No. 4 California Get 3-1 Win Over Washington State

10/31/2008

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BERKELEY, Calif. - The No. 4-ranked California volleyball team (19-2, 9-1 Pac-10) got back to its winning ways and kept Washington State winless in conference play as it took a four-set victory (20-25, 25-17, 30-28, 25-19) over the Cougars (7-14, 0-10 Pac-10) today at Haas Pavilion. The Golden Bears were led by senior outside hitter Am'ra Solomon who had a match-high 16 kills (5e, 39att, .282) and sophomore setter Carli Lloyd, who's 55 assists helped her team register a .310 attack percentage (65k, 21e, 142att).

Lloyd had her sixth double-double of the year as she added 12 digs to her stat line but junior libero Kristen Kathan led all players with 21 digs on the night. Freshman outside hitter Tarah Murrey attacked efficiently, getting 13 kills on 22 attempts (3e, .455) and had three blocks. Junior middle hitter Mindi Wiley logged 11 kills on 20 attacks (5e, .300) and led the Bears with four blocks, two solo.

Washington State junior outside hitter Jackie Albright shot a ball right into the outstretched hands of Wiley on the last play of the match but had it sent right to the floor as Wiley got her second solo block of the night. Up four points, the Bears got caught at 18-all after the Cougars took three consecutive kills. However, after a timeout, Cal came to life and grabbed the next five points back. A Wiley kill set up match point at 24-19 before her block ended Cougar hopes of a fifth set. The Bears had 14 kills on 45 attacks in the fourth set (3e, .244) and held the Cougars to a .064 attack percentage (12k, 9e, 47att).

The Bears stormed out to a 10-3 lead in the third set but the Cougars chipped away at the lead by continuing to force Cal into attack errors. Down 18-10, Washington State embarked on an 11-1 run to go up 21-19. The Bears kept pace, however, by trading points with the Cougars until the teams were tied 26-all. Cal took a 28-27 lead on a kill by Wiley but the Cougar attack persisted, forcing a final tie at 28-all. A kill by Solomon and an attack error by Albright ended the set 30-28 in Cal's favor. The Bears hit .205 in the third and had 17 kills (9e, 39att) while the Cougars claimed 12 kills with 11 errors (36att) to register a .028 attack rate.

Cal knotted things up at one set each when Lloyd dumped a pass from Cutura to the center of the Washington State court to give the Bears their 18th and final kill of the set. The Bears logged four errors on 29 attacks to hit .483. With Cal up 19-8, the Cougars took off on a five-point run on serves by senior middle blocker Emily Rooney. Cal senior middle hitter Kat Reilly got her first kills since Sept. 20 and maintained a spotless attack percentage in the second set, getting three kills on three attempts. The Bears also dug up 16 balls in the second to hold Washington State to a .206 attack rate (11k, 4e, 34att) heading into the break.

The Bears had 16 kills in the first set (5e, 29att, .379) but weren't able to keep pace with a Cougar attack that committed just two errors on 28 attacks (16k, .500). Washington State got up for three blocks in the opening stanza and forced the Bears into uncharacteristic errors including two straight serve-receive errors in the early-goings of the match.

The Bears have a day off before they take on No. 6 Washington (16-4, 7-3 Pac-10) at Haas Pavilion in a Sunday matinee at 1 p.m. Live statistics and video are available at CalBears.com.

Article courtesy of California athletics.

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