Bears Take Set, Fall To No. 8 Utes In Four
BERKELEY – California battled back from multiple four-point deficits to take the second set from No. 8 Utah, but ultimately fell 19-25, 25-23, 16-25, 11-25 to the Utes on Friday night at Haas Pavilion.
It was the Bears' first match at home in 438 days.
Freshman Lydia Grote paced Cal (0-3, 0-3 Pac-12) with nine kills and junior Makana Meyer added seven kills. Katarina Pantovic recorded six kills with five digs for the Bears.
The preseason conference favorite Utes (3-0, 3-0 Pac-12) got a match-high 17 kills with 13 digs from reigning Pac-12 Player of the Week, Dani Drews.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Cal stayed within striking range out of the gate, closing to within 11-9 in the first after a kill from Bella Bergmark. Utah used a 5-1 run to take control, but the Bears weren't done. Cal scored five of six points late in the set to pull within three, 22-19, on a kill from Sam Taumoepeau. Utah was able to finish it off on a block from Kenzie Koerber.
The Bears answered in the second set, using a run of three straight points to tie the set at 20 on a service ace from Isabel Potter. The teams traded the next four points, before Cal scored the final three points of the set on a kill from Pantovic and block by Sydney Lilomaiava and Grote, taking the set 25-23.
Utah built early leads in the third and fourth sets that Cal wasn't able to come back from as the Utes closed out the match for the 3-1 victory.
Cal finishes the two-match weekend against No. 8 Utah on Sunday, Jan. 31 at 12 noon inside Haas Pavilion.