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Cal Scores Wins Over IVC and LBSU

Feb 26, 2022

IRVINE No. 11 ranked California beach volleyball won two matches in decidedly different fashion on Saturday at the Irvine Valley College Beach Volleyball Courts. The Bears opened the day with a convincing, 5-0, win over hosts Irvine Valley. Immediately afterwards, Cal took on No. 15 Long Beach State in a match that came down to the final serve of the ball. Ainsley Radell recorded an ace to give the Bears a 3-2 win over Long Beach State.  
"I think this weekend showed us that we can hang with the best teams in the country," head coach Meagan Owusu said. "The thing I am most proud of is our grittiness from today. I told the team after the matches that this is the first week and we have a lot that we can improve on in terms of skill and strategy. But we were tested today, and the mental toughness we displayed is something that was can count on. That is going to be a defining aspect of our season."
No. 11 Cal 5, IVC 0
The Bears jumped out to an early lead as they won the first set on all five courts on their way to a 5-0 win over Irvine Valley College. The Bears outscored IVC, 220-128, across all five matchups and won in straight sets on four courts.
After playing the exhibition yesterday, the fifth pair of Kate Bierly and Grace Paulson moved into the lineup and scored early and often as they doubled the Lasers' total at 21-5, 21-16 across the two sets.
It was a similar story on court four as Ella Dreibholz and Natalie Martin won 21-5, 21-11. Lexi McKeown and Brooke Buchner picked up their second win of the season as they played at court three and won convincingly 21-12, 21-8.
Maya Gessner and Ashley Delgado played at the second spot in the lineup and the duo picked up the victory, winning 21-15, 21-11. Playing at the top spot, Ainsley Radell and Ava Mann won the first set 21-11, but they were forced to a third set by the IVC pair of Jolie Rasmussen and Tasha Mae as they took the second set 21-16. Radell and Mann bounced back in the third set to win, 15-13.
#1 - Ainsley Radell/Ava Mann (Cal) def.  Jolie Rasmussen/Tasha Mae (IVC) – 21-11, 16-21, 15-13
#2 - Maya Gessner/Ashley Delgado (Cal) def. Jaclyn Sanchez/Emily Guenter (IVC) – 21-15, 21-11
#3 - Lexi McKeown/Brooke Buchner (Cal) def. Barett Nolan/Chloe Swanson (IVC) – 21-12, 21-8
#4 - Ella Dreibholz/Natalie Martin (Cal) def. Sevilla Leuteneker/Diamonique Brogan (IVC) – 21-5, 21-11
#5 – Kate Bierly/Grace Paulson (Cal) def. Natalee Gray/Gabi Brown (IVC) – 21-5, 21-16
No. 11 Cal 3, No. 15 LBSU 2
With the match tied at two, everything came down to what happened on court two. Long Beach won the first set 21-15, but Radell and Mann bounced back to take the second set 21-18. The two teams battled in the third set and were even at 9-9, but Sydney Stevens and Alice Pratesi won four of the next five points to take a 13-10 advantage and force the Bears to call a timeout.
Cal responded with three straight points to even the match at 13. After Long Beach called a timeout, the Beach forced two match points, at 14-13 and 15-14. However, the Bears fought them off as Cal scored the final three points, capped by an ace from Radell to seal the victory for the Bears.
"We had a pair meeting with Ainsley and Ava before this weekend's matches and one of the values that they wanted to hang their hats on was resilience.  That was evident as I think they lived out that value perfectly. Ava was getting served more often and she made big plays when the match was on the line. The same goes for Ainsley, she was able to get an ace on match point with their back to the wall. The big thing for these two was playing their game in these moments and staying aggressive."
The Bears got on the board first thanks to Lexi McKeown and Brooke Buchner. The duo trailed 8-6 in the first set before going on a 9-2 run to turn things around. They would close out the first set 21-15. They jumped out to a 9-3 lead in the second set and won 21-17 on court four to put the Bears in front.  
Mima Mirkovic and Ana Costa made it 2-0 for the Bears as they won on the top court. The first set was a back-and-forth affair as neither team gained much of an advantage, but the Bears pulled it out, 22-20. In the second set, Cal jumped out to a 9-3 lead and never looked back, winning 21-11.
Long Beach State evened the match as they won on courts three and five. Nicci Reinking and Emily Mattoon won on court three 21-18, 21-19. While, Sophie Major and Christine Deroos won on court five 21-10, 21-16.
#1 - Mima Mirkovic/Ana Costa (Cal) def. Skyler Germann/Katie Kennedy (LBSU) – 22-20, 21-11
#2 - Ainsley Radell/Ava Mann (Cal) def. Sydney Stevens/Alice Pratesi (LBSU) – 15-21, 21-18, 17-15
#3 - Nicci Reinking/Emily Mattoon (LBSU) def. Maya Gessner/Ashley Delgado (Cal) – 21-18, 21-19
#4 - Lexi McKeown/Brooke Buchner (Cal) def. Jillian Rodriguez/Claire Newlander (LBSU) – 21-15, 21-17
#5 - Sophie Major/Christine Deroos (LBSU) def. Ella Dreibholz/Natalie Martin (Cal) – 21-10, 21-16
Cal will be back in action next Saturday as they travel to Davis for a doubleheader matchup. The Bears will take on San Jose State at 11 am and UC Davis at 1 pm at the UC Davis Beach Volleyball Courts.
For complete coverage of Cal beach volleyball, please follow the Bears on Twitter (@CalBeachVB), Instagram (@CalBeachVB) and Facebook (/CalBeachVolleyball/).