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Cal Splits Sunday Doubleheader

Mar 7, 2021

IRVINE – No. 8 California beach volleyball split two matches on Sunday afternoon. Cal swept Concordia (CA) by a 5-0 margin, but fell in the second half of the doubleheader to LMU, 4-1, at Great Park.
No. 8 Cal 5, Concordia (CA) 0
Cal rebounded from a tough defeat on Saturday afternoon to No. 4 UCLA by starting Sunday's doubleheader with dominant, 5-0, victory over Concordia (CA).
The Bears switched their lineup around, playing Alexia Inman and Brooke Buchner in the fourth spot in the lineup and moving Kate Bierly and Maya Gessner up to third. Cal switched the partnerships up again in the second dual of the day. As Maddie Micheletti played with Inman and Buchner played with Ava Mann, forming an all-senior partnership and an all-freshman partnership.
The Bears recorded their third 5-0 sweep of the season, following wins over Oregon and UC Davis on the first weekend of the year.
No. 7 LMU 4, No. 8 Cal 1
No. 7 LMU defeated No. 8 Cal by a 4-1 score line in a tightly contested battle in Sunday's second match.
The most intriguing dual of the day happened on court one as Caroline Schafer and Mima Mirkovic faced off with former Bear Iya Lindahl, who partnered with Mirkovic last year as the duo went 9-1. As expected the dual was a cagey back-and-forth affair.
LMU threatened to take the first set as they led 20-19. After a long rally, where both Mirkovic and Schafer had big ups to keep the ball alive, LMU hit a shot wide to even the score. The Bears fought off four consecutive set points to even the score. A net violation on LMU's Megan Rice finally gave Cal the advantage and the Bears took it as Schafer blocked an attack to allow the Bears to take the set 25-23. The second set was much like the first, a back-and-forth affair as LMU was able to come back to take a 22-20 win and force a third set.
In the third set neither team had more than a two-point lead as for the third straight set they played to more than the minimum number of points. However, Schafer put the match away with a nice block at the net to secure the win for the Bears.
"It was a good, competitive rivalry match," interim head coach Derek Olson said. "We know Iya quite well, but she also knows us. I thought that Mima and Caroline played the best ball control match they've played all season. They're starting to trust each other and hit their stride playing together."
On court five, the Bears and Lions battled into the third set as Ava Mann and Brooke Buchner took the first set. With the score knotted at eight, a Mann spike forced a timeout by LMU. The two teams traded points as the score climbed to 12-12. LMU scored two straight points to take the lead, Mann had another kill, but LMU was able to put the match away, winning the third set 15-13.
"This was not our best weekend of play," Olson said. "Today we went up against a good, experienced LMU team; they have a bunch of seniors and players who were set to graduate last year. They are an experienced, older team. We can and will be competitive with them down the road. We have four newcomers in the lineup and they have to trust in the process and that comes with more experience. We need to work on some things, but it's good to go through this now. We have the opportunity to learn from it and be more prepared later on in the season."
No. 8 Cal 5, Concordia (CA) 0
#1 – Mima Mirkovic/Caroline Schafer (CAL) def. Ellie Cary/Vanessa Bernzen (CUI) — 21-15, 21-14
#2 – Ainsley Radell/Jordan Polo (CAL) def. Hailee Ryan/Avery Keathley (CUI) — 21-12, 21-10
#3 – Kate Bierly/Maya Gessner (CAL) def. Nickie Hughes/Sara Ostojic (CUI) — 21-14, 21-12
#4 – Alexia Inman/Brooke Buchner (CAL) def. Mia Corippo/Alexis Dirige (CUI) — 21-17, 19-21, 15-7
#5 – Maddie Micheletti/Ava Mann (CAL) def. Kya Bock/Marina Pilkington (CUI) — 21-14, 21-12
No. 7 LMU 4, No. 8 Cal 1
#1 – Mima Mirkovic/Caroline Schafer (CAL) def. Megan Rice/Iya Lindahl (LMU) – 25-23, 20-22, 16-14
#2 – Reka Orsi Toth/Selina Marolf (LMU) def. Ainsley Radell/Jordan Polo (CAL) – 21-8, 21-14
#3 – Jessie Prichard/Savannah Slattery (LMU) def. Kate Bierly/Maya Gessner (CAL) – 21-11, 21-16 
#4 – Darby Dunn/Sydnie Hermann (LMU) def. Alexia Inman/Maddie Micheletti (CAL) – 21-17, 21-15
#5 – Emma Doud/Madi Firnett (LMU) def. Brooke Buchner/Ava Mann (CAL) – 19-21, 21-14, 15-12
Order of Finish – 4, 5, 3, 2, 1