Nov. 16, 2012
LOS ANGELES - Cal's women's volleyball team out-pointed No. 8 USC and got a career-high 20 kills from senior middle hitter Shannon Hawari but fell in another five-set heartbreaker, 23-25, 25-21, 18-25, 29-27, 15-11 at the Galen Center on Friday night.
Hawari eclipsed her previous career-best of 18 kills which she set earlier this season against Arizona State. Junior outside hitter Adrienne Gehan added 19 kills, sophomore outside hitter Christina Higgins had 14 and senior opposite hitter Correy Johnson had 11.
The Bears (14-14, 8-10 Pac-12) scored 109 total points to USC's 108 and set season-highs with 80 kills and 100 digs. Cal also outhit the Trojans (26-4, 14-4) .266-.250.
But after failing to capitalize on a match point late in the fourth set, the Bears fell behind early in the fifth set, made a late charge then finally fell short. USC had five players in double figures in kills, led by freshman Samantha Bricio's 18.
Cal fell behind 23-21 in the first set, but after the Bears called timeout, they scored four points in a row on a kill by Gehan, two by Hawari and then a set-ending block by Hawari and Higgins.
The Trojans led comfortably for most of the second set, although the Bears got as close as 20-18 on a block by Brown and setter Joan Caloiaro.
The Bears dominated the third set. After a kill by USC's Katie Fuller cut Cal's lead to 10-9, the Bears scored five points in a row on kills by Higgins, Gehan, Hawari and Caloiaro and a block by Higgins and Hawari to make it 15-9. The Trojans never got closer than three points again the rest of the set.
Cal fell behind early in the fourth set and trailed 14-9 after Gehan was blocked. But the Bears gradually sliced into the deficit and finally tied it at 18-18 on a hitting error by Fuller. An ace by USC setter Cinnamon Sary gave the Trojans a 23-21 lead, forcing a Cal timeout. Once again, the Bears came back, getting back-to-back kills by Correy Johnson to tie it at 23-23 and force a USC timeout.
The teams then went back and forth. Cal had match point at 25-24 but Fuller came up with a kill to tie it back up. The Bears staved off three set points before a hitting error by Hawari finally forced the fifth set.
USC raced out to an 11-5 lead before back-to-back kills by freshman outside hitter Nikki Gombar and a hitting error by the Trojans' Sara Shaw cut it to 11-8. USC extended the advantage once again to 13-9 but another error by Shaw and a kill by Gehan made it 13-11. After a USC timeout, Gombar had a service error and Bricio ended the match with a kill.
The Bears have now played eight five-set matches this season and are 3-5. Last week, Cal lost in five sets to then-No. 5 Washington.
Cal returns home next week for its final two matches against the regular season. The Bears host Utah on Monday at Haas Pavilion then take on No. 1 Stanford on Friday on the Pac-12 Networks.