Nov. 19, 2010
BERKELEY - The No. 4-ranked California volleyball team (24-2, 14-2 Pac-10) swept the season series over No. 2 Stanford (22-3, 13-3 Pac-10) for the first time in 31 years on a four-set victory (26-28, 25-17, 25-17, 25-20) in the 72nd Big Spike, on Friday, Nov. 19, at Haas Pavilion. The Golden Bears were led to their program-best 14th league win by senior setter Carli Lloyd, who put up 56 assists to go with 13 digs and four blocks as Cal went on a tear to log a .359 hitting percentage (67k, 12e, 153att).
Lloyd's eighth double-double of the season made her the 13th Bear to record at least 1,000 career digs, but it was the masterful distribution of her sets that powered Cal to its record-setting night. She was also on the move on Cal's career blocks ladder as she went ahead of Lisa Arce (364, 1987-90) with her 366th.
Junior outside hitter Tarah Murrey was the main beneficiary of Lloyd's accuracy as she came up with 24 kills (3e, 59att, .356) and added nine digs. Freshman outside hitter Adrienne Gehan knocked down 12 kills (1e, 31att) for a .355 hitting percentage and sophomore opposite Correy Johnson tied her season high with 12 kills (1e, 24att, .458) to go with four blocks.
Cal's sophomore middles were firing on all cylinders as Shannon Hawari claimed nine kills (2e, 14att, .500) to go with five blocks, and Kat Brown added seven kills (2e, 14att, .294) and a match-high six blocks. Sophomore libero Robin Rostratter led all players with 26 digs; her fourth 20-dig outing of the season; and senior defensive specialist Meagan Schmitt notched a career-high 12 digs.
The Bears posted a season-high 75 digs and out-blocked the Cardinal, 13-5, to hold Stanford to a .205 hitting percentage; its lowest output of the year. The Cardinal was led by senior utility Cassidy Lichtman, who enjoyed a triple-double evening with 12 kills (4e, 31att, .258), 24 assists and 10 digs. Stanford also relied heavily on senior outside hitter Alix Klineman, who led the team with 24 kills (9e, 61att, .246). Klineman also had 11 digs, and senior libero Gabi Ailes added 19 digs.
The Bears held the lead for most of the first set and rolled out to a 15-10 advantage on Murrey's fifth kill of the evening. The Cardinal fought back and got within one point at 19-18 when its serve found Cal out of rotation. The Bears stayed ahead until Klineman earned four kills in five plays to give Stanford its first lead at 23-22 since leading, 1-0. The teams traded leads once more before the Cardinal turned to Lichtman to finish off the set as she logged three kills in the final four plays to give Stanford a 28-26 victory. The Cardinal posted 21 kills on 40 swings (3e) for a .450 hitting percentage in the first set. The Bears put up a solid 20-kill performance (5e, 32att) for a .349 attack rate, but it wasn't enough.
Cal never trailed again through the final three sets and seized a 10-point lead in the second set, 20-10, as Johnson earned a kill off a bump set from Rostratter. Murrey had seven of her kills in the second, but it was Cal's blocking down the stretch that sealed the victory. Gehan's solo stuff of Stanford freshman outside hitter Rachel Williams gave the Bears a 21-12 lead before Murrey went off the block to set Cal up with set point at 24-16. Murrey came up big once more as her kill secured a 25-17 win to even the match at one set apiece. The Bears logged 15 kills (1e, 34att) for a .412 hitting percentage and put up five blocks to earn 20 points in the set. The Cardinal had 14 kills (44att), but were balanced out by nine errors for a .114 attack rate.
Brown's tip-kill off Lloyd's quick set was indicative of things to come as the Bears quickly came up with a 5-1 lead in the third. Gehan went angle on a wicked cut-shot before she tooled the Stanford block for two points in a row and a 10-5 Cal lead. The Bears continued their hot hand and pulled out to an eight-point lead at 21-13 as Lloyd pulverized an overplayed pass for a kill. The Cardinal turned to Klineman as she ripped a couple of kills before Johnson finished things off on another overplayed ball for a 25-17 win. Cal logged an 83 percent sideout rate in the third set went ahead, 2-1, in the match on a scorching .469 attack rate (17k, 2e, 32att). Stanford was held to a .190 outing (14k, 6e, 42att).
Though the teams faced one tie, 1-1, in the fourth set, Cal never trailed, once again, to come up with a 25-20 win. The Cardinal stayed within striking distance early, but a cross-court kill-shot by Gehan and a solo block by Brown put the Bears ahead, 10-6. Lloyd dumped her pass for her third kill of the evening to put Cal up, 15-10, but Hawari came up with her ninth kill of the night on a quick set from Lloyd for an 18-12 lead. Lloyd and Brown teamed up to reject a Stanford attack for a 21-16 lead, and met up once more to reject a Klineman attempt for match-point at 24-19. Murrey terminated the match as she went down the left sideline for a kill and the win. Cal had 15 kills (4e, 44att) for a .250 hitting percentage and held Stanford to a .100 rate (13k, 8e, 50att) thanks to six blocks.
With the win, Cal claims the inside track to the Pac-10 title, with two home matches remaining on the schedule. The Bears are alone atop the conference standings as the Arizona's come to Haas Pavilion. Cal and Arizona State (11-16, 5-9 Pac-10) face off on Wednesday, Nov. 24, at 7 p.m. PT. After a Thanksgiving Day bye, Cal and Arizona (19-9, 8-7 Pac-10) take the court for a noon match on Friday, Nov. 26, as the Bears celebrate Lloyd and Schmitt for Senior Day. Please visit CalBears.com for more information.