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Bears Claw Back To Defeat Gaels

Sep 15, 2021

BERKELEY – California volleyball stormed back from an early deficit to take an 8-25, 25-20, 25-22, 25-19 victory over visiting Bay Area foe Saint Mary's on Wednesday night at Haas Pavilion.

The Bears improved to 7-3 on the season behind 12 kills and a .667 attack percentage from Bella Bergmark, while Mima Mirkovic added 11 kills and 12 digs for her fourth double-double of the season.

Tara DeSa recorded a career best 25 digs for the Bears and Annalea Maeder had a match-high 38 assists.

Saint Mary's was led by 14 Elena Baka kills as the Gaels dropped to 5-2.
How It Happened:
After Saint Mary's ran away with the first set, the Bears answered back in the second. Tied at 19 on a SMC kill, Mirkovic followed with a finish of her own before an attack error from the Gaels. Maeder made it 22-19 on a dump kill from the net and Mirkovic put Saint Mary's away to even the match.  

It was close early in the third until a 6-0 Cal run made it 16-10, propelled by a Sarah Schrag service run with two aces. The visitors weren't done, however, as they scored seven of nine points to close within one at 21-20 and again at 23-22 on a kill from Chandler Cowell. Katie Smoot followed with a kill and a Gael attack error gave the Bears a 25-22 win in the set and a 2-1 lead in the match.  

With the momentum in their favor, The Bears continued the run into the fourth set. Two straight kills from Smoot and Mirkovic, followed by back-to-back errors from the Gaels forced the final SMC timeout at a 20-16 California lead. Cal closed out the match from there thanks to kills from Sydney Lilomaiava, Smoot and Bergmark.

Up Next: The Bears have a quick turnaround and take to the road for a 6 p.m. first serve on Thursday, Sept. 16 at UC Davis.

For complete coverage of Cal volleyball, please follow the Bears on Twitter (@CalVolleyball), Instagram (@calvolleyball) and Facebook (Cal Volleyball).