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Grote's Big Night Not Enough Against USC

Feb 19, 2021

BERKELEY – Lydia Grote recorded 14 kills on .419 hitting and collected a season-high six blocks, but it wasn't enough for California in a 15-25, 20-25, 25-21, 13-25 loss to USC Friday night at Haas Pavilion.   

The Bears also got seven kills on .438 offensive efficiency from Bella Bergmark and eight kills apiece from Sam Taumoepeau and Makana Meyer.     

Isabel Potter added 34 assists for Cal, moving into seventh on the Golden Bear all-time assists list with 2,572 career helpers.

The Bears fell to 1-8 on the season and in Pac-12 play, while the Trojans improved to 2-5 overall and in conference action behind a match-high 22 kills from Brooke Botkin.

The Bears made it a 5-5 tie early in the first set on a kill from Grote until a run of five straight made it a 10-5 USC advantage. Cal was able to close within three five times during the remainder of the opening frame, but couldn't get any closer as the Trojans took the set, 25-15.

USC jumped in front quickly in the second set, building an 8-2 advantage capped by a block from Gryka and Weske and extended it to 12-3 with a run of four straight points. The Bears answered by scoring four of the next five points with a block and kill from Grote, along with a Katarina Pantovic ace to pull within six (13-7). Cal got to 21-16 on a block from Grote and Potter until two service errors stopped the momentum, giving the Trojans a 25-20 second set.

Cal took the early advantage in the third (8-4) thanks to two kills and two blocks from Grote as she attacked from the back row and on the slide. After a USC point, Cal used a 5-0 run to go up 13-5 and force the second Trojan timeout of the set. USC scored 14 of the next 18 points to take a two point lead and Cal took its last timeout, leading to kills from Grote and Meyer on the way to eight of the final 10 points and a 25-21 set for the Bears.

It was all Trojans in the fourth as they turned a 9-6 score into an 18-9 advantage and went to close out the match, 25-13.

The Bears have another chance against the Trojans on Saturday afternoon with first serve scheduled for 3 p.m. PT from Haas Pavilion.

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