Nov. 5, 2011
BOULDER, Colo. - The No. 7 California volleyball team closed its inaugural conference trip to Colorado with a 3-1 win over the Buffaloes on Saturday afternoon at the Coors Event Center. The Golden Bears tallied the 25-23, 30-25, 25-15, 25-20 win against CU to close the Utah-Colorado road trip.
The Bears improve to 23-4 overall and 13-4 in the Pac-12 while the Buffs drop their 20th match and 17th in conference play for a 5-20 overall and 0-17 Pac-12 records.
Correy Johnson hit a match-high .625 with 15 kills in 24 swings with no errors. In addition to the 15 kills, Johnson also added four blocks for 17 points. Tarah Murrey registered a match-best 19 kills (6e, 44att, .295) en route to 20 points. With 10 digs, Murrey also earned herself a double-double.
Overall, the Bears hit .261 to Colorado's .157. Cal's best outing was in set four, in which the Bears hit .424. The Buffs out blocked the Bears, 8-6. Across the four-set match, there were 20 ties and the lead changed hands seven times. The only set in which neither occurred was set three, which Cal completely controlled.
Set One - Cal 25, Colorado 23:
With a 5-1 run, the Buffs galloped to an early 8-3 lead. A Christina Higgins spike caught the Bears up slightly, only down by one, 9-8. Tarah Murrey gave the Bears their first lead of the set at 11-10 with a kill off a Robin Rostratter bump. After the Buffs moved back into the lead, Murrey six packed Colorado's Megan Beckwith to knot things at 13. With a surefire spike, Kat Brown tied the set at 17. Cal hit the ball wide and then long for the Buffs to pull ahead slightly, 19-17, but Correy Johnson twice tallied kills to tie it at 19. Shannon Hawari and Murrey took turns tooling it off the block for a 24-21 advantage. The Buffs twice avoided set point, but were no match for a Murrey swing, which powered Cal to the 25-23 set-one victory.
Set Two - Colorado 25, Cal 20:
A kill courtesy Correy Johnson tied things at four, and then a Buff service error knotted the set at five. Johnson and Kat Brown teamed on a block to cut Colorado's lead to 17-12. Three straight points - kills from Correy Johnson and Christina Higgins coupled with a Kat Brown ace - brought the Bears within two at 18-16. The Buffs reacted with three unanswered points of their own off a kill by Lydia Blaha and two aces to lead 21-16. Elly Barrett won the push-of-war at the net for the Bears to be three behind, 23-20. Colorado's Nikki Lindow laced a kill and Kerra Schroeder served up an ace for the 25-20 win.
Set Three - Cal 24, Colorado 15:
Cal capitalized on a string of Colorado errors to lead 5-1. The Bears' first offensive point came off a Correy Johnson line shot to move ahead 6-2. Cal registered five unanswered points, building a 12-5 lead. Johnson and Shannon Hawari jumped on a block on the right side to further distance Cal 16-7. Adrienne Gehan tooled it off the Buff block, doubling Colorado up 18-9. Cal posted a 4-1 run to pull ahead 23-14. Johnson tallied her 12th kill of the match for Cal's 24th point of the set and then a Kerra Schroeder attack error gave Cal set point.
Set Four - Cal 25, Colorado 20:
With a swing reminiscent of her pre-dislocated ankle days, Adrienne Gehan knotted the game 4-4. After four ties, the Buffs moved ahead, 8-5. Correy Johnson cut Colorado's command to 8-7 with a cross-court kill. After CU upped its lead to three for the second time, two Buff errors, a Murrey service ace and a kill by Gehan gave Cal its first lead at 11-10. Up by four at 16-13, the Bears went on a 5-0 run to lead 20-13. Facing that seven-point deficit, the Buffaloes made things interesting with an 8-3 scoring spree to trail the Bears by just four at 24-20. Just as the crowd at the Coors Event Center had grown quite vociferous in support of their home-court Buffs, Elysse Richardson gave the Bears the set point with an error.
Cal takes to the skies again next weekend - this time flying to Washington. On Friday, Nov. 11, the Bears play Washington State in Pullman. From the Palouse, the Bears then head to the Emerald City for a 7 p.m. match-up with Washington in Seattle on Nov. 12.