No. 10 California Drops Four-Set Decision to No. 2 Texas
Sept. 3, 2009
HONOLULU - The No. 10-ranked California volleyball team (2-2) fell in four sets (21-25, 25-20, 25-16, 25-13) to No. 2 Texas (3-0) today (Sept. 3) in the opening match of the Hawaiian Airlines Wahine Volleyball Classic at the Stan Sheriff Center. The Golden Bears stunned the Longhorns by taking the first set but Texas settled into a groove to maintain its perfect record this season. Senior outside hitter Hana Cutura led the Bears with 16 kills (6e, 35att, .286) and two service aces.
Sophomore outside hitter Tarah Murrey added 12 kills (11e, 38att, .026) for Cal while junior setter Carli Lloyd paced the Bears with a match-high 35 assists off Cal's 45 kills. The Bears attacked at a .127 rate in the match (29e, 126att) while the Longhorns posted a .316 rate with 55 kills (18e, 117att). Three Texas players reached double-digit kills led by senior outside hitter Destinee Hooker, who had 17 of her own (5e, 34att, .353). The Longhorns' senior setter/opposite hitter Ashley Engle nabbed 12 kills without an error on 20 attacks while leading Texas with 32 assists.
Cal took the first lead of the fourth set but it was the Longhorns who asserted control right away as they came up with a 5-1 lead. Murrey put in two consecutive kills off the Texas block to bring the Bears within four points at 10-6 but the Longhorns continued to press to go up by ten points, 21-11, on two straight kills by junior outside hitter Juliann Faucette. Cal got its last point as senior middle hitter Mindi Wiley recorded her sixth kill (3e, 16att, .188) but Faucette ended the match with her 15th. Texas attacked at a blistering .571 rate in the fourth set, getting 17 kills on 28 attacks (1e). The Bears had nine kills on 25 attacks (5e, .160).
The Bears opened up with a 6-3 lead in the first set as Cutura pushed a tip-kill to center of the Longhorn court but Texas caught up with the Bears at six-all when Wiley had one of her attacks sent back. The teams traded the lead five times before Cal pulled into a tie at 13-all on a Cutura kill. The Bears seized the lead one last time at 14-13 when Texas libero Heather Kisner mishandled a ball. Cal jumped out in front by three points at 20-17 as Cutura exploded out of the back-court to claim a kill off outstretched Texas hands. Freshman defensive specialist Robin Rostratter came in on the next play to serve and helped the Bears push out to a four-point lead as the Longhorns committed an attack error. Texas pulled within two points at 22-20 but another back-row shot by Cutura and a kill by freshman middle hitter Correy Johnson set the Bears up with set point. Sophomore middle hitter Shannon Hawari sealed the deal as she put a kill off the Longhorn block to give Cal the 25-21 win in the first set. The Bears posted a .167 attack rate in the first set with 15 kills (8e, 42att) while Texas had 11 kills on 31 attacks (6e, .161).
The Longhorns raced out to a 5-1 lead in the second set before Lloyd and Johnson hooked up on a slide play to stop the bleeding. A Texas ball-handling error knotted the set at six-all as the teams continued to match each other score-for-score. Cal took its only lead of the set at 11-10 as Hawari went up and blocked Texas middle Rachael Adams. The Longhorns took advantage of a couple of Bear miscues to take the lead once more at 14-13. Cal never got any closer than three points from that point on as Texas held on to knot the match at one set apiece. The Bears got 13 kills in the second but also had 12 errors on 33 attacks (.030) while Texas posted a .138 attack rate on 29 attacks (10k, 6e).
Just as they had in the second set, the Longhorns seized the lead in the third as they pulled ahead by five points on consecutive kills by Hooker to lead 6-1. The Bears buckled down at the net to block Hooker and Faucette on back-to-back plays before Cutura added a service ace to pull Cal within four points at 10-6. Texas tried to stay its distance but the Bears drew to within three points when Wiley and Cutura teamed up for a block to make the score 17-14. Texas continued to make a living off Cal errors in the ensuing plays as it got out in front by six points again at 21-15. The Bears claimed one more point on a Texas error but Faucette's third kill in seven plays gave the Longhorns the 25-16 win. Texas put up a .414 hitting percentage in the third set (17k, 5e, 29att) and held the Bears to just eight kills (4e, 26att) to go out in front, 2-1.
The Bears have one day off between matches before taking on No. 19 Saint Louis (2-1) on Saturday (Sept. 5) in a 5 p.m. HT (8 p.m. PT) match. Live stats and streaming video for the match is available via links at CalBears.com.