Nov. 24, 2010
BERKELEY - The No. 2-ranked California volleyball team (24-3, 14-3 Pac-10) had its four-match winning streak halted by Arizona State (13-17, 7-10) at Haas Pavilion on Wednesday, Nov. 24. The Golden Bears also had their 16-match winning streak over the Sun Devils brought to a grinding halt as ASU came from down, 2-1, to seize the five-set victory, 25-23, 14-25, 20-25, 26-24, 15-7.
The Bears posted a .246 hitting percentage (71k, 23e, 195att) and held the Sun Devils to a .201 rate (64k, 24e, 199att) to suffer their first loss when hitting at a higher percentage than their opponent.
Even in defeat, there was a lot of movement on the all-time Cal volleyball records. Junior outside hitter Tarah Murrey led the team with her eighth double-double of the season on 21 kills (9e, 68att, .176) and a career-high 22 digs. She moved all the way into seventh for single-season kills, now with 498, and went ahead of Jenna Brown (2002-05) into 10th for all-time career kills (1,120).
Senior setter Carli Lloyd had her ninth double-double of the year as she posted 57 assists to go with 16 digs. Her second assist of the evening moved her into eighth all-time in the Pac-10 for career assists (5,424), ahead of Miya Malauulu of Oregon State (1994-97). Lloyd also had six blocks to help push her ahead of Carolyn Kempker (1986-89) into fifth for all-time career blocks at Cal (372).
Sophomore middle hitter Kat Brown logged seven blocks to lead the Bears and moved into 10th at Cal for single-season blocks with 125. Cal got major contributions from a couple of other Bears who had big outings. Sophomore middle hitter Shannon Hawari set a new season-high with 14 kills (2e, 20att, .600) and added four blocks while freshman outside hitter Adrienne Gehan put up a new career-high with 16 kills (8e, 43att, .186). Sophomore opposite hitter Correy Johnson logged two service aces to go along with nine kills (2e, 26att, .269) while sophomore libero Robin Rostratter came up with 26 digs for the second-consecutive match. As a team, the Bears set a new season high with 93 digs, but were out-blocked for just the seventh time this season, 16-11.
Arizona State was led by senior outside hitter Sarah Reaves, who had 16 kills (7e, 73att, .123) and 14 digs. Sun Devil sophomore outside Malia Marquardt came alive to add 15 kills (3e, 31att, .387) as did sophomore middle blocker Erica Wilson, who had 15 kills (6e, 27att, .333) to go with eight blocks. Fellow sophomore middle Alexis Pinson also logged eight blocks to go with eight kills (2e, 16att, .375) while senior libero Sarah Johnson led the way with 24 digs. Freshman outside hitter Danica Mendivil added eight kills (6e, 43att, .047) and nine digs.
The Bears held the lead through most of the first set until a kill by Wilson knotted the score at 15-all. The Sun Devils went on a short run to earn a three-point lead at 19-16 on a service ace, but Cal fought back to get within a point when Hawari smashed an overplayed dig to the ground for a kill. Arizona State made sure it terminated the set on the next play as Marquardt went down the line for a 25-23 ASU win. The Bears earned 21 points in the first set as they posted a .255 hitting percentage (17k, 5e, 47att) with two blocks and two aces. Arizona State also had 17 kills (4e, 45att) for a .289 attack rate.
Arizona State came up with an early lead in the second set as it put up a tough block, but the Bears quickly erased that advantage and took a 9-8 lead as Lloyd dumped her pass from senior defensive specialist Meagan Schmitt for a kill. From there, Cal embarked on an 11-4 run to grab a 20-12 lead as Hawari sent an overplayed pass to the floor for a point. Hawari did it again a few plays later to open up a 10-point gash at 22-12. The Sun Devils couldn't repent from their sins fast enough as they ended the set on three consecutive errors to surrender a 25-14 Cal win. The Bears took 15 kills on 38 swings (6e) for a .237 hitting percentage and held ASU to a negative .056 rate with just six kills on 36 attacks (8e).
Cal held a steady lead in the third set, but the Devils stayed within striking distance nearly the entire way. Murrey went high off ASU hands for a kill out of the back row to set up a 9-6 Cal lead, but the Bears took a 15-11 lead when Gehan went cross-court for the point. Brown went up alone to reject an attack by Pinson for a 20-16 advantage before Hawari's kill off a quick set gave Cal set point at 24-20. Hawari and Johnson went up together to block an attack by Mendivil to terminate the set and give the Bears a 2-1 lead in the match. Cal put up a .378 hitting percentage in the third (19k, 5e) on 37 swings and outpaced the Devils' .233 rate (15k, 5e, 43att).
The Sun Devils held serve to open the fourth set, but Gehan took a set from Rostratter to tool the ASU block for a 7-6 Cal lead. Gehan teamed with Brown to score a point as the duo blocked an attack by Wilson to push the Bears in front, 9-8. After the Devils came up with a 15-12 lead, Hawari's kill off a quick set pulled the Bears within a point at 15-14 before an ace by Rostratter knotted the score at 17-all. ASU withstood the Cal attack to earn a 22-20 lead as Pinson earned a kill on an overplayed pass. The Devils stayed ahead even though the Bears were able to earn a couple of ties and took the set, 26-24. The Bears had 14 kills (4e, 46att) for a .217 hitting percentage but were undone by errors in the service game as ASU put up five aces to go with 14 kills (6e, 51att, .157) and force a fifth set.
In the blink of an eye, the Sun Devils were up, 6-2, in the fifth as Wilson logged consecutive kills. The Bears pushed back to get the next two points as Johnson and Hawari teamed up for a big block, but Arizona State tightened up to earn a 10-5 lead as Reaves got the kill. Reaves earned two more kills to make the score 14-6 before her final attack sealed ASU's upset bid, with a 15-7 win in the fifth. Cal was able to log just six kills in the final set (3e, 27att) for a .111 hitting percentage while the Devils were scorching hot with 12 kills (1e) on 24 swings for a .458 hitting rate.
The Bears will celebrate seniors, Lloyd and Schmitt, with special ceremonies in the final regular-season match of the year on Friday, Nov. 26. Cal and No. 20 Arizona (20-10, 9-8 Pac-10) face off at Haas Pavilion in a noon PT match that will be produced by Fox Sports Net for a tape-delayed broadcast. All youth (12th-grade and under) receive free admission and fans can purchase $3 tickets with the donation of a non-perishable food item at the Haas Pavilion ticket booths. Please visit CalBears.com for more information.