No. 5 Cal Volleyball Loses a Nailbiter to No. 1 USC, 3-2
Oct. 18, 2003
BERKELEY, CA - The Cal volleyball team gave No. 1 ranked USC a run for its money as the No. 5 ranked Golden Bears (16-2, 7-2) lost 3-2 (30-22, 30-18, 27-30, 24-30, 15-13) to the defending national champion Trojans Saturday evening at Haas Pavilion. It was the fourth consecutive five-game match for Cal, and the first time this season USC was involved in a five-game contest. The Trojans have only had one match this year in which they have gone four games.
Down 2-0, the Bears made a furious comeback behind junior All-American Mia Jerkov, who led all players with 27 kills, four service aces and 20 digs. Jerkov was especially impressive in game four, rallying Cal with 10 kills and four aces. She had six kills in game five, including a kill to get the Bears within 14-13, but USC's April Ross finished the match for the Trojans with a final kill.
Sophomore Camille Leffall was also impressive for Cal, recording 15 kills with a .423 hitting percentage. Freshman Amanda Fox had a career-high 11 kills and senior defensive specialist Ashleigh Turner had a career-high 17 digs. USC was led by Ross' 20 kills and 17 digs. Emily Adams added 16 kills and 10 total blocks for the Trojans.
After being dominated in the first two games, the Bears were impressive against powerful USC, hitting .245 in game three and .333 for game five after hitting below .200 in games one and two. Cal ended up out digging the Trojans, 88-76. It was the second year in a row the Bears had taken USC to five games at Haas Pavilion.
'Just to know we can take matches to the limit against four of the top teams in the nation and finish 2-2 is impressive,' said Cal coach Rich Feller. 'I am so proud of the way our team came back. We didn't fold and we showed what we are capable of when we get our focus back.'
The Bears will next travel to Washington State, Thursday, Oct. 23, at 7 p.m. at Boller Gym in Pullman; and No. 12 Washington, Friday, Oct. 24 at 7 p.m. at Bank of America Arena in Seattle. The Cal-Washington match will be shown on tape delay on Fox Sports Net, Saturday, Oct. 25 at either 9:30 a.m. or 10 a.m.