Nov. 7, 2012
BERKELEY - Cal's women's volleyball team had match point in the fourth and fifth set but couldn't capitalize, and the Bears went on to a heartbreaking 25-22, 22-25, 16-25, 28-26, 17-15 loss to No. 5 Washington on Wednesday night at Haas Pavilion.
Sophomore outside hitter Christina Higgins tied her career- high with 18 kills while senior middle hitter Shannon Hawari added 17 kills and six blocks for the Bears (13-12, 7-8 Pac-12), who led 26-25 in the fourth set and 14-13 in the fifth set before falling.
Senior opposite hitter Correy Johnson was one short of a career-high with 16 kills and junior outside hitter Adrienne Gehan had 13 kills and 11 digs. Setter Joan Caloiaro had a career-high 66 assists.
Cal set season-highs in kills (74) and digs (80).
It marked the second time in a week the Bears have gone five sets with a top-five team. Cal knocked off then-No. 2 Oregon on Friday night.
The Bears fell behind 16-10 in the first set but battled back to make it 23-21 on a block by Hawari and Higgins. A Higgins kill got Cal to within 24-22, but Washington's Melanie Wade ended the set with a kill of her own.
Cal established a 14-10 advantage in the second set only to watch the Huskies (20-4, 11-4) tie it at 20-20. Kills by Hawari and Higgins made it 22-20, and a couple Washington hitting errors helped the Bears even the match at one set apiece.
Cal dominated the third set, using tough serving and blocking to extend to a 23-14 lead and easily get the edge in the match.
The Bears almost completed an inspiring comeback in the fourth set. Trailing 20-15, Cal won five of the next six points to cut it to 21-20. Hawari had a block and a kill during the run. The Huskies extended it to 23-20, but the Bears then scored three in a row to tie it on a kill by freshman outside hitter Nikki Gombar, a block by Johnson and Kat Brown and a kill by Johnson.
The Bears then fought off two Washington set points and had match point at 26-25 when Huskies outside hitter Krista Vansant tied it back up with a kill. After a hitting error by Johnson, Vansant and Washington middle hitter Lianna Sybeldon teamed up to block Johnson to force the fifth set.
Cal appeared to take command in the fifth set, scoring five of six points after it was tied at 5-5. Hawari had another kill and a block during the stretch. But after it was 10-6, the Huskies scored four in a row to tie it back up. The Bears once again looked like they were in control after scoring three of the next four, two on back-to-back kills by Higgins to make it 13-11. But consecutive blocks by Washington tied it at 13-13.
Sybeldon was called for a block error to give the Bears match point at 14-13, but Vansant registered kills on the next two points to give the Huskies match point. But Gehan's kill tied it up again.
Finally, a hitting error by Gehan and another kill by Vansant ended the match.
The Bears return to the court Thursday against Washington State at Haas Pavilion at 6 p.m. The match will be televised by the Pac-12 Networks.