No. 4 California Volleyball Falls in Three to No. 6 Washington
Nov. 2, 2008
BERKELEY - The No. 4-ranked California volleyball team (19-3, 9-2 Pac-10) had its school-record 16-match home winning streak snapped by No. 6 Washington (17-4, 8-3 Pac-10) today in a 3-0 sweep (25-17, 27-25, 25-19) at Haas Pavilion in Berkeley, Calif. The Bears committed too many errors to overcome Washington's efficient offense (45k, 11e, 114, .298) and rarely led in their first 3-0 loss at home since a Nov. 11, 2006 sweep to USC.
Washington sophomore outside hitter Becky Perry led all players with 16 kills on the day and committed just one error on her 38 attacks (.395). Junior outside hitter Hana Cutura led the Bears with 10 kills (7e, 31att, .097). Junior middle hitter Mindi Wiley had nine kills (5e, 20att, .200) and senior outside hitter Am'ra Solomon followed with eight kills (3e, 22att, .227) as the Bears registered their second-worst hitting percentage of the season as a team (.164, 40k, 22e, 110att).
The Huskies earned match point when redshirt junior outside hitter Airial Salvo knocked down her 12th kill of the night (3e, 33att, .273). Perry claimed her 16th kill when she shot a ball off the Cal block to end the match. The Bears got within four points at 23-19 when one of Washington's serves went long of the end line but couldn't complete their comeback bid. Cal trailed 8-2 to open the third set but fought back to earn the set's first tie at 12-all when Wiley killed a ball off a quick set from sophomore setter Carli Lloyd. The Bears fell back once more and never led in the set but managed to tie the score again at 14-all when Lloyd dropped a dunk to the middle of the court. However, the Huskies went ahead quickly by capitalizing on Cal's errors to pull away for good. Cal had 12 kills on 35 attacks in the third set but committed nine errors to log a .086 attack rate. Washington also had 12 kills on 35 attacks but with just four errors to record a .229 attack percentage in the third.
The second set turned out to be the most competitive of the day as it saw nine tied scores and three lead changes. Unfortunately for Cal, the final lead change belonged to the Huskies as a Cutura shot went long of the baseline to give Washington the 27-25 win and a 2-0 lead heading into the break. The Bears went ahead 7-6 when Wiley served up Cal's only ace of the match. The score was enough to spur a Cal run that would hold the lead until the Huskies caught up at 18-all. The Bears fought off the Husky charge to earn a 23-21 advantage but a Salvo kill and a blocking error by Lloyd knotted things up at 23-all. Salvo's 10th kill of the night earned set point at 26-25 for the Huskies before Cal's error put the second set in the books. The Bears had 18 kills (4e, 44att, .318) in the second but Washington outpaced Cal with 19 kills (4e, 46att, .326).
Cal opened up sluggishly in the first set to give up a 4-1 lead to Washington. Up 11-5, the Huskies had the Bears on the ropes already as three of Cal's five points had come off service errors by Washington. Cal needed a timeout to slow things down at 18-8, the team's largest in-set deficit of the season. Freshman middle hitter Shannon Hawari put up a solo block to help the Bears pull to within six at 23-17 but the Huskies claimed the final two points to open up the match with a 1-0 set lead. The Bears had nine errors to their 10 kills in the first set (31att, .032) while the Huskies maintained a .333 attack rate with 14 kills (3e, 33att).
The Bears hit the road again next week to face Arizona (7 p.m. Nov. 7) in Tucson, Ariz. and Arizona State (7 p.m. Nov. 8) in Tempe, Ariz. Cal took 3-0 sweeps against both the Wildcats and the Sun Devils when the Arizona schools came to Berkeley in October.