Oct. 31, 2010

EUGENE, Ore. -

Courtesy of Cal Athletics

The No. 3-ranked California volleyball team (20-1, 10-1 Pac-10) recorded its school-record fifth consecutive 20-win season as the Golden Bears defeated No. 18 Oregon (16-7, 4-7 Pac-10) in three sets (25-22, 25-17, 26-24) at McArthur Court on Saturday, Oct. 30. Cal has posted seven of its 10 all-time 20-win seasons under the direction of head coach Rich Feller. The Bears were led by junior outside hitter Tarah Murrey's 19 kills (6e, 43att, .302), which brought her to within six of 1,000 kills in her career.

Senior setter Carli Lloyd engineered a well-balanced Cal attack that put up a .349 hitting percentage in the match (48k, 11e, 106att). Lloyd added five kills (1e, 11attm .364) and led the team with six blocks as the Bears posted their fifth consecutive victory. Sophomore libero Robin Rostratter led the team with 10 digs and Cal put up nine blocks to hold the Ducks to a .278 attack rate (47k, 17e) on 108 swings.

Sophomore middle hitter Shannon Hawari got in on five blocks and added six kills (1e, 10att, .500) in an efficient outing. Sophomore opposite hitter Correy Johnson owned the right side of the net to log seven kills (1e, 12att, .500) to go with a service ace.

Three of Oregon's outside hitters reached double digits in kills, led by sophomore Katherine Fischer's 14 (5e, 33att, .273). Sophomore Alaina Bergsma added 11 kills (3e, 18att, .444) and senior Heather Meyers had 10 (6e, 28att, .143). Duck freshman middle blocker Ariana Williams had six kills without an error on 13 swings (.462).

Cal recorded three service aces, the last by Rostratter, to pull out to a 10-4 lead in the first set. The Bears never trailed and held their largest lead at 19-11 as Murrey took a bump set from Rostratter to terminate a play out of the back row. The Cal offense stalled as Oregon made adjustments and capitalized on Bear errors to pull within two points at 23-21 on a block of a Murrey attack. Murrey came back on the next play to blast a shot off the Duck block and set the Bears up with two set points. Oregon earned one more point before a Duck serve went long to end the set, 25-22, for Cal. The Ducks out-hit the Bears (.258, 13k, 5e, 31att) with a .303 (15k, 5e, 33att) hitting percentage in the first set, but Cal put up three aces and three blocks to come away with the win.

The teams faced ties through the first eight points of the second set before the Ducks pulled out to a 6-4 lead on a service ace. Oregon led until Lloyd dumped a pass for a kill to put the Bears on even ground at nine-all. Murrey pounded another kill to the ground to swing the lead Cal's way at 10-9. Lloyd's back-set connected with Johnson on a slide play to give the Bears a five-point lead at 17-12. Cal went up by eight points, 24-16, after Murrey bounced a shot off the ground for set-point. It was her fourth kill in six rallies. At 21-14, she posted back-to-back kills on tips to put the Ducks on the ropes. Johnson was the beneficiary of another slide-play set as she went down the line to finish off a 25-17 victory for the Bears. Cal posted an 88 percent sideout rate to go with 19 kills on 36 swings (2e) for a .472 hitting percentage and held the Ducks to a .242 outing (13k, 5e, 33att).

Oregon was the aggressor to open the third set, but Cal stayed the course to force a fifth tie at seven-all. Sophomore middle hitter Kat Brown sent an overplayed pass to the ground to give the Bears an 8-7 lead that Cal built to a four-point advantage at 18-14 when Brown and Lloyd went up together to block an attack by Bergsma. The Ducks continued to stay afloat until Meyers went off the block to pull the set into a 19-all deadlock. A few plays later, Murrey and Hawari met Meyers at the net to send her attack to the ground for a 21-20 Cal lead. Williams saved one match-point for Oregon as she earned a kill on a slide play, but the Bears were too strong as freshman outside Adrienne Gehan pushed Cal ahead, 25-24, on a kill off the Duck block. Meyers's final attack missed the court to seal the three-set win for the Bears. Oregon put up 19 kills in the third set (7e, 42att, .286) but wasn't able to wrestle a win away from a Cal squad that posted a .308 hitting percentage on 39 swings (16k, 4e).

Cal returns home to host No. 8 USC (19-3, 8-3 Pac-10) and No. 11 UCLA (16-5, 6-4) at Haas Pavilion next weekend. The Bears square off against the Women of Troy on Friday, Nov. 5, at 7 p.m. PT before they take on the Bruins in a 7 p.m. match on Saturday, Nov. 6. The Cal-UCLA match will be taped for a delayed broadcast by Fox Sports. Please visit CalBears.com for more information.