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Cal Falls To No. 14 Stanford In Four

Sep 22, 2021

STANFORD, Calif. – California volleyball battled the entire match before falling to No. 14 Stanford, 26-24, 20-25, 22-25, 14-25, to open Pac-12 play Wednesday at Maples Pavilion.

Mima Mirkovic had 14 kills and 10 digs, her fifth double-double of the season, and Katie Smoot added 12 kills to lead the Bears (7-5, 0-1 Pac-12).

Bella Bergmark tallied nine kills on 16 swings and Tara DeSa had a match high 17 digs for California.

Kendall Kipp recorded a match-best 21 kills for the Cardinal (6-3, 1-0 Pac-12). 

How It Happened:
The Bears used a 5-0 run early in the first to take a 7-6 lead on kills from Smoot and Leah Schmidt and trailed by just one, 15-14, at the first media timeout behind back-to-back kills from Bergmark. Trailing 24-23 on a Stanford set point, Bergmark hammered down a kill that was followed by a Cardinal attack error to give Cal set point at 25-24 as Stanford used its final timeout. Darian Clark came off the bench to make a diving dig, turning it into a Smoot kill at the back line as Cal took the set, 26-24.

Stanford answered to start the second, using a 7-0 run to build a lead of 20-9. The Bears showed fight, scoring eight of nine points while forcing two Cardinal timeouts to get within 21-17. The home team recovered on a kill from Caitie Baird and two from Kipp to take the set, 25-20, and even the match at one a piece.

It was back-and-forth to start the third as the two teams traded points with neither side taking a lead of more than three. Cal got kills from Schmidt, Smoot and Ellie Hamm during a 4-0 run to go up 17-16 as Stanford took a timeout. Mirkovic made it 21-all as she buried a crosscourt laser, but Stanford scored four of the final five points to win the set, 25-22, for a 2-1 lead in the match.

Tied at 4-4 in the fourth, the Cardinal went on a 6-1 run to go up 10-5 as Cal used its first timeout of the frame and the Bears couldn't get back in from there as Stanford went on to take the match, 3-1.  

Up Next: The Bears return to Haas Pavilion for a battle with USC at 2 p.m. on Sunday. The match will be televised on the Pac-12 Networks.

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