No. 9 Cal Volleyball Falls In Five to No. 6 USC

Oct. 26, 2007

LOS ANGELES - The No. 9 California volleyball team (16-5, 6-4 Pac-10) fell in five games (30-21, 37-39, 30-26, 33-35, 10-15) to the No. 6 USC Trojans (18-3, 7-3) tonight at the Galen Center in Los Angeles. The Bears were led by senior outside hitter Angie Pressey's career marks in kills and attempts. Pressey logged a double-double reeling 13 digs to go along with her 29 kills on 66 attempts (10e, .288) in the losing effort. Sophomore libero Kristen Kathan also set a new career high, leading the Bears with 29 digs for the match.

Cal stood up the USC attack by logging 19 total team blocks on the night and set season-highs for assists with 75 (a career-high 69 for freshman setter Carli Lloyd) and kills with 79. However, the Bears hit .148, needing 223 attacks to get those kills while committing 46 errors. Game two of the match marks the Bears' longest single-game on the season as both teams combined for 76 points. Four Bears notched 10 or more kills for the match, with sophomore outside Hana Cutura putting 14 down for second behind Pressey.

The Bears stayed even with the Trojans to start the fifth game but USC pulled away with a four-point run to take a 10-6 lead on Cal. Junior middle hitter/outside hitter Morgan Beck killed a ball that put the Bears back within four but the Trojans had too much fire-power down the stretch and ran off with a 15-10 victory in game-five to seal the win. The Bears hit .000 in the final game, registering as many errors as they did kills with five each (19 att).

Game four started out as a tug-of-war with Cal taking the lead seven times only to see the Trojans tie it up again. By the time the score reached nine, the game had been tied eight times. Junior outside hitter Am'ra Solomon's kill broke the pattern and gave the Bears a 10-9 lead that the Bears stretched to four with two consecutive kills by Pressey. With the game tied at 18, the Trojans went on a 7-1 run that had the Bears down and almost out. Then it was the Bears' turn to go on a run of their own, pulling even with USC at 29. Just as it did in game two, the score see-sawed back and forth with five ties before three-straight Pressey kills gave the Bears the 35-33 victory, pulling even with USC at two-games a piece.

The Bears managed just 14 kills in the third stanza and committed eight attack errors (47 att) hitting .128, to drop the game by four points. With the score tied at 16, the Bears gave up an 8-2 run to the Trojans that they could not recover from. Rallying hard behind kills by senior middle hitter Ellen Orchard, Cal got to within one point of USC at 25-26 but the Trojans won the final four points to take a two games to one lead into game four.

In game two, Cal took a tied score at 11 and extended its strong hitting to create a five-point lead. Three consecutive attack errors allowed the Trojans to get back in the game but Cal seized the five-point lead once again at 22-17. That lead all but evaporated as USC fought its way back to a 25-point tie spurred by several Geena Urango kills. The Bears and Trojans traded leads six times over the final 14 points until Pressey killed a set from Lloyd to put the Bears up 38-37. But it was an out-of-the-ordinary assist from sophomore outside hither Cat Dailey that set Pressey up for a kill that gave Cal game two and a 1-1 tie heading into the break.

The Bears jumped out to a quick four-point lead (7-3) to open the first game but the Trojans gave chase and tied the score at 12. Redshirt sophomore Kat Reilly's kill put Cal right back on top but several errors left the Bears at a two-point disadvantage at 14-16. The Bears put up four team blocks early on in the contest but allowing USC hitters to combine for 20 kills closed the chapter for Cal.

The Bears remain in Los Angeles to take on the No. 7 UCLA Bruins in a 7 p.m. match at Pauley Pavilion tomorrow (Oct. 27). Check for GameTracker information.

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