Bears Drop Back-And-Forth Match To Trojans
BERKELEY – California volleyball got a career-high 13 kills from Makana Meyer in a 25-15, 18-25, 15-25, 21-25 defeat to USC Saturday afternoon at Haas Pavilion.
Sydney Lilomaiava collected 11 kills on .556 offensive efficiency for the Bears and Lydia Grote added eight finishes with four blocks. Sam Taumoepeau turned in seven kills and a pair of blocks.
The Bears dropped to 1-9 on the season and in Pac-12 play, while the Trojans improved to 3-5 overall and in conference action with 12 kills from Emilia Weske and 11 by Brooklyn Schirmer.
HOW IT HAPPENED
It was a match of runs for both sides throughout the afternoon. Leading 9-8 in the first frame, Cal scored the next 10 consecutive points, forcing USC to burn both timeouts until an attack error ended the run and made the score 19-9, California. The Trojans tried to make a comeback, but kills from Taumoepeau and Grote led to the set-clinching finish from Bella Bergmark as Cal took the set, 25-15.
Cal continued the momentum into the second set, going up 8-3 on a Taumoepeau kill before a Gabby Bellizzi service run of the three straight aces turned it into an 11-3 advantage. An Isabel Potter ace, followed by a Trojan attack error made it 15-6 Bears, but the tide turned from there. USC scored 19 of the final 22 points to take the frame and even the match at 1-1.
Grote hammered down a kill to make it 5-3 Cal early in the third until another USC run, this time 9-0, made it 12-5. Cal scored the next three points on kills from Meyer and Grote, but four was as close as the Bears could get as the Trojans went on to finish it off, 25-15.
Neither team took bigger than a three-point advantage on the way to a 20-all tie in the fourth and Kendall Jensen came on to give Cal a 21-20 lead with her third service ace of the day. A Cal error and ace gave USC a one-point lead to force the final Bear timeout, but the Trojans scored the last three points to seal the win.
The Bears travel to Pullman for two matches with Washington State beginning Friday, Feb. 26 at 6 p.m. PT.
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