to go with eight digs. Sophomore libero Lainey Gera put up 20 digs for UCLA.
The Bruins attacked at a .216 clip as they nabbed 52 kills on 134 attacks (23e) while the Bears stayed close with a .214 attack rate with 54 kills (23e, 145att). UCLA, however, was able to add five service aces as a team and capitalized on Cal's miscues as the Bears logged 11 service errors.
With the fourth set tied at 16, the Bruins began their run on a kill by McGraw. A kill by Sage put UCLA up by three at 21-18. The Bruins continued to threaten to close the match out as they pulled out to a five-point advantage at 23-18 before Wiley's kill stopped the UCLA run. Sather replied on the next play and took an out-of-system set from Gera to get a kill and give the Bruins match point. Sather went up once more on the final play and took another set from Gera to end the match. UCLA put up 13 kills (5e, 38att, .211) but was able to side out 73 percent of the time as it held Cal to a .070 attack rate (11k, 8e, 43att).
Cal fell behind by four points quickly as the match opened. UCLA jumped out to a 5-1 lead as McGraw came through with a kill. Cutura stepped in and stopped the Bruins with a kill of her own but UCLA never relinquished its lead. The Bears were able to force Sather to attack long to pull within a point at 16-15, but again, UCLA stepped up its game and pulled out to a four-point lead at 19-15. The Bruins continued to hold off the Bears and came up with a 25-20 win in the opening set as Bruin sophomore middle blocker Amanda Gil went up one-on-one with Wiley and came away with a solo block. The Bears had 13 kills in the first set (8e, 38att, .132) with the Bruins posting 16 kills (6e, 34att, .294).
The Bears scored the first point of the second set as Murrey logged one of her six kills. The teams jockeyed for position until the Bruins stretched their lead to four points at 14-10 on a service ace by freshman setter Lauren Cook. The Bears never came closer than three points after that as the Bruins again held strong on the way to another 25-20 win. UCLA posted two more service aces to go up by seven points at 21-14 but Cook sealed the second-set victory when she dumped a pass from freshman outside hitter Bojana Todorovic to finish things off. The Bears stayed up with a .312 attack percentage in the set as they posted 14 kills (4e, 32att) but five service errors and three service reception errors did them in as UCLA hit efficiently at .308 (13k, 5e, 26att).
At 13-all, the third set was tied for the seventh time. Murrey took a high-ball from Lloyd to break that tie and give Cal the final lead of the set. Freshman defensive specialist Robin Rostratter served the next six points as Cal built a 17-13 lead. Cutura put in two consecutive kills to put the Bears up by five points at 20-15 and force a UCLA timeout. Out of the stoppage, Wiley logged a service ace and the Bears put two consecutive blocks on Sather to go out in front by eight points at 23-15. Murrey's kill gave the Bears set point at 24-16 before Johnson and Gaffen teamed up for one last block to end the set, 25-16, for Cal. The Bears came up big with a .406 attack percentage in the third set as they recorded 16 kills (3e, 32att) and held the Bruins to a .083 attack rate with 10 kills (7e, 36att).
The Bears stay at home to host No. 16 USC (15-7, 4-6 Pac-10) at Haas Pavilion in a 7 p.m. Halloween-night match up on Saturday, Oct. 31. Live stats and video are available via links at CalBears.com.