No. 16 Cal Volleyball Falls at No. 13 Wisconsin in NCAA Second-Round
Dec. 3, 2005
MADISON, WISCONSIN - Playing in front of a crowd of over 2,300 Badger fans, the No. 16-ranked California women's volleyball team (19-11) fell to No. 13-ranked Wisconsin (25-6), 3-0 (30-23, 30-22, 30-25), Saturday night in an NCAA second-round match at the UW Field House on the University of Wisconsin campus. Cal, again led in kills by sophomore Angie Pressey (12) and freshman Morgan Beck (10), concluded the 2005 season advancing to the NCAA second-round for the second year in-a-row, falling to a Wisconsin squad that had advanced to the Final 8 in 2004.
The 2005 season also marked the end of the impressive careers of Cal seniors Jenna Brown, Alexis Kollias and Alicia Powers. The three seniors helped the Bears qualify for the NCAA Tournament a school-record four-straight years. Cal also won opening-round matches in each of those years, including advancing to the Round of 16 in 2003. Brown finished her career with 1,113 kills and 1,151 digs, becoming only the fifth player in Cal history to record over 1,000 kills and 1,000 digs. Powers finished her college career with 431 career blocks, third on the Bears all-time list. Kollias had a career-high 31 digs in last year's NCAA second-round versus Saint Mary's.
Pressey added 11 digs to her 12 kills against the Badgers Saturday night. Sophomore Ellen Orchard tacked on five block assists, and had seven kills with only one error in 17 attempts for a .353 hitting percentage. Junior libero Jillian Davis paced the Bears with 18 digs and junior setter Samantha Carter finished with 34 assists and 11 digs.
Aubrey Meierotto led Wisconsin with 14 kills, and the Badgers finished the match with a .283 team hitting percentage.
In the first game, the Bears trailed for most of the way until Beck was able to tie it, 17-17, knocking down a kill on a Wisconsin overpass. Cal fell behind again after a pair of Beck hitting errors, but remained close until the Badgers had back-to-back blocks to take a 28-21 advantage. Brown responded with a pair of kills to get the Bears within 28-23, but Wisconsin finished off the game with an Audra Jeffers' kill and a block of a Beck kill attempt to win, 30-23. Brown, Beck and Orchard had four kills apiece for Cal in game one.
Game two was just as tough for the Bears. Cal was able to get within, 10-9, on block assists by Powers and Carter, yet the Badgers notched six of the next seven points for a 16-10 lead and Cal never really threatened after that. The closest the Bears were able to get was, 23-18, on block assists from Beck and Orchard. Cal was able to hold off game point at 29-20 on kills by Am'ra Solomon and Pressey, but a Kollias service error ended game two, 30-22.
The Bears came closest in game three. However, Cal was only able to tie game three once at 15-15, getting within one point of the Badgers five times after the 15 point mark. A Carter kill got the Bears within, 24-23, but Wisconsin rattled off six of the next eight points to win the game, and the match, 30-25.
'It was a great season for us, but we were not ready for it to be over,' said Cal coach Rich Feller, who is now to only volleyball coach to lead the Bears to four-straight NCAA appearances, and who earlier this year earned his 100th win at Cal and his 400th career victory. 'I am disappointed we will not be playing next week. We have faced a lot of teams as big as Wisconsin this year, and I think we got them out of their system a few times with our serving. But, we made too many mistakes, and we didn't pass as well as we could have, and that allowed their size to become a factor. It is just too bad these two teams had to play each other in the second round.'