Pac-12 All-Stars drop final match of 2016 China tour
BEIJING, China – After 10 days and three stops on the Pac-12 Volleyball All-Star China tour, the team took the court against Bayi Army of Beijing for the final match. After a four-set battle, the all-stars dropped their final match to Beijing 3-1 (27-25, 24-26, 20-25, 20-25).
The final match was a group effort with contributions from multiple members of the all-star team. In the first set, the Pac-12 jumped to quick 9-1 lead before the Bayi Army team fought back to bring it to 24-24. The Pac-12 sealed the victory after a signature kill by Utah’s Adora Anae to the far right corner followed by a kill from Colorado’s Gabby Simpson. The team took the opening set by a score of 27-25.
Simpson led the team with four kills in the second set in another close match against the Bayi Army. The Pac-12 players fought back from being down 13-16 with three-consecutive kills to tie the game at 17-17. Bayi proved to be too much, however, winning the second set, 26-25, to tie the match at one game apiece.
Arizona’s Kalei Mau led the Pac-12 in the third set with five kills. The Pac-12 had a 20-19 lead but were unable to close out the set, falling, 20-25.
In the fourth and final set of the night, Mau led the team with seven kills, followed by Anae from Utah. Bayi rallied to win 25-20 to win the match, 3-1.
“I think everyone was probably disappointed all around that our level never really reached the place where we thought we could get,” said UCLA’s Coach Mike Sealy. “I thought we fought at times and there were little windows where we did good things but I think overall everyone involved would have liked to play better volleyball more often.
“But we don’t want to lose the context of what an amazing trip it was and the cultural experience and even the overall experience we all had here.”
“I think that we played a little bit slow today,” said Utah’s Adora Anae, the leading all scorers with 17 total kills. “We were really sore and tired but, overall, we learned a lot about volleyball. To summarize what Coach Sealy’s taught us, he was adamant about defense and hitting techniques, so we learned a lot from him.”
Anae reflected on the entire China tour saying, “This whole tournament was a success to just learn a lot and continue to grow as volleyball players. It was overall a successful trip and I was just really grateful for this opportunity.”
The match concluded the Pac-12 All-star Volleyball tour in China, the third volleyball delegation the Conference has sent to China. The team travels back to Los Angeles on Friday morning.
The tour is another milestone for Pac-12 Global, an initiative to promote goodwill and transformative life experiences through student-athlete exchanges and sport, and to showcase the Conference and its member institutions in China. Student-athlete tours have been organized in the sports of men’s and women’s basketball, as well as women’s volleyball. Coaching clinics have also been organized with Pac-12 coaches sharing their knowledge of sport with Chinese groups both abroad in China and at member campuses, as well as hosting exhibition games with some of China’s top teams in women’s volleyball and women’s soccer. This past November, the Conference hosted the Pac-12 China Game in Shanghai, becoming the first ever league - college or professional - to host a regular season basketball game in China. For more information about Pac-12 Global, visit http://pac-12.com/global.
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