No. 7 Cal Falls to No. 8 Oregon in Regular Season Finale
Nov. 28, 2008
EUGENE, Ore. - The No. 7-ranked California women's volleyball team fell to the No. 8 Oregon Ducks in four sets at McArthur Court in the regular season finale on Friday night. Set scores were 25-20, 25-27, 25-17, 26-24 in favor of Oregon (23-8, 11-7 Pac-10).
With a 23-6 overall record (13-5 Pac-10), Cal is poised to receive its school-record seventh consecutive bid to the NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball Championships. The Golden Bears will gather with coaches, administrative staff, and family to view the 2008 NCAA Volleyball Selection Show on Sunday, Nov. 30 at 7 p.m. in the Haas Pavilion Club Room. The selection show will be aired live by ESPNU. Please check your local listings or call your cable provider for information on ordering ESPNU.
The Bears controlled much of the first set, and claimed leads of 12-8 (after a Cutura kill) and 14-11 (after an Am'ra Solomon kill), but the Ducks stormed back and evened the score at 14-14 courtesy of a Neticia Enesi kill. Cal held its final lead at 19-17 after an Oregon attack error, before the Ducks went on an 8-1 run to close out the frame. Cal committed five attack errors and was out-dug 18-9 by the Ducks. Cutura paced the Bears with six kills in the set.
Down 18-10 and the crowd behind the home team, Cal made an incredible comeback to take the second set, 27-25 to even the match at 1-1. The Bears began to chip away at the UO lead with bacl-to-back-to-back kills by Cutura, Shannon Hawari and Cutura again to cut the lead to 18-13. Oregon would then take a 20-15 lead after an Enesi kill, before the Bears answered with a 5-0 run, punctuated with a Mindi Wiley kill to even the set at 20-20. Oregon came right back and tallied the next two points to take a 22-20 lead, before a mini 3-0 Cal run gave the Bears a 23-22 advantage. A Morgan Beck put away gave Cal set point at 24-23, but Oregon managed to rally and claim set point at 25-24 after a Marija Milosevic service ace. Cal refused to quit and tied the score at 25-25 after a Cutura kill. Back-to-back blocks by the Bears gave them the win.
Cal found itself in a hole again to the Ducks in the third set, but could not recover for a comeback, falling 25-17. Oregon held a slim 8-6 lead before pulling away with a 9-3 run to take a 17-9 lead after a Gorana Maricic kill. The Bears closed the gap to 22-16 after a Carli Lloyd service ace, but it was as close as they would get as Oregon used a 3-1 run to win the stanza.
Cal made another gritty comeback in the fourth set, fought off one match point, but fell 26-24.
Last year, the Bears advanced to the NCAA championship semifinal where they fell to eventual champion, Penn State. The appearance in the semifinal match was the furthest a Cal squad has ever advanced. Junior outside hitter Hana Cutura was named the most valuable player of the Wisconsin regional tournament as the Bears defeated Iowa State to advance past the round of 16 for the first time in program history before taking out defending champion Nebraska.