No. 9 Cal Volleyball Upsets No. 4 Stanford, 3-2
Oct. 11, 2003
BERKELEY, CA - In what could be considered the biggest win in Cal volleyball history, the No. 9 ranked Golden Bears (16-0, 7-0) upset No. 4 ranked Stanford, 3-2 (30-22, 29-31, 28-30, 30-28, 15-9), Saturday afternoon at Haas Pavilion. Cal was led by junior All-American Mia Jerkov, who recorded 31 kills, four service aces and 12 digs. It was the 10th time in Jerkov's college career she had finished with 30 or more kills in a match.
Other top players for the Bears were junior outside hitter Gabrielle Abernathy with 15 kills, and sophomore outside hitter Jenna Brown, who finished with 14 kills, a .400 hitting percentage and a team-high 15 digs. Freshman setter Samantha Carter had a career-high 70 assists.
Stanford (13-3, 6-1) was led by junior All-American Ogonna Nnamani's 25 kills and 11 digs, and freshman Kristen Richards had 17 kills. Cal outhit the Cardinal, last year's national runner-up, .333 to 266.
The Bears win over Stanford had several grand implications. It was the first time Cal had defeated Stanford since Oct. 1, 1982 and it broke a streak of 40 straight losses to the Cardinal. It was also the first time the Bears had defeated Stanford in Pac-10 Conference play. Cal's win over the Cardinal keeps the Bears in first place in the conference standings, setting up an exciting showdown between No. 8 ranked UCLA and No. 1 ranked and defending national champion USC next Friday, Oct. 17, and Saturday, Oct. 18, at 7 p.m. at Haas Pavilion.
The Bears also had an attendance of 3,021 - the largest volleyball crowd in school history. Cal had a crowd of 3,125 on Oct. 15, 1999, but it was prior to the men's and women's basketball team's Midnight Madness.
After out-hitting the Cardinal, .467-.111, in game one and winning, 30-22, the Bears allowed Stanford to come roaring back to win the second and third games, 31-29 and 30-28. However, Cal was able to stop the Cardinal's momentum on an impressive hitting streak by Jerkov in game four. With the Bears down, 23-21, Jerkov was able to rattle off two kills and two service aces to lead Cal on a 5-0 run, on the way to a 30-28 win. From there, the Bears were able to overcome an early 3-1 deficit in game five to win 15-9 - behind seven Jerkov kills, and finally a Brown solo block sealed the win for Cal.
'This win was absolutely huge for us,' said Cal coach Rich Feller, who grew up in Palo Alto. 'This definitely gives credibility to our team, and to our program. This shows we are one of the top teams in the country. I was very impressed with how we executed our game plan and how we handle the pressure of playing in front of our biggest crowd. It is pretty impressive to finally defeat a team we haven't beaten since before our players were born.'