No. 16 Cal Volleyball (6-3, 1-0) Tops Arizona State, 3-1
Sept. 23, 2004
BERKELEY, CA - Led by the outstanding play of senior outside hitter Gabrielle Abernathy, the No. 16-ranked California women's volleyball team (6-3, 1-0) defeated Arizona State (5-4, 0-1) 26-30, 30-28, 30-16, 30-12, Thursday night in the Pac-10 opener at Haas Pavilion. Abernathy paced the Golden Bears with 18 kills, hit .333 for the match and tied a school-record with nine service aces, including five service aces in game three.
Abernathy's nine service aces tied Brook Coulter's nine aces set Oct. 16, 1998 at Oregon. Several other Bears had top performances. Junior Alicia Powers finished with 10 kills with no errors in 18 attempts (.556), while junior Jenna Brown had 11 kills with three errors in 20 attempts (.400) and senior Camille Leffall had 11 kills with two errors in 24 attempts (.375). Junior Natasha Nguyen had a career-high seven kills and sophomore setter Samantha Carter had a season-high 59 assists. Sophomore libero Jillian Davis led Cal with 24 digs. The Bears finished the match with a .316 team hitting percentage, including hitting .419 and .609 in the last two games.
Colette Meek and Nicole Morton tallied 12 kills apiece for the Sun Devils.
Despite losing the first game, 30-26, Cal improved as the match went on. The Bears almost let game two slip away as ASU came back from a 29-26 deficit, but a service error by Morton gave Cal the victory. From there, the Bears jumped out to 4-0 leads in both games three and four and never looked back. Abernathy was extremely dominate with five service aces in game three, and gave Cal three of its last four points on service aces in game four.
The Bears will next host No. 14-ranked Arizona on Friday, Sept. 24 at 7 p.m. at Haas Pavilion.