No. 7 California Advances To Round Two At NCAA Tournament

Nov. 30, 2007

DURHAM, N.C. - The No. 7 California volleyball team (23-7, 12-6 Pac-10) defeated Big South Champion Liberty in a four-game match (30-20, 26-30, 30-15, 30-21) today at the 2007 NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball Tournament at historic Cameron Indoor Stadium on the campus of site-host Duke University. The Bears will move into round two and face the winner of tonight's No. 22 Duke vs. American match in a 5 p.m. start tomorrow (Dec. 1) for the right to advance to the Madison Regional semifinal. Under head coach Rich Feller, the Bears have won all six of their first round NCAA matches and are looking to advance to the round of 16 for the second consecutive year.

The Bears were led by 21 kills from sophomore outside hitter Hana Cutura (3e, 50att) who hit .360 for the match and added two of the Bears three service aces. Senior outside hitter Angie Pressey had 14 kills (8e, 46att, .130) and 13 digs for her 12th double-double of the season. Redshirt sophomore middle Kat Reilly had an efficient outing, putting down five kills without an error on eight attacks (.625) and senior middle hitter Ellen Orchard added 11 kills on 17 attacks (2e, .529) to help the Bears to a round one victory.

Cal hit .344 in the match and had 67 kills (15e, 151att) while holding the Lady Flames to just .105 (51k, 35e, 152att) including a -.027 game four. The Bears are now 21-2 when posting a higher hitting percentage than their opponent and 23-2 when posting more kills in a match. The Bears held their ground at the net and registered 16 total team blocks with six players totaling six each on their own. This is the seventh time this season that Cal has had 16 or more total team blocks in a match,

Game four started out with the score tied four consecutive times before Cal took a two-point lead at 6-4. Orchard and freshman setter Carli Lloyd met at the net for a block assist to give the Bears a five-point lead at 16-11. Cal continued to pull away, using an 8-1 run to take a 20-12 lead on a block assist by sophomore middle hitter Minid Wiley and Cutura. Liberty mounted a short-lived comeback, ripping off a five-point run but a block assist by Orchard and junior outside hitter/middle hitter Morgan Beck put it to an end and gave the Bears match point. Orchard rose up to put a kill off a Flame defender to give the Bears the game and the match victory in round one.

After an uncharacteristic game two, the Bears returned to form and hit .484 in game three, netting 15 kills without a single error on 31 attacks. Cal jumped out to a five-to-nothing lead and capitalized on Liberty errors to open up a 10-6 lead. Wiley had back-to-back plays where she killed one ball and had a solo block on the next to give the Bears a commanding 16-7 advantage. From there, the Bears pulled away and led by as many as 13 before a block assist by Pressey and Wiley put Cal at game point. Pressey put a fist to an overplayed service reception to end game three and give the Bears the 2-1 lead.

Liberty heated things up in game two. After giving up a 4-1 lead to the Bears, the Lady Flames came back to tie things up at eight and then again at 12 before they ran off with a 9-2 run and the lead for good. The Bears hit .152 in game two with 16 kills (9e, 46att) but were unable to handle the Lady Flames' serves and allowed Liberty to hit for .310 (18k, 5e, 42att). Liberty closed out game-two to knot things up for the match at 1-1.

The Bears got off to a solid start, hitting .419 in game one. Cal had 15 kills on 31 attacks with only two errors. Cutura added two service aces to help the Bears take the 1-0 match lead. Using several short runs, the Bears eased their way into tournament play with strong play at the net, holding the Lady Flames to just .079 hitting in the first game (14k, 11e, 38att). Cal never trailed in the game and built up a seven-point lead on the back of a 5-0 run that included one of Cutura's aces. Orchard and Beck teamed up for a block to give the Bears game point before Cutura put a kill in the left-hand corner of the court to close out the first game.

The Golden Bears will meet the winner of No. 22 Duke vs. American in a 5 p.m. EST match tomorrow (Dec. 1). The match will be webcast live through with live stats provided courtesy of the NCAA through CSTV's GameTracker. Check for links and information.

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