No. 18 Cal Volleyball Upsets No. 6-ranked Arizona, 3-1
Nov. 10, 2005
BERKELEY, CALIF. - Coming back from a 27-23 deficit to win game four, the No. 18-ranked California women's volleyball team (16-7, 9-5) upset No. 6-ranked Arizona (17-5, 9-4), 3-1 (26-30, 30-27, 30-23, 30-27), Thursday night at Haas Pavilion. The Golden Bears were sparked by the play of junior middle hitter Natalie Smart coming off the bench, and 14 kills from freshman Morgan Beck. Smart came in the match in game four and shined, knocking down four kills with no errors in seven attempts for a .571 hitting percentage. Beck had one of her best matches of her young college career, leading Cal with 14 kills and hitting .256 for the contest (14k, 4e, 39att).
Other top players for the Bears were senior Jenna Brown and sophomore Angie Pressey with 12 kills apiece, and junior libero Jillian Davis chipped in a match-high 27 digs. Pressey also had three service aces and 16 digs, while senior Alicia Powers and sophomore Ellen Orchard added seven kills apiece, and junior setter Samantha Carter had 45 assists and 16 digs. Arizona was paced by senior Kim Glass with a match-high 25 kills, and Jennifer Abernathy's 14 kills.
After the highly-ranked Wildcats had taken game one, 30-26, the Bears battled back to take games two and three by scores of 30-27 and 30-23. Arizona looked like it was going to extend the match to five games with a 26-20 lead in game four, but Smart knocked down two kills and a block assist with Pressey to get Cal within 26-23. After Carter had a service error to give the Wildcats a 27-23 advantage, Arizona suffered five consecutive hitting errors to allow the Bears to jump to a 28-27 lead. Finally, Cal was able to put the match away on a kill by Beck and block assists from Brown and Smart.
'This was a significant win for us towards the end of the season,' said Cal coach Rich Feller. 'This puts us in a good position (for postseason) defeating a team like Arizona who has been beating everyone else lately. This was a very encouraging comeback for us. It just shows that this team just keeps on working hard. Natalie definitely came in and gave up a spark and changed everything.'
The Bears will next host Arizona State, Friday, Nov. 11 at 7 p.m. at Haas Pavilion. It will be the final home Pac-10 match for Cal seniors Jenna Brown, Alicia Powers and Alexis Kollias, who will be honored on Senior Night.