No. 17 Cal Volleyball Defeats Pacific, 3-2, in NCAA Action

Dec. 2, 2004

BERKELEY, CA - The No. 14-ranked Gaels (24-3) had Freshman Ellen Orchard provided the Golden Bears with a spark off the bench as the No. 17-ranked California volleyball team (17-11) came from behind to defeat Pacific (19-10), 3-2 (26-30, 30-24, 20-30, 30-27, 15-11), in an NCAA first round match Thursday night at Haas Pavilion. Cal will now face neighboring Saint Mary's in the NCAA second round, Friday, Dec. 3 at 7 p.m. at Haas Pavilion.defeated Sacramento State (25-8), 3-1, (26-30, 30-27, 30-22, 30-17), Thursday's 5 p.m. match.

With the Bears down two games to one, Orchard, who had only played in 11 of Cal's 27 matches entering Thursday's contest, helped energized Cal with some outstanding play. She had five kills and a service ace in game four to tie the match, 2-2. Then, with the Bears down 5-1 in game five, Orchard led Cal's comeback with three kills and a service ace, including the final kill to end the match. Orchard finished with a career-high 14 kills with only one error in 29 attempts (.448 hitting percentage) and had four service aces.

Senior Gabrielle Abernathy paced the Bears with a team-high 18 kills and hit .351 for the match (18k, 5e, 37att). Junior Jenna Brown was outstanding with a season-high 17 kills and 15 kills, while senior middle hitter Camille Leffall and junior middle hitter Alicia Powers finished with 13 kills and 12 kills, respectively. Sophomore setter Samantha Carter tallied 64 assists and junior libero Alexis Kollias had a team-high 23 digs.

Pacific was led by Stevie Mussie's 21 kills and 14 kills by Ashley Groothuis. The Tigers had hit .625 (20k, 0e, 32att) in game three in a 30-20 win.

'I didn't feel we were in trouble even when we were down a game or two,' said Cal coach Rich Feller. 'I think the way we responded to the adversity was great. It was an outstanding college match tonight and Pacific was an extremely tough opponent. Ellen has been an all-purpose player on the scout team for us and she has had to go up against our best team in practice. She was a natural choice to come into the match and she responded great.'