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Bears Split Season Series With No. 15 Cardinal

Feb 14, 2021

STANFORD, Calif. – Bella Bergmark and Katarina Pantovic recorded eight kills apiece, but it wasn't enough as California settled for a season split with No. 15 Stanford, falling 15-25, 21-25, 13-25 on Sunday evening at Maples Pavilion.   

The Bears beat the defending national champion Cardinal - winners of three of the last four NCAA titles - for the first time since Nov. 25, 2011 on Friday afternoon in the opener of the two-match Big Spike weekend against the cross-bay rivals.    

Bergmark tallied eight kills on just 16 total attacks, hitting .312 on the night with two service aces. Isabel Potter led Cal with 10 digs and 16 assists, while Lydia added six kills for the Bears.     
The Bears fell to 1-7 on the season and in Pac-12 play, while the Cardinal improved to 1-3 overall and in conference action behind a match-high 16 kills from Kendall Kipp.

Cal hung tough early in the first set, taking a 4-3 on a Cardinal attack error until five straight Stanford points forced the first Bear timeout at 8-4. Kills from Grote and Pantovic pulled Cal within two, 10-8, but seven straight Stanford points were too much to overcome down the stretch as they took the opening set, 25-15.

The second set was tight from the first serve, with four ties throughout the frame. Back-to-back kills from Makana Meyer and Bergmark brought Cal within one, 8-7, and after Stanford stretched it to four points, two straight Grote kills made it a single point difference again at 13-12. Meyer put down another kill to tie the set at 17-all, but Stanford scored five of the next six points and Cal couldn't get closer than two the rest of the way as the Cardinal took a 2-0 lead in the match.

After a 2-2 tie to start the third, the rest of the frame was all Cardinal as they went up 14-6 and Cal wasn't able to get closer than seven points the remainder of the set.  

The Bears return to Berkeley for a two-match weekend against USC on Friday, Feb. 19 and Saturday, Feb. 20. First serve is scheduled for 7 p.m. PT on Friday from Haas Pavilion.

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