No. 8 Cal Moves into Second Round with Sweep of Siena College

Dec. 5, 2008

BERKELEY - The No. 8-ranked California volleyball team (24-6, 13-5 Pac-10) defeated Siena College (20-13, 15-3 MAAC) in a 3-0 sweep today in the first round of the 2008 NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball Championship at Haas Pavilion in Berkeley, Calif. The Bears kept the Saints winless in postseason play and have now advanced to the round of 32 for the seventh consecutive season. Cal will face New Mexico State in an 8 p.m. match tomorrow for the right to advance to the Penn State regional and the round of 16. Tickets can be purchased via CalBears.com's ticket links or at tournament central.

California was led by freshman outside hitter Tarah Murrey, who recorded 11 kills for the match (7e, 26att, .154). Junior outside hitter Hana Cutura added ten kills of her own (3e, 21att, .333) to spur the Golden Bear offense and moved into ninth place in all-time single-season kills with 466. Senior outside hitter Am'ra Solomon (1e, 13att, .538) and junior middle hitter Mindi Wiley (0e, 10att, .800) each had eight kills to their credit. Sophomore setter Carli Lloyd added 35 assists to her season total, and junior libero Kristen Kathan led all players with 13 digs, moving into fourth place on the single-season digs ladder with 468.

Siena College junior middle hitter Burgandy McCurdy led all players with 16 kills (6e, 26att, .385) and senior middle hitter Emily Kruglik was accrued a .462 attack percentage (6k, 0e, 13att). Senior setter April London added 22 assists in the loss.

The Bears enjoyed a .407 (48k, 13e, 86att) attack percentage in the match whilst Siena College struggled offensively to post a .138 (25k, 14e, 80att). Both teams had some trouble serving the ball; the Saints had eight service errors and Cal had seven errors of its own.

The Bears took a 5-2 lead in the third set, but allowed the Saints to come back and tie things up at six-all. Lloyd's kill gave the Bears the lead at 7-6 and they never trailed again. A kill off an overplayed pass by Murrey gave the Bears set point at 24-19 before Solomon blasted the final shot of the night off a Siena block to close the match in Cal's favor. The Saints made a push and trailed by just one point but allowed the Bears to pull away once again. Cal had 16 kills on 34 attacks (6e, .294) in the third set and the Saints had 10 kills (4e, 27att, .222).

Solomon put in the last point of the set when she went up from the right side to put a kill down at the feet of Siena libero Kathy Kobayashi. Cal got down to business quick in the second set, flying out to an 8-1 lead with five kills. The Saints put up a fight and got to seven points, trailing 15-7, before the Bears ripped off another run to pull out to a 22-7 advantage. Wiley's kill off a quick set from Lloyd gave the Bears set point at 24-9. Freshman middle hitter Shannon Hawari claimed four kills on four attacks without an error and helped the Bears to a .667 attack rate (15k, 21att) as Cal committed just one attack error all set. The Saints had a hard time getting going, notching just seven kills on 26 attacks. Siena committed as many errors as it had kills, leaving the team with a .000 attack percentage.

The Bears claimed the first set by putting up 17 kills on 31 attacks (6e) to post a .355 attack percentage. Cal also held Siena to just eight kills (3e, 27att) and a .185 attack rate. Murrey led the Bears with six kills in the first (3e, 12att) and attacked at a .250 rate. Cal dug up 14 of the Saints' attacks, led by Kathan's match-high four digs.

Cal has now won seven consecutive first-round matches under the direction of head coach Rich Feller and will face New Mexico State (26-8, 15-1 WAC) in the second round tomorrow (Dec. 6) in an 8 p.m. match at Haas Pavilion. The winner of the second-round match will advance to the round of 16 at the University Park Regional in State College, Penn. Tickets for tomorrow's match can be purchased via the CalBears.com website.

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