No. 11 California Falls In four To No. 2 Stanford

Sept. 21, 2007

BERKELEY, CALIF. - The No. 11 California (10-2, 0-1 Pac-10) volleyball team lost to No. 2 Stanford (12-0, 1-0) in the Golden Bears' first four-game match of the season (30-27, 26-30, 30-32, 25-30) as both schools opened Pac-10 Conference play at Haas Pavilion tonight.

The Golden Bears hit .208 (65k, 29e, 273att) and blocked well at the net but in the end were overpowered by a Stanford attack that hit .257 (72k, 26e, 179att) for the match. Sophomore outside hitter Hana Cutura led the Bears with 21 kills (9e, 53att, .226) while three of her teammates also contributed over ten digs each. Including Cutura, five Cal players had double-doubles against Stanford. Redshirt sophomore middle hitter Kat Reilly put up 10 kills in 18 attempts and had a team-high .500 hitting percentage.

Junior outside hitter/middle hitter Morgan Beck started the Bears off with a kill on the very first exchange of the match. Two point-blank digs by senior outside hitter Angie Pressey brought the second rally to an end when Reilly and Beck blocked a Stanford attack for the Bears' second point. The Bears then ripped off a four-point run. The run forced a Stanford timeout after which the Cardinal evened up the score at 12, capitalizing on several hitting errors by Cal. The Bears went on another five-point run of their own and hold the Cardinal at bay to secure the win in game one.

Cal hit .204 in game one with 20 kills (10e, 49att) as freshman setter Carli Lloyd tossed up 15 of the teams 19 assists. The Bears were defensive minded from the start of the match, digging up Cardinal attacks 25 times, with many coming at crucial moments of heated rallies.

Stanford came out of the gate and put up two quick points in game two before the Bears got back on track. Angie Pressey's serving netted the Bears three straight points to give the Bears the lead at 4-2. After Stanford tied it up at four, the Bears seized the lead and continued to be up for most of the game until the Cardinal caught some a little heat of their own and tied the score at 19. Stanford used their strong hitting and upped the ante with a 5-0 run that gave the Cardinal a 24-23 lead. Completing the game with a .275 hitting percentage (17k, 6e, 40att) Stanford closed out game two with a 30-26 win.

After a tight start, a Cynthia Barbosa service error put the Bears up for the first time in game three at 10-9. The Bears' increased their lead to as much as seven at 26-19 off of a Hana Cutura kill but Stanford ate into most of the Cal lead with an 8-2 run to tie the game at 28 apiece. The score was tied at 29 and 30 before the Cardinal pulled off two straight points to win game three and go up 2-1. The Bears managed 17 kills in game three but expended themselves on 52 attempts (7e, .192) while Stanford's blocking continued to put on a strong showing.

Game four proved to be an uphill battle for Cal as the Cardinal jumped out to a quick four point lead. Stanford would pour it on and increase their lead to as much as seven before the Bears mounted a late-game comeback. However, the effort was too late for Cal as Stanford took advantage of their early lead and finished off the match to keep their season record unblemished. Stanford now holds a five-match regular season winning streak against Cal dating back to 2005.

The Bears return to action next week as No. 4 USC and No. 5 UCLA visit Haas Pavilion. Cal will play the UCLA Bruins on Thursday, Sept. 27 at 7 p.m. and then meet the USC Trojans in a 7 p.m. Friday match on Sept. 28.

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