No. 8 Cal Volleyball Falls to No. 11 Georgia Tech, 3-1, in NCAA Regional in Hawaii
Dec. 12, 2003
HONOLULU, HI - Despite a 32 kill performance from junior All-American Mia Jerkov, the No. 8 ranked Cal volleyball team (25-7) lost to No. 11 Georgia Tech (34-3), 3-1 (30-25, 20-30, 30-24, 30-23) Friday evening in the NCAA Regional at the Stan Sheriff Center on the University of Hawaii campus. The 2003 Bears finished with their best single-season winning percentage (781), advanced to the NCAA round of 16 for the first time in school history and place third in the Pac-10 with a 12-6 conference mark.
'It has been a great season,' said Cal coach Rich Feller, the 2003 Pac-10 and Pacific Region Co-Coach of the Year. 'It certainly wasn't the way we wanted to end it. It was not the performance we would have liked, but this team accomplished things never done before at Cal. I am proud of my players and my staff. Playing for a chance to advance to the Elite Eight was wonderful.'
The Bears were plagued by an inability to block the Yellow Jackets, who in turn out-blocked Cal, 16.5-4.0. Georgia Tech was led by Lauren Sauer's 17 kills and 16 kills apiece by Lynnette Moster and Alexandra Preiss. Preiss also led the Yellow Jackets with eight block assists and nine total blocks. Jerkov finished with 32 kills - her eighth 30-kill match of the season and the 14th 30-kill match of her career. She also had 13 digs. Freshman libero Jillian Davis had a team-high 16 digs, while junior middle hitter Camille Leffall hit .375 (seven kills, one error, 16 attempts) and freshman setter Samantha Carter recorded 55 assists for the Bears.
In game one, Cal struggled early, falling behind 19-11, but were able to battle back and got within, 26-25, on a Gabrielle Abernathy kill. That was as close as Cal would get, as Carter was called for being in the net on a play that would have tied the contest, and it went down hill for the Bears. A hitting error by Jerkov and a service ace by Georgia Tech's setter Kele Eveland ended the game, 30-25. Jerkov led the Cal with seven kills, but the Bears hit .109 for the contest and the Yellow Jackets had seven team blocks.
Cal was able to win big in game two, 30-20. The Bears jumped out to a 5-0 lead behind a pair of Jerkov kills, kills by Ashleigh Turner and Leffall, and a service ace by Alicia Powers. Cal was able to keep its momentum and finally put game two away when Georgia Tech's Eveland had a ball handling error and Jenna Brown recorded a kill to seal the win. The Bears had a .324 team hitting percentage in game two.
Cal faltered in game three, 30-24. With the Bears down, 29-22, Jerkov recorded back-to-back kills to get Cal within 29-24, but it was too little, too late as a Moster finished the game off with a kill. The Bears again struggled in game four, falling behind, 19-11. Cal slowly got back into the contest and got within, 24-20, on a Jerkov kill. Unfortunately, the Bears were not able to get any closer and saw their fine season come to an end when Georgia Tech setter Eveland's dump hit the floor to conclude the Yellow Jackets' 3-1 win.
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