Cal Sweeps Away Oregon, Utah
TUCSON, ARIZONA – No. 11 California beach volleyball grabbed two sweeps on Sunday morning as they defeated Pac-12 rivals Oregon and Utah by identical 5-0 score lines at Bear Down Beach.
CAL 5, OREGON 0
Cal jumped all over Oregon from the start as they took the first set in four of the five matches and rolled to a sweep in the early morning showdown.
Mima Mirkovic and Caroline Schafer won 21-10, 21-13 as Schafer set the tone with four aces in the first set. Mirkovic was targeted by the Oregon serve, but the senior responded with some big kills to put the match out of reach.
Ainsley Radell and Jordan Polo made short work of the Ducks on court two as they won 21-12, 21-10 to earn the Bears second point. The senior duo of Alexia Inman and Maddie Micheletti won 21-17, 21-10 on court three.
On the fourth court, Maddie Sundholm made her collegiate debut as she was paired with Katie Smoot. The duo earned a straight set victory 21-18, 21-15. They were the third court to finish as they clinched the win for the Bears.
The most intense match of the morning came on the fifth court, where Cal's freshman duo of Brooke Buchner and Grace Paulson lost the first set. They responded with an emphatic 21-7 victory in the second set to force a third set. They were able to take an 8-5 lead which prompted an Oregon timeout, but Buchner came out with two fantastic serves in a row; one was an ace and the other generated a sky ball, which Cal converted into a Paulson kill. Buchner followed that with three of the next four Cal points by completing short dinks over the block as the Bears were able to put away the Ducks with a 15-8 win in the third.
"We are throwing a lot of different things at Brooke so far this year," interim head coach Derek Olson said. "She's played with five partners in 11 matches. We've tried her blocking and defending, on the right side and the left. We've asked her to do a lot of things and she's handled it really well. Her and Grace were fun to watch today. They have good chemistry, good ball control and they're both scrappy defenders."
CAL 5, UTAH 0
In the second match of the day, Cal did not drop a set as they defeated Utah, 5-0. All five pairs took less points to win set two than set one as they grew into the matchup. Polo and Radell led the way as they scored the last 15 straight points of their matchup. After winning the first set 21-12, the second set was tied at 6, but the Bears scored every remaining point to earn Cal their first victory.
"I think Ainsley and Jordan have the best chemistry of anyone on our team," Olson said. "They are both really good setters. They create good platforms and they are able to pass well, which creates opportunities. They are the best pair on our team in dealing with the wind because of their ball control. It's been pretty gusty here, not as bad as we had at Davis on Tuesday, but still something we had to deal with."
On court five, the freshman combo of Buchner and Paulson finished next, with a 21-11, 21-10 victory thanks to a couple of aces from Paulson which helped put the second set out of reach. Gettings got her second career win in her third career match as she joined the lineup to pair with Sundholm at the fourth pair. Sundholm picked up her second win of the day in her second career match to clinch the win.
"We were able to get Madison Sundholm in the lineup for her first action, which was cool to see. We partnered her with Smoot, and then Frenchy (Gettings), who we wanted to have her get some game time as well. I thought Madison did a really good job in her first action and Frenchy played better than yesterday, which was her first-ever match. I was happy that we saw that day-to-day improvement."
Mirkovic and Schafer scored their third-straight straight set victory at the top position with a 21-14, 21-9 win. Micheletti and Inman closed out the Pac-12 South Tournament with a 21-19, 21-9 win at court three to send the Bears back home riding a three-match winning streak.
Schafer stuffed Utah at the net to end the first set.
The Bears will be back in action next Saturday as they head to Stanford for a doubleheader. The Bears will take on Cal Poly at 2 p.m. followed by a matchup with Stanford at 4 p.m.
CAL 5, OREGON 0
#1 – Mima Mirkovic/Caroline Schafer (CAL) def. Carly Wallace/Anastasia Lima (ORE) – 21-10, 21-13
#2 – Ainsley Radell/Jordan Polo (CAL) def. Madelyn LaFollette/Vivian Donovan (ORE) – 21-12, 21-10
#3 – Alexia Inman/Maddie Micheletti (CAL) def. Josie Cole/Zoe Almanza (ORE) – 21-17, 21-10
#4 – Katie Smoot/Madison Sundholm (CAL) def. Bea Wetton/Ashley Schroeder (ORE) – 21-18, 21-15
#5 – Brooke Buchner/Grace Paulson (CAL) def. Savannah Siegrist/Delaney Hoppen (ORE) – 18-21, 21-7, 15-8
Order of Finish – 1, 2, 4, 3, 5
CAL 5, UTAH 0
#1 – Mima Mirkovic/Caroline Schafer (CAL) def. Sage Patchell/Keana Smalls (UTAH) – 21-14, 21-9
#2 – Ainsley Radell/Jordan Polo (CAL) def. Grace Andrews/Marissa Koch (UTAH) – 21-12, 21-6
#3 – Alexia Inman/Maddie Micheletti (CAL) def. Olivia Teerlink/Camille Lee (UTAH) – 21-19, 21-9
#4 – Francesca Gettings/Madison Sundholm (CAL) def. Macy Rideout/Joana Saucedo Mondra (UTAH) – 21-13, 21-10
#5 – Brooke Buchner/Grace Paulson (CAL) def. Kaiya Liwanag/Hannah Stahle (UTAH) – 21-11, 21-10
Order of Finish – 2, 5, 4, 1, 3