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Bears Win Five-Set Thriller Over Tigers

Sep 4, 2021

Stockton, Calif. – California volleyball got a team-high 20 kills from Katie Smoot and a second-straight Mima Mirkovic double-double in a thrilling 25-19, 22-25, 25-23, 21-25, 17-15 win over Pacific Saturday afternoon at the Alex G. Spanos Center.

The Bears improved to 5-1 on the season with the victory and collected three wins at the Pacific Tournament after defeating UC San Diego and Tarleton State on Friday.

Mirkovic recorded 11 kills and 13 digs, Annalea Maeder tallied 33 assists and 10 digs, while Sarah Schrag added a team-high 21 digs.

How It Happened
The Bears jumped out to a 7-4 lead in the first on a Maeder ace and it was 15-13 after Maeder dropped in a sneaky dump for a kill. Smoot and Leah Schmidt went back-to-back for finishes, giving Cal an 18-14 lead and kept the Tigers away from making it close down the stretch to take the first frame, 25-19.

After Pacific rallied back to take the second set, Cal got a big boost late from Bella Bergmark. She turned in a clutch kill and block to turn a 22-all set into a win for the Bears (25-23) and a 2-1 lead in the match.

The home team wasn't going to give in, making a tight fourth frame into a 25-21 Pacific win to force a fifth set for the first time this season.   

Cal took a quick lead in the deciding set behind kills from Sydney Lilomaiava, Mirkovic and Bergmark. Mirkovic recorded another kill and Smoot tallied her 18th of the day to make it 11-7, but the Tigers came back once again. Pacific staved off two Cal match points before Smoot finally put it away with back-to-back kills.

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