California Upsets No. 22 Volleyball, 3-2

Nov. 16, 2002

SEATTLE. -- California's Mia Jerkov recorded 34 kills to lead the Bears in Saturday's upset victory over No. 22 Washington, 3-2. Cal came from behind, 2-1, to take the match (28-30, 30-21, 17-30, 32-30, 16-14) and avenge an earlier loss in Berkeley on Oct. 17.

Senior Paige Benjamin (Redmond, Wash.) made a phenomenal showing in her final regular-season game in Bank of America Arena with 24 kills and 11 digs. The Bears slowly chipped away at Washington's lead, however, and took the momentum in game four to force the fate deciding fifth game.

Game one was tightly played with 16 score tie-ups and neither team holding more than a two-point advantage through 27-27. Two Benjamin kills and two Cal errors lifted Washington to the 30-28 victory.

The Bears came back in game two, behind eight Jerkov kills to even the match at one game apiece. The score was tied at 18-18 but the Bears slowly pulled away, scoring the last six points of the game unanswered to earn the 30-21 victory. Cal posted 23 kills to the Dawg's 13.

Washington came back from the intermission with a new found fire, jumping out to the 18-11 lead behind a 7-0 run and an unsteady Bear offense that hit -. 047. The Huskies pushed their lead to 10 at 28-18 and two kills by sophomore Sanja Tomasevic (Uzice, Yugoslavia) put the Dawgs back on top, two games to one.

The Huskies led by five in game four, 12-7, led by three kills by sophomore Alexis McDonald (Long Beach, Calif.). The Bears evened the score at 14-14 behind six Bear kills before the teams exchanged points through 23-23. A kill by Benjamin gave the Huskies match point at 29-26 but Cal fought off four match deciders to eventually take the 32-30 win by out-hitting Washington .300- .267.

In the pivotal fifth game, the scored tied eight times. The Huskies held the match-point advantage at 14-13 after a Cal attack error but the Bears got out of the jam with a kill by Camille Leffall. California then used back-to-back kills by Jerkov and Jenna Brown to take the 16-14 win and match victory.

Washington had four players with double-figure kills, led by Benjamin with 24, McDonald with 17, Tomasevic with 15 and freshman Darla Myhre (Victoria, British Columbia) with 10. Anchoring the defense was freshman Candace Lee (Eugene, Ore.) who tallied 28 digs, followed by senior Gretchen Maurer (San Clemente, Calif.) with 19 and Tomasevic with 13.

The Huskies out hit the Bears .267- .204 on the night and out blocked Cal 19.5- 5. Myhre had 10 blocks in the match, while Maurer and McDonald each had seven.

Washington returns to action next week as it takes on the Oregon schools, Nov. 21-22. Game time is set for a 7 p.m. start both nights.

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