Cal Volleyball Opens 2001 Season With 3-1 Victory Over New Hampshire

Aug. 31, 2001

STORRS, CT - The University of California women's volleyball team (1-0) won its season-opening match of the 2001 campaign, topping New Hampshire (1-1), 3-1 (30-26, 29-31, 30-20, 30-21), at the IKON Husky Classic Friday evening at the Henry A. Gampel Pavilion on the University of Connecticut campus.

The Bears were led by junior Reena Pardiwala and sophomore Gabrielle Abernathy with 15 kills apiece. Junior Leah Young and freshman Camille Leffall added 11 kills each. Redshirt freshman Astrid Gonzalez, who sat out last year recovering from a stress fracture in her left tibia, also had a nice match with nine kills and a team-high 17 digs. Cal had a solid .311 team hitting percentage and an impressive 12 service aces as well.

'Given the amount of time we have had to practice and the fact we are bringing in new people, we played the way I expected' said third-year head coach Rich Feller. 'But, I liked the way we maintained our competitiveness throughout the match and were able to score points and minimize our mistakes.'

In game one, Cal came back from a 5-1 deficit and were finally able to tie the contest 10-10 on a kill by Abernathy. The Bears took control of the game from that point on, winning 30-26. Pardiwala led Cal with six kills, and Abernathy added five kills, in game one.

Game two was a tight battle the whole way. The Bears took a 28-27 lead on a kill by senior Candace McNamee, but couldn't put the game away, allowing New Hampshire to break a 29-29 tie to win, 31-29. Cal played better in game three, breaking away from a 10-10 tie to eventually take a 20-13 lead on a service ace by Pardiwala. Young's kill sealed the 30-20 game three win for the Bears.

In the fourth game, Cal tied New Hampshire, 13-13, on a kill by Young and then jumped ahead, 15-13, on a block by Leffall and a service ace by junior Caity Noonan. Later, with the Bears leading 19-18, Cal went on a 6-0 run behind four kills from Pardiwala, a service ace by Gonzalez and a kill by McNamee. Finally, a kill by Young ended the game, and the match, 30-21.

The Bears will next play Massachusetts at 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 1 and then face host Connecticut, Sunday, Sept. 2 at 2 p.m.

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