Cal Volleyball Upsets No. 22 Ranked Washington

Nov. 16, 2002

SEATTLE, WA - Behind a gutsy team performance and Mia Jerkov's team-high 34 kills and 24 digs, the University of California women's volleyball team (17-10, 7-10) upset No. 22 ranked Washington (15-10, 7-9), 3-2 (28-30, 30-21, 30-17, 32-30, 16-14) Saturday night at Bank of America Arena in Seattle, Wash.

It was the fourth time this season the Bears have upset a team ranked in the Top 20 - topping then No. 20 ranked Arizona, 3-0, Oct. 12 in Tucson, then No. 17 ranked Washington State, 3-2, Oct. 18 in Haas Pavilion, then No. 23 ranked Arizona State Nov. 9 in Haas Pavilion and now No. 22 Washington in Seattle.

Besides Jerkov's effort, which was the fifth time this season she has recorded over 30 kills in a match, several other Cal players performed well. Senior Leah Young and freshman Jenna Brown added 17 kills apiece, with Brown also chipping in a career-high 23 digs. Junior setter Caity Noonan had an impressive 72 assists with two service aces and 20 digs, freshman Alicia Powers had eight kills and a career-high 22 digs, and sophomore Camille Leffall finished with 10 kills.

Paige Benjamin led Washington with 24 kills.

Cal played tough in game one before losing 30-28. The contest was tied, 27-27, on a double hit by the Huskies. Young then had her kill attempt blocked, followed by a Benjamin kill. The Bears got within 29-28 on a kill by Leffall before another Benjamin kill sealed the game for Washington. Brown led Cal with six kills in game one.

The Bears played extremely well in game two, winning 30-21. Cal broke away from a 20-19 contest by outscoring the Huskies, 10-2 the rest of the way. The Bears got their last four points on a pair of Jerkov kills, a kill by Young and finally a service ace by Noonan. Jerkov tallied eight kills in game two.

Cal lost badly in game three, 30-17. After a kill by Jerkov tied the game, 10-10, Washington went on a 7-0 run and the Bears never recovered. Cal did an outstanding job of forcing game five by winning game four, 32-30. UW was on game point, 29-26 on a kill by Benjamin, but the Bears battled back with two kills by Jerkov and a kill by Young to tie the contest, 29-29. Next a Jerkov kill attempt went long to give the Huskies a 30-29 lead, but again Cal came back. The Bears were able to win behind back-to-back Jerkov kills, and finally Brown put away an UW overpass to win capture game four.

Game five was another exciting affair. Cal took a 13-12 lead on a kill by Jerkov, but the Huskies ran off two straight points when Brown's kill attempt went long and Young's kill attempt was block. With the Bears down, 14-13, and Washington serving for the win, Leffall's mishit barely landed in, Jerkov recorded a kill and then Brown won the match by knocking down another Washington overpass.

'This wins solidifies our legitamacy as an NCAA Tournament worthy team,' said Cal head coach Rich Feller. 'Our team really worked hard tonight on the toughest trip of the year. We fought off match points in both game four and game five. I'm very proud of this team and what they have accomplished this year.'

Cal will next travel to No. 10 ranked Santa Clara, Tuesday, Nov. 19 at 7 p.m. at Santa Clara, before taking on No. 1 ranked Stanford, Friday, Nov. 22 at 7 p.m. at Haas Pavilion.

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