No. 5 Cal Beats Back History with 3-1 Victory Over No. 4 Stanford

Oct. 19, 2008

Box Score

STANFORD, Calif. - The No. 5-ranked California volleyball team (17-1, 7-0 Pac-10) knocked off No. 4 Stanford (15-3, 6-1 Pac-10) for the first time in nearly 29 years today at Maple Pavilion in Stanford, Calif. The Golden Bears seized sole possession of first place in the Pac-10 with the four-set victory (23-25, 25-22, 25-19, 27-25) and at 17-1, are off to the best start in program history. Cal's 7-0 run to open conference play ties a school-record set in 2002. Although Cal had its program-best 29-set winning streak snapped, it continued the second-longest match winning streak in program history with its 12th consecutive victory.

The Bears were led by junior outside hitter Hana Cutura's match-high 23 kills (7e, 44att) and her fifth double-double of the season as she poured in 12 digs. Sophomore setter Carli Lloyd joined Cutura in the double-double circle as she logged 55 assists and added 12 digs. Four Bears including Cutura reached double digits in kills today. Freshman outside hitter Tarah Murrey posted 14 (6e, 34att, .235) and added eight digs and four blocks. Junior middle hitter Mindi Wiley got 11 kills on 24 attacks (6e, .208) with four blocks while senior outside, Am'ra Solomon put down 11 kills (3e, 30att, .267) with three blocks.

Defensively, junior libero Kristen Kathan led all players with 20 digs and even got in on the offense with one of the matches two service aces and a kill. The two teams were almost even at the net as Cal put up 11 blocks to Stanford's 11.5. Cardinal sophomore outside hitter Alix Klineman led her team with 21 kills (4e, 47att, .362) and helped Stanford hit .228 as a team (58k, 23e, 155att). The Bears completed the match with a .260 attack percentage, getting 64 kills on 150 attacks (25e).

One of Murrey's attacks went long of the baseline to give the Cardinal set-point in the fourth set at 24-22 but after a Stanford attack error, Murrey teamed up with freshman middle hitter Shannon Hawari on a block at the net to tie the match at 24 all. Stanford went up again when Klineman dropped in a kill from the back row. Murrey rose up once more from the right hand side of the court to knot things up at 25 on her kill before Wiley connected with Lloyd on a slide play to put Cal up 26-25. Wiley and Murrey combined on the final play of the match to put the clamps on an attack from Stanford senior outside hitter Cynthia Barboza, sending it straight to the floor to give Cal the 27-25 victory in the fourth and final set. Both teams got 14 kills on 53 attacks in the fourth set with the Bears committing 10 errors (.075) to Stanford's nine (.094).

The Bears seized a 2-1 set lead when Murrey dropped a serve into the front of the Cardinal court to notch a service ace. Cal had been holding onto the lead since it got out ahead, 7-6 on a Cutura and Hawari block at the net. The Bears attacked at a .483 rate in the third set, getting 17 kills on 29 attacks with just three errors and led by as many as seven points at 23-16. After putting an attack into the antenna, Murrey righted the ship by blasting a shot off Barboza's dig attempt to give the Bears set-point. Stanford held up a steady attack even though it fell by six points in the third. The Cardinal logged 16 kills (4e) on 35 attacks and registered a .343 attack percentage.

After facing ten tied scores in the second set, the Bears pulled out to a 15-10 lead when Cutura got up from the back row to get a kill. Next, Solomon and Wiley met up at the net to put up a block before the Cardinal committed two errors. More heroics from Klineman were not enough as her consecutive kills fell by the wayside with Cal making a push to hold its lead. The Bears indeed never trailed again, pushing out to another five-point lead at set point. Stanford would not back down however, reeling off three straight points before Cutura would put a shot off a Cardinal touch to close out the set. The Bears logged 14 kills in the set (5e) on 32 attacks to register .281 on the attack percentage scale. The Cardinal also had 14 kills (6e) but on 36 attacks to hit .222.

Sitting pretty at 20-17, the Bears had the Cardinal on the ropes in the first set, but three straight kills from Klineman tied the match at 20. Cutura put a kill-shot off the hands of Stanford outside Erin Waller to give Cal the lead once more but unforced errors put the Bears in a precarious situation. Murrey's attack from the left hand side of the court was put to the floor by the Stanford block to tie the set at 23 before Solomon's attack error gave the Cardinal a 24-23 advantage, its first lead since being ahead 15-14. Barboza got a kill from the left hand side of the net to end the set in Stanford's favor, 25-23. Despite notching 19 kills (7e, 36att) and hitting .333 in the opening stanza, the Bears were plagued by miscues, committing four service errors and three blocking errors. The Cardinal attacked at a .323 rate in the first set, getting 14 kills on 31 attempts (4e).

The Bears head south to Los Angeles for matches against No. 10 UCLA and No. 11 USC next. Cal takes on the Bruins in a 7 p.m. match from Pauley Pavilion, Friday, Oct. 24 before clashing with the Women of Troy at Galen Center, 7 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 25. Please check for updates and information.

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