No. 11 California Volleyball Comes Back To Win In Five Against Notre Dame

Sept. 15, 2007

SANTA CLARA, CALIF. - The No. 11 California women's volleyball team (10-1) fought back to win in five games (23-30, 24-30, 30-28, 30-24, 15-11) against Big East power Notre Dame (3-6) to close out preseason play at the Leavey Center on the campus of Santa Clara University. This weekend's matches complete the Bears non-conference schedule. Cal will begin Pac-10 Conference play at Haas Pavilion on Friday, Sept. 21 at 7 p.m. against rival Stanford.

Tied at nine points apiece in the fifth game, the Bears ripped off a 6-2 run to win their first five-game match of the season. Cal found itself down two games quick but an Ellen Orchard service ace in game three would seal the deal for the Bears and begin the teams' bid for a comeback. The Bears also dug up 18 balls to mount to help force the first game-four of the season.

Freshman setter Carli Lloyd set up her teammates all night, getting credit for a career-high 62 assists. Redshirt sophomore middle hitter Kat Reilly put up a career-high 14 kills (4e, 22att, .455) and added six block assists in a strong effort. Senior middle hitter Ellen Orchard had 16 kills of her own, hitting .333 for the match. Junior outside hitter/middle hitter Morgan Beck had a solid all around game with 13 kills (4e, 35att, .257), seven digs and seven blocks.

Cal started both defensive specialists, sophomore Kristen Kathan and freshman Caitlyn Murphy with senior outside hitter Angie Pressey sitting out the first game of the match. The Bears got off to a sluggish start, with four service errors and three receiving errors contributing to seven easy points for the Irish. The Bears allowed Notre Dame to hit at a .407 percentage (15k, 4e, 27att) in game one, the highest single-game mark for a Cal opponent on the season.

Pressey would return to action in the second game with the Bears off to a 0-4 start. But Cal was never able to overcome the early deficit, trailing Notre Dame for the entire length of game two. The Bears had hit .083 (13k, 10e, 36att) for their lowest single-game output of the season. The Irish turned away Cal attacks six times and were credited for 12 block assists to contribute to the Bears' poor hitting percentage in game two.

Cal's defense returned to form in the fourth game, as the lady Bears held Notre Dame to a .073 hitting percentage. Enduring 11 ties, the Bears used a 10-3 run to put themselves in position to take game four but Notre Dame would go on one last run before Cal was able to put the game to rest, setting up the fifth and deciding game of the match in which the Bears would stave off the Irish for the win.

The Bears return to action on Friday, Sept. 21 against the Stanford Cardinal at Haas Pavilion to open the Pac-10 Conference season. The Big Spike will be featured in a live broadcast by Comcast at 7 p.m.

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