No. 10 Stanford Volleyball Drops Five-Set Thriller At No. 12 California

Sept. 25, 2009

BERKELEY, Calif. -- The No. 10 Stanford women's volleyball team fell in five sets to No. 12 California, 25-19, 20-25, 25-20, 19-25, 12-15, Friday at Haas Pavilion in Berkeley, Calif. Stanford is now 0-1 in the Pac-10 and 7-4 overall, while Cal improves to 1-0 in the conference and 8-3 overall.

Junior Alix Klineman led the Stanford offense with a season-high 23 kills, hitting .367. Junior Cassidy Lichtman recorded her third triple-double of the season with 14 kills, 16 assists and 11 digs. Stanford hit a season-low .204, while the Cal posted a .250 clip. The Cardinal has dropped its Pac-10 opener for the first time under head coach John Dunning.

Cal opened the match with an early lead, but kills from Alex fisher and Klineman tied the set at six apiece. The Cardinal took its first lead of the set, 8-7, on an attack error by the Golden Bears. A kill from Lichtman opened the Stanford lead to 12-9 and then two kills from Klineman and miscues by the Cal pushed Stanford to a 16-13 advantage. Three straight kills by the Cardinal, including two from freshman Hayley Spelman, gave Stanford a 21-16 lead. The Cardinal won the first set, 25-19, behind Klineman's six kills.

The Cardinal kept its momentum going in the second, pulling out to a 5-2 lead on a kill from senior Janet Okogbaa followed by a block from Okogbaa and Lichtman. The Bears would come roaring back, taking the lead at 9-8 on a kill from setter Carli Lloyd. Freshman setter Karissa Cook was inserted into the line-up, immediately earning an assist off a Klineman kill. Two consecutive kills by Lichtman pulled the Cardinal within one, but a 3-0 run by the Bears would force Stanford to call timeout. Out of the break, kills from Okogbaa and Klineman would cut into the lead and errors by the Bears would pull the Cardinal within one at 19-18. However, Cal was able to pull away once again as they tied the match with a 25-20 second set win.

The third set began with kills from Lichtman and Klineman and errors by Cal gave Stanford a 4-1 advantage. The Cardinal opened its lead to 12-6 pounding four kills, including three from Klineman. A block from Okogbaa and Fisher increased the Stanford lead to 17-10. Cal would make a 5-1 run of its own, but another kill from Klineman would sustain the lead at 19-15, ultimately capturing the third set, 25-20.

Both teams came fired up to start the fourth as the scored tied several times, including at 7-7 and 8-8 as the Cardinal got two kills from Lichtman. A 4-1 stretch by Cal pushed the Bears ahead, 12-9, but unforced errors kept Stanford close. A block by Lichtman and Okogbaa, two straight aces from Lichtman and a kill by Okogbaa pulled the Cardinal within two at 20-18. However, a 5-1 run by Cal would give the Bears the 25-19 fourth set victory.

The final set was a battle from the beginning as Cal pulled out to a 5-2 lead. Two straight kills by Okogbaa pulled Stanford within two at 13-11, but the Golden Bears would rally behind a Haas Pavilion volleyball record crowd of more than 4,100 to capture the final set, 15-12, and the match, 3-2.

Up next, Stanford will travel to Los Angeles to continue conference play at UCLA on Friday, Oct. 2 and at USC on Saturday, Oct. 3. The Bruins and Trojans opened Pac-10 play at the Arizona schools this weekend. Both matches are slated for 7 p.m. in Los Angeles, while the match at USC will be televised by FSN.

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