Oct. 23, 2010

STANFORD, Calif. - On the strength of 21 kills by junior outside hitter Tarah Murrey, the No. 5-ranked California volleyball team (18-1, 8-1 Pac-10) upset No. 2 Stanford (16-2, 7-2 Pac-10) at Maples Pavilion on Friday, Oct. 22, to claim sole possession of first place in the Pac-10. The Golden Bears walked away with a four-set victory (21-25, 25-16, 25-22, 25-16) to win the 71st Big Spike as senior setter Carli Lloyd crossed the 5,000-assist plateau and helped Cal to its second win on The Farm in three years.

Murrey registered her sixth double-double of the year with 21 kills (5e, 57att, .281) and 12 digs. Sophomore middle hitter Shannon Hawari contributed 11 kills (1e, 17att, .588) while fellow sophomore middle Kat Brown put in nine kills (3e, 18att, .333) and led the Bears with six blocks. Freshman outside hitter Adrienne Gehan posted 10 kills (3e, 28att, .250) and sophomore opposite Correy Johnson added eight (0e, 571) on 14 swings.

Defensively, Cal earned points on eight blocks and were the better team to the ball with 61 digs; led by sophomore libero Robin Rostratter's match-high 16. Lloyd's accuracy put her over the 5,000-assist mark as she led the Bears to a .347 hitting percentage (64k, 13e) on 147 attacks. Lloyd now has 5,050 as is just the ninth Pac-10 player to cross the threshold. She also moved into ninth in all-time career blocks at Cal with four against the Cardinal as she passed former middle hitter Mindi Wiley. Lloyd is the only setter in Cal's top ten for career blocks.

Stanford was led by senior outside hitter Alix Klineman's 22 kills (5e, 64att, .266). Klineman also posted a double-double by adding 10 digs. Cardinal freshman Rachel Williams logged 11 kills (2e) on 26 attacks for a .346 hitting percentage and added seven digs of her own. Senior libero Gabi Ailes led Stanford with 15 digs and sophomore outside hitter Hayley Spelman put down 10 kills (3e, .292) on 24 swings. The Cardinal attacked at a .268 rate with 59 kills (18e) on 153 attempts.

On the strength of eight kills (0e, 15att, .533) by Klineman, the Cardinal came away with a 25-21 win in the first set. Stanford attacked at a .444 rate in the opening set (18k, 2e, 36att), but committed six service errors to keep the score close. The Bears took a 20-19 lead as Murrey went down the line for a kill, but Klineman gave Stanford three straight points on kills for a 22-20 lead. One more kill by Murrey pulled Cal to within one point, but Klineman went high off Bear hands to end the set. Cal had 11 kills (5e) on 36 swings for a .167 hitting percentage.

The Bears raced out to a 5-2 lead in the second set as Murrey crushed a cross-court kill, but the Cardinal fought back to earn a five-all tie on a block. Stanford went up, 9-7, momentarily, but the Bears forced the sixth tie of the set on a service ace by Rostratter. Brown took a quick set from Lloyd to give Cal the last lead of the set at 12-11. The Bears earned the next six points, five on kills, to roll out to an 18-11 lead. Stanford came back with a couple of points, but consecutive kills by Hawari and Johnson terminated the set in the Bears' favor, 25-16. Cal posted a .514 hitting percentage in the second set with 19 kills (1e) on 35 attacks while the Cardinal had 13 kills (5e, 36att) for a .222 attack rate.

Stanford came out and built a six-point lead in the third set at 12-6 as Klineman blocked one of Hawari's attacks, but the Bears stood fast and ripped off a 10-3 run to tie the set at 16. Cal came up with its first lead of the set at 17-16 on a cross-court kill by Murrey before the Cardinal forced one more tie at 19-all. Murrey went down the line to score a 20-19 lead for the Bears before Hawari came up with a kill on a quick set from Lloyd to give the Bears three set-points to work with at 24-20. Hawari's eighth kill of the night made the score, 25-22, for Cal. The Bears posted a .279 hitting percentage in the third set (18k, 6e, 43att) and held the Cardinal to a .191 attack rate with 14 kills (5e) on 47 swings.

Cal meant business in the final set as the Bears never trailed to take a 25-16 win in the fourth. Brown registered her second kill of the set off a back-set from Lloyd to give Cal a three-point edge at 7-4, but Stanford came right back to tie the set at seven-all on a dump by senior setter Cassidy Licthman. Lloyd and Brown teamed up to block Klineman for an 8-7 Cal lead and the Bears were off to the races. Brown sent a quick set to the ground to terminate a play and give Cal a six-point lead at 18-12 before Stanford made a small run. But the Bears were too efficient and pulled out to a seven-point lead at 22-15 as Murrey went off the block for a kill. Hawari gave Cal set-point at 24-15 on a slide play and closed out the set with the last point of the day. The Bears put up 16 kills (1e) on 33 swings for a .455 hitting percentage and held the Cardinal to a .235 rate (14k, 6e, 34att) in the fourth set.

The Bears hit the road for matches in the Beaver State. Cal will face Oregon State (8-14, 1-7 Pac-10) in a 7 p.m. PT match at Gill Coliseum in Corvallis, Ore. on Friday, Oct. 29, and then take on No. 16 Oregon (16-4, 4-4 Pac-10) at McArthur Court in Eugene, Ore., on Saturday, Oct. 30, at 7 p.m. PT. Please visit CalBears.com for more information and links to live stats and video.