BERKELEY, Calif. – In front of 1,875 fans at Haas Pavilion in the FSN Match of the Week, the No. 4 California volleyball team defended its home turf with a 3-1 victory (25-20, 22-25, 25-18, 27-25) against No. 2 Washington on Friday night.
Senior outside hitter Tarah Murrey and junior setter Elly Barrett both notched double-doubles to propel the Golden Bears to victory.
Cal improves to 18-2 overall and 8-2 in the Pac-12 while dealing Washington only its second loss of the year to fall to 15-2 and 7-2 in the conference play.
After the Bears hit .312 to take a 25-20 victory in set one, the Huskies evened things in set two. The Bears bounced back in sets three and four to take the key conference victory.
“I really thought our blocking and defense came on tonight,” Cal head coach Rich Feller said. “Also, being able to adjust when we couldn’t pass very well helped. We still weren’t as good as we could have been on some of our defense but we can make some adjustments and be even better.”
Tarah Murrey tied a season high with 21 kills, equaling the mark she set against Sacramento State on Sept. 10. She added 18 digs for her 10th double-double of the season – marking the seventh straight match she has had double-digit kills and digs.
Elly Barrett had a career-high 55 assists and recorded her seventh double-double of the year with 12 digs. Erin Freeman set a new season high in digs with 13, tying her career high set against USC on Oct. 9, 2010.
Five Bears had double-digit digs, led by Robin Rostratter, who had 26. Lauren Loerch also added 13 digs.
Cal set a season high in kills with 63 thanks to a balanced attack with four Bears amassing more than 10 kills. Christina Higgins tallied 13, Shannon Hawari contributed 12 and Correy Johnson added in 11.
Overall, the Bears out hit the Huskies, .214-.157, but UW out blocked Cal 13.5-12. After the Huskies hit their match-high .238 in set two, Cal shut them down, allowing Washington to hit just .051 in set three and .180 in set four.
“I thought our blocking and our defense really slowed them down and gave us second and third opportunities,” Feller responded when asked about the differences between set two and sets three and four. “I think the other thing was our volleyball I.Q. When we couldn’t score a point, we started to reduce our errors and put the ball into an area of the court that made them play a high-ball game. That’s not a game that they want to play very often and it worked for us. We kept their middles out of the offense for the most part. We did a pretty good job of taking them out of their system.”