No. 13 Cal Volleyball Defeats Colorado State, 3-1

Sept. 8, 2006

BERKELEY, CALIF. - With Angie Pressey, Hana Cutura and Natalie Smart each notching 12 kills apiece, the No. 13-ranked Cal women's volleyball team defeated Colorado State, 3-1 (30-16, 30-26, 19-30, 30-25) Friday night in the opening day of the Golden Bear Invitational in Haas Pavilion. The Golden Bears improved to 7-0 and Colorado State fell to 4-3. In the first match of the Golden Bear Invitational at 4:30 p.m., No. 18 Pepperdine defeated American University, 3-0 (30-25, 30-24, 30-17).

Cal coach Rich Feller had been the head coach at Colorado State from 1983-1996, leading the Rams to eight NCAA berths.

After the Bears won the first two games, they had to battle the Rams after losing game three, 30-19. It was the first game Cal had lost this season after opening the year winning 20 straight games in their seven matches. The Bears kept the lead throughout game four, but was pushed by Colorado State. The Rams' Mekana Barnes recorded a kill to get CSU within 26-23, but Katelin Batten's service error gave Cal a 27-23 advantage. The Bears' Morgan Beck followed with a service error to put the score at 27-24, but Cal rebounded with a kill by Cutura and block assists from Ellen Orchard and Pressey for a 29-24 advantage. Jaime Strauss kept the Rams alive with a kill, but a service error by Strauss ended the contest, 30-25. CSU was plagued by 24 service errors during the match.

The Bears dominated the first game, out-hitting the Rams, .423 (15k, 4e, 26att) to .103 (8k, 5e, 29) to win 30-16. After Cal won the second game, 30-26, Colorado State out-hit the Bears, .571 (18k, 2 e, 28att) to .208 (10k, 5e, 24att) in game three. Cal finished with a .306 team hitting percentage, with both teams (Cal .333, CSU .323) hitting well in game four.

Senior Natalie Smart had an outstanding night, recording a career-high 12 kills, while hitting .444 (12k, 4e, 18att). Smart's 12 kills were six more than her previous high. Senior setter Samantha Carter also had a good night for the Bears, recording 44 assists and finishing with five kills and no errors in six attempts (.833). Pressey led the team with 15 digs, followed by senior Jillian Davis' 12 digs. Cutura paced Cal with three service aces, and Orchard added two service aces.

The Bears will next host American University at 12 p.m. and No. 18 Pepperdine at 7 p.m. on Sept. 9. In the other 12 p.m. match, Colorado State will battle Pepperdine, and American University will play Colorado State in a 4:30 p.m. contest.

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