Cal Volleyball Tops Washington, 3-0

Nov. 3, 2000

SEATTLE, WA - The University of California women's volleyball team (10-12, 5-10) broke a five-match losing steak with a 3-0 victory (16-14, 16-14, 15-7) over host Washington (5-16, 1-13) Friday night at Hec Edmundson Addition on the Washington campus.

The Bears had not won a game in a match since defeating non-league opponent William & Mary, 3-1, on Oct. 13. Cal had lost five straight matches and six straight Pac-10 matches, as well as losing 18 straight games in those six Pac-10 matches until defeating the Huskies.

Cal was paced by senior outside hitter Alicia Perry, who had a team-high 18 kills and 13 digs. Other key performers for the Bears were freshman outside hitter Gabrielle Abernathy with 10 kills, freshman middle blocker Heather Diers with a .462 hitting percentage (eight kills, two errors, 13 attempts) and seven total blocks (two block solos, five block assists) and freshman defensive specialist Jenna Grigsby with 11 digs. Sophomore outside hitter Leah Young also played well with seven kills and only one error in 14 attempts for a .429 hitting percentage.

Cal had an impressive comeback to win game one, 16-14. The Bears were down 10-2 at one point when they slowly got back into the game. Cal went from down 10-2 to 12-6 behind a couple of kills from both Abernathy and Perry and a service ace by sophomore Caity Noonan. With Washington up 14-6 and being at game point, the Bears really made their run, rattling off seven straight points to get within 14-13. Cal's run came on a solo block by junior setter Candace McNamee, a service ace by sophomore middle blocker Reena Pardiwala, a kill by Diers, a kill by Young, block assists by Young and Diers, a kill by Diers and a kill by Perry. The Huskies then had another chance at game point, but the Bears got a side out and then won when Washington hit long three straight times.

In game two, Cal again came from behind to win 16-14. The Huskies held a 11-5 lead before the Bears came back to take a 13-12 lead with the help of three kills by Perry, a kill by Abernathy, a kill by Diers and and block assists by Noonan and Diers. The second game became tied twice at 13-13 and 14-14 before Cal put it away, 16-14, on two errant hits by Washington.

The Bears won game three in a more conventional manner. Cal was down 7-4, but didn't yield a point after that, winning the game and the match, 15-7. The Bears were able to put game three away on back-to-back service aces by McNamee.

'A couple of things helped us defeat Washington,' said Cal coach Rich Feller. 'We ran a 5-1 (offensive set) with Candace (McNamee) setting and adjusted well with our blocking and defense. Caity Noonan also did a great job with her defense and passing. We were able to take advantage of what Washington was doing.

'We have been talking a lot about what games we have left and how we can still accomplish some great things. Our little set backs have been just that, setbacks. We play tonight like we did earlier in the season.'

The Bears will next travel to Santa Clara, Tuesday, Oct. 10 for a 7 p.m. match before hosting Bay Area rival Stanford, Friday, Nov. 10 at 7 p.m. at the RSF Fieldhouse.

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