Colorado Defense Stifles Bears
BERKELEY – Colorado women's volleyball swept Cal 3-0 (25-19, 25-16, 25-11) here Friday evening behind a strong defensive performance with 13 blocks.
The Buffs (12-4, 3-4 Pac-12) held the Golden Bears (7-11, 0-7 Pac-12) to a -.043 hitting percentage behind 13 blocks with four Buffs recording four or more total blocks.
Maya Tabron led the effort offensively and defensively, recording 13 kills on a .310 hitting percentage with five digs and six blocks, including two solo blocks. She was the only hitter with double-digit kills. Tabron was joined by Jill Schneggenburger with six kills while Alexia Kuehl and Meegan Hart each added five.
Hart also recorded six blocks for Colorado while Schneggenburger put down five and Kuehl had four. CU's defensive was so strong that only one Bear recorded a hitting percentage greater than .200. Hart had a team-best .364 hitting percentage while both Schneggenburger and Kuehl had greater than .230.
Also for Colorado, Jenna Ewert finished with three kills, 24 assists and seven digs. She was joined by Brynna DeLuzio who had 11 digs to lead CU while also recording three aces. Colorado was strong at the service line with eight aces as Schneggenburger and Savannah Perry added a pair each.
Colorado finished the match hitting .240 while only Bella Bergmark hit greater than .150 with six kills on a .400 hitting percentage for the Bears. Annalea Maeder added 10 digs and 12 assists to lead Cal in both categories.
The win snaps a 15-match losing streak in conference road matches for Colorado. They return to action Sunday at 2 p.m. with a tough matchup against No.18-ranked Stanford.
HOW IT HAPPENED
SET ONE: Colorado earned the first lead at 5-3. The Buffs led by three at 9-6 when CU challenged a net violation successfully. The first timeout came from Cal at 15-7 with CU on a 10-2 run. DeLuzio put down a pair of aces to bring the lead to 10 at 17-7. The final timeout of the set for the Bears came at 20-8 after CU put down another ace, their third of the set. Cal responded with a three-point run before Hart ended it with a kill. Cal went on a run to close the gap to 23-18, forcing a CU timeout. CU earned set point out of the break and finished it off with a Tabron kill at 25-19. After Cal's five-point run in the middle of the set, Colorado ended the set hitting .100 to Cal's .000. Tabron led the team with four kills while Ewert had a pair of kills, eight assists and five digs.
SET TWO: The Buffs opened up the second set with a 6-2 lead on a three-point run. The Bears closed the gap to 7-6 with a three-point run of their own. Colorado returned a four-point run of its own to 11-6 before serving out as the team was hitting .417 in the set. Cal called timeout with CU on a three-point run at 15-10 after earning their sixth block of the match. Tabron was a part of two more blocks as CU went on another run to 19-12 to force a Cal timeout. Set point came at 24-15 and finished off two plays later with a Kuehl kill as CU hit .310 in the set while holding Cal to -.029. Tabron finished with six kills thus far while Schneggenburger was hitting a team-best .308. Both had four blocks along with Hart.
SET THREE: CU opened the set with six straight points behind three Tabron kills to force an early Cal timeout. Tabron earned her 10th kill as the Buffs led 14-6 while keeping the Bears hitting negative in the match at -.013. Up 20-8, Colorado subbed in Taylor Simpson ending Ewert's night at three kills, 24 assists, seven digs and a block. DeLuzio put down her third ace of the match at 23-10 as CU brought in Kelley Levaggi and Taylor deProsse. Match point came at 24-10, ending two plays later on Tabron's 13th kill of the match.
Head Coach Jesse Mahoney
Sweeps are rare in this conference and even harder to come by on the road, so we are obviously happy with the result. We were especially good defensively at the net. I think Maya had the best blocking match of her career- she impacted what they wanted to do offensively and changed their game plan. I liked how aggressively we served and certainly got them out of system which led to a lot of attack errors on their part. On to Stanford Sunday.