Oct. 17, 2010

Courtesy of California Athletics

BERKELEY - The No. 6-ranked California volleyball team (17-1, 7-1 Pac-10) swept No. 7 Washington (15-3, 4-3 Pac-10) in three sets (25-22, 25-22, 25-18) at Haas Pavilion on Saturday, Oct. 16, to give the Golden Bears their 12th-consecutive home victory and keep them in a first-place tie with rival Stanford as the teams prepare to meet in next week's Big Spike. Junior outside hitter Tarah Murrey kept the Cal offense moving against the Huskies as she logged her fifth double-double of the season with 19 kills (5e, 45att, .311) and 14 digs.

Senior setter Carli Lloyd also registered a double-double outing with 33 assists and a season-high 13 digs. Lloyd added six kills (0e, 9att, .667) and three blocks as her handiwork led the Bears to a .288 hitting percentage (47k, 13e, 118att) against one of the top defensive squads in the conference. Sophomore middle hitter Kat Brown led the Bears with seven blocks and threw in four kills while sophomore opposite hitter Correy Johnson contributed five kills (0e, 14att) and three blocks.

The Bears put up double-digit blocks as a team for the fourth-straight match (11th overall) and dug up 62 balls--the most this season in a three-set match--to hold the Huskies to a .195 attack rate on 133 swings (43k, 17e). Sophomore libero Robin Rostratter led the Bears with 15 digs and senior defensive specialist Meagan Schmitt added eight digs.

Washington senior outside hitter Becky Perry led the Husky attack with 12 kills (7e, 43att, .117) while fellow senior outside Kindra Carlson added 11 kills (4e, 36att, .194). Junior middle blocker Bianca Rowland had 10 kills for Washington (1e, 24att, .375) and freshman libero Jenna Orlandini led all players with 16 digs.

The Bears faced tie scores through the first 14 points of the opening set, but earned the first two-point lead at 9-7 as Murrey crushed a cross-court shot for the kill. Cal continued to press and earned a five-point advantage when Murrey took a kill out of the back row on a set from Brown. Washington stayed in striking distance and came within two points at 23-21, but the Bears prevailed, 25-22, as a Husky attack sailed wide of the court. Cal posted a .375 hitting percentage in the first set with 19 kills (4e) on 40 swings and held the Huskies to a .239 attack rate with 17 kills (6e) on 46 attacks.

Washington came out to grab the lead in the second set and rode its momentum to a five-point gash on a block at 9-4. But the Bears hung around and knotted the set at 12-all as Schmitt served up an ace. Cal went in front by two as the Huskies committed errors on the next two plays, but Washington made a run of its own that culminated in a 22-all tie off of two straight Bear errors. After a timeout, Cal earned the final three points on kills; two by Murrey and the final point by Lloyd on a dump. The Bears had 16 kills on 38 attempts (5e, .289) in the second set and managed to outpace the Husky attack (17k, 5e, 43att, .279).

Cal burst out of the gate to snag an 8-1 lead in the third set as Murrey earned her fifth kill in nine points, but the Huskies battled back with a six-point run that included three service aces by Carlson to get within a point at 8-7. The Bears steadied their attack and pulled out to a three-point lead at 13-10 as freshman outside hitter Adrienne Gehan tooled a shot off Husky hands. Washington tied the set just once more at 15-all on a kill by Carlson, but the Bears stepped on the pedal and drove off with a 25-18 win as Gehan and Brown teamed up to stuff an attack by Carlson. Cal had 12 kills (4e, .200) on 40 swings in the final set and held the Huskies to a .068 hitting percentage on 44 attacks (9k, 6e).

The Bears take on Bay Area rival No. 2 Stanford (16-1, 7-1 Pac-10) in the Big Spike at Maples Pavilion in Stanford, Calif., at 7 p.m. PT on Friday, Oct. 22. The winner will claim sole possession of first place in the Pac-10. Please visit CalBears.com for more information and links to live stats and video.