Nov. 7, 2010

Courtesy of Cal Athletics

BERKELEY, Calif. - The No. 2-ranked California volleyball team (21-2, 11-2 Pac-10) defeated No. 10 UCLA (17-7, 7-6 Pac-10) in a thrilling five-set victory (25-18, 22-25, 21-25, 25-19, 16-14) at Haas Pavilion on Saturday, Nov. 6. The Golden Bears swept the season series against the Bruins for the second time in school history as they put up a season-high 18 blocks. Cal was led on offense by junior outside hitter Tarah Murrey's 21 kills (7e, 53att, .264).

For the second night in a row, sophomore Kat Brown had a career outing. The second-year middle hitter posted a new career high with 13 kills (0e, 23att, .565) and led all players with nine blocks. She also added two service aces for good measure to post a career-high 19.5 points. Brown's fellow sophomore middle Shannon Hawari added 10 kills (2e, 22att, .364) and five blocks.

Senior setter Carli Lloyd paced the Cal offense with 53 assists and matched her career high with three service aces. Lloyd also put up eight blocks (one solo) to help the Bears hold UCLA to a .241 hitting percentage (73k, 33e, 166att). Sophomore libero Robin Rostratter led all players with 18 digs. Cal logged a .292 attack rate with 61 kills (16e) on 154 swings.

UCLA was led by senior outside hitter Dicey McGraw's 24 kills (10e, 54att, .259). The Bruins also got 14 kills apiece from sophomore outside Bojana Todorovic (6e, 32att, .250) and sophomore opposite Rachael Kidder (7e, 31att, .226). Todorovic posted a double-double outing with 10 digs and was one of five Bruins to register double-digits in digs.

The Bears ran ahead with a 5-2 lead in the first set as Hawari put a quick set to the floor for a Cal point, but the Bruins fought back to earn a tie at eight-all. UCLA held the lead for a moment, but Murrey took the hard angle to earn a kill for an 11-all tie. Sophomore opposite hitter Correy Johnson connected with Lloyd on a slide play for one of her six kills (3e, 20att, .150) to put the Bears in front for good. UCLA came within two points at 17-15 before Murrey ripped two kills out of the back row to put Cal up by four. Three rallies later, Lloyd's dump gave the Bears a 22-15 lead. Brown served up an ace to give Cal set point and Murrey tipped a soft shot to the ground to give the Bears a 25-18 win. Cal was the model of efficiency as it put up a .433 hitting percentage (16k, 3e, 30att) and a 73 percent sideout rate in the first set. UCLA attacked at a .290 rate (14k, 5e) on 31 attempts.

Cal started the second set fast and held a 5-3 lead as Murrey went cross-court for the kill, but the Bruins made several bids to take the lead before freshman outside hitter Adrienne Gehan went down the line to give the Bears a 10-8 lead. UCLA maintained its reach and pulled up to a 14-all tie on a service ace, but Cal stayed on top to grab a 20-18 lead on another kill by Murrey. The Bruins took command from there as McGraw logged three straight kills and junior setter Lauren Van Orden served two aces to give UCLA the next six points and set point at 24-20. Cal notched a pair of kills to get within two points, but a kill-shot by Todorovic evened the match at one-set all. The Bruins put up 16 kills (5e, 29) for a .379 hitting percentage in the second while the Bears logged 15 kills (5e, 31att) for a .323 outing.

In what appeared to be a rerun, the Bears jumped out to a 7-3 lead to open the third set as Johnson crushed a shot on a slide play. But the Cal offense stalled as it traded two points for one. McGraw's cut shot cut away the Bears' lead and knotted the set at 14-all. Cal went ahead just once more before UCLA took the lead for good at 17-16. The Bruins went to Todorovic consistently down the stretch and it paid off as her tip-kill secured a 21-17 UCLA lead. Todorovic even made an impact from off the court as her service ace gave the Bruins set-point at 24-20. A UCLA block gave it a 2-1 lead in the match with a 25-21 win in the third. The Bruins attacked 41 times and earned kills on 17 of those attempts (7e) for a .244 hitting percentage. Cal took 36 swings and earned 11 kills (4e) for a .194 attack rate.

Senior defensive specialist Meagan Schmitt served up an ace to open the fourth stanza to set the tone and Cal never trailed to pull away with a 25-19 win. The Bears led by four at 10-6 as Gehan earned a kill off a bump set from Murrey, but the Bruins clawed their way back to a 10-all tie as McGraw and Todorovic each earned two kills apiece. Brown ran hard on a slide to blast a shot down the line and gave Cal the last lead it would need. Lloyd and Hawari teamed up on successive plays to block attacks by Kidder and set the Bears up with a 15-11 lead. Lloyd later served one of her aces to give Cal a six-point advantage at 18-12. UCLA was able to hang around until Murrey put back-row attack off the Bruin block for set point. Gehan's kill gave the Bears a 25-19 win to send the match to a fifth set. Cal put up four blocks in the fourth set to hold UCLA to a .190 hitting percentage (16k, 8e, 42att). On the other side of the net, the Bears logged a .344 attack rate on 32 swings (13k, 2e).

The Bears opened the fifth set on fire and quickly snagged a 7-2 lead when Hawari took a quick set and turned it into a kill. Again, the Bruins wouldn't be denied as they ripped off the next six points to lead, 8-7. Cal went back in front, 10-9, when Johnson and Brown went up together to return an attack by McGraw. The Bears continued to maintain steam and went up, 13-11, as Lloyd and Brown blocked a Todorovic attack. Two straight kills by Kidder pulled UCLA back into a tie at 13-all, but a kill by Murrey gave the Bears match-point at 14-13. Another kill by Kidder kept the Bruins alive before successive attack errors ended the UCLA comeback bid with a 16-14 Cal win. The loss was the first time in four tries that the Bruins had been defeated in a five-set match. The Bears had three blocks in the final set and needed just six kills (2e, 25att, .160) as UCLA posted a .087 hitting rate (10k, 8e, 23att).

Cal heads to the Pacific Northwest for its final regular-season road trip as the Bears face Washington (18-5, 7-5 Pac-10) and Washington State (6-16, 0-12 Pac-10). Cal takes on the Huskies in a 7 p.m. PT match on Friday, Nov. 12, at the Bank of America Arena in Seattle. Then, a trip to the Palouse pits the Bears against the Cougars in a 7 p.m. PT match on Saturday, Nov. 13, at Bohler Gymnasium in Pullman, Wash. Please visit CalBears.com for more information.