Cal Volleyball Wins Albuturkey Classic

Nov. 25, 2000

ALBUQUERQUE, NM - The University of California women's volleyball team (13-15) defeated host New Mexico (10-17), 3-0 (15-9, 15-8, 16-14) Saturday night in the championship match of the Albuturkey Classic held at the Johnson Center in Albuquerque, NM.

It was a positive end to the 2000 season for the Golden Bears as they finished the year with three straight victories and a 13-15 overall record in coach Rich Feller's second season. Cal also finished 13-15 in 1999. The back-to-back 13-15 records are the best back-to-back seasons for the Bears since the 1988 and 89 campaigns (19-15 and 19-13). It was also Cal's first tournament title since winning the Pepsi/Illinois State Classic in 1997.

Senior outside hitter Alicia Perry was named the Albuturkey Classic MVP after leading Cal with a team-high 16 kills and 14 digs. Perry had also led the Bears with 12 kills and 14 digs the night before against Northern Arizona. She finished her collegiate career as only the fourth player in Cal history to record over 1000 kills and 1000 digs. Perry finished with 1348 career kills, 3729 kill attempts and 1131 digs. Her kill and kill attempts are the third most in school history and her digs are the sixth most in school history.

Sophomore Reena Pardiwala was also an all-tournament selection as she recorded 11 kills, a .667 hitting percentage (11 kills, one error, 15 attempts), 13 digs and five block assists. Sophomore Leah Young added 10 kills and four block assists.

In game one, the Bears jumped out to a 7-2 lead but let New Mexico tie the contest, 8-8. After a timeout, Cal went on an impressive run to win, 15-9. A tip and a kill by Pardiwala broke the 8-8 tie, and following a Lobo point, the Bears put the game away on three kills by Young, block assists by Young and Heather Diers and an ace by Caity Noonan.

Cal took control of game two when it jumped out to a 12-1 lead on a kill by Perry. However, New Mexico made a strong comeback, outscoring the Bears, 7-1, to get within 13-8. After a timeout, Cal was finally able to win game two, 15-8, on a tip by Perry and a Lobos errant kill attempt.

The Bears had to come-from-behind to win game three. New Mexico had a 14-10 lead and had five different chances at game point, but Cal was able to hold off the Lobos. Block assists by Gabrielle Abernathy and Diers got the Bears within 14-11. A tip by Candace McNamee made the score 14-12. After a kill attempt went wide for New Mexico, Perry had two straight blocks to give Cal a 15-14 lead. Finally, Pardiwala was able to give the Bears the game and the match with a kill.

'It feels real good to end this season with three straight wins last we did last year, and to win a season-ending tournament,' said Feller. 'It shows that the program is on the rise and for us to win this mini tournament like this will help us in the future. It was also a great way to end the season and the career of Alicia Perry with her being the MVP of a tournament.'

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