Cal Volleyball Upsets No. 11 Ranked Santa Clara
Nov. 19, 2002
SANTA CLARA, CA - Led by senior Leah Young's career-high 29 kills and 18 digs, the University of California women's volleyball team (18-10) upset No. 11 ranked Santa Clara (23-5), 3-2 (29-31, 28-30, 30-14, 30-25, 16-14) Tuesday night at the Leavey Center in Santa Clara. The Bears, who were playing without their team leader in kills, Mia Jerkov, who had sprained her right ankle Monday in practice, came back from a 2-0 deficit. It was also the second match in a row Cal had defeated a team ranked in the AVCA Top 25. Jerkov should be ready for Cal's match Friday versus Stanford.
It was the fifth time this season the Bears have upset a team ranked in the Top 25 as well - topping then No. 20 Arizona, 3-0, Oct. 12 in Tucson, then No. 17 Washington State, 3-2, Oct. 18 in Haas Pavilion, then No. 23 Arizona State Nov. 9 in Haas Pavilion, then-No. 22 Washington in Seattle and now No. 11 ranked Santa Clara.
Besides Young, other top players included junior Jessica Zatica, who came off the bench to record a career-high 14 kills, and freshman Jenna Brown added 13 kills and 14 digs. Freshman Alicia Powers had a team-high 21 digs, while junior setter Caity Noonan finished with 72 assists, 11 digs and two service aces.
The Bears let game one slip away. Cal had a 29-27 lead on a kill by Noonan, but then were not able to convert on two kill attempts by sophomore middle blocker Camille Leffall and ended up losing 31-29. Young led the Bears with five kills in game one. Game two was another tight affair with Cal coming back from a 28-24 deficit before losing, 30-28. The Bears got within 29-28 on a kill by Zatica, but the Broncos immediately responded with a kill to forge ahead 2-0 in the match.
Cal was able to comeback and win big in game three, 30-14. The serving of Noonan was a big key as she helped the Bears go on a 11-0 run to control the third game. Cal also hit .500 during game three with 16 kills and only two errors in 28 attempts, paced by Young's eight kills.
The Bears were also able to capture game four, winning 30-25. Zatica and Young led Cal in the fourth game with eight kills apiece, while Powers knocked down two of the last three points for the Bears. In game five, Santa Clara was on a game point, 14-13, but a service error tied the contest, 14-14. The Broncos' Becky Potter, who led Santa Clara with 24 kills, then knocked her kill attempt wide, followed by Leffall's match-ending kill from the middle.
'I am so proud of the way this team fought back from two games down,' said Cal coach Rich Feller, who has led the Bears to their best record since going 19-13 in 1989. 'Leah (Young) really came through, as did Tess (Zatica), with offensive efficiency. We proved tonight that we are NCAA Tournament worthy.'
Cal will next host No. 4 ranked Stanford, Friday, Nov. 22 at 7 p.m. at Haas Pavilion.
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