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Cal Splits Matches Against ASU, Arizona

Mar 26, 2022

TUCSON, ARIZONA No. 11 California beach volleyball secured their seventh win a row in the opening match of the Pac-12 South Invitational as Cal defeated Arizona State, 5-0, on Saturday.  However, Cal lost to No. 17 Arizona in the second match of the day at Bear Down Beach.
No. 11 Cal 5, Arizona State 0
The Bears opened the Pac-12 Invitational with a convincing 5-0 win over Arizona State, who was receiving votes in the most recent AVCA Poll, as Cal secured four straight-set wins and swept the match.
The top pair of Mima Mirkovic and Ana Costa jumped out to an early lead as they were ahead 12-4 at the second side switch. The Bears kept that momentum going and won the first set 21-10 as Costa hammered home the final point to claim the set. The Bears continued that momentum in the second set as they won 21-12.
The Bears won in straight sets on court five as Maya Gessner and Natalie Martin claimed the first set 21-17. The second set was similar as the Bears built a lead before Martin sealed the match with a kill that fell in front of her ASU counterpart and sealed a 21-14 victory.
Ava Mann and Ainsley Radell raced out to an 11-5 start. Mann sealed the first set with a kill. The second set was much closer as the teams were tied at 20. However, Radell finished the match with a lofted shot that found the back corner and gave the Bears the match at 22-20.
Cal claimed the match on court four as Ella Dreibholz and Lexi McKeown won in straight sets. The duo was able to claim a 21-18 win in the first set. In the second set McKeown sealed the match with a block to give the Bears a 21-17 win and the fourth point of the afternoon.
Court three was a battle as the Bears led 20-18 in the first set. However, ASU responded with three straight, but Ashley Delgado had an amazing dig followed by a kill to keep the set alive. The teams traded points, but ASU won the first set 26-24. Brooke Buchner and Delgado responded with a 21-13 win in the second set to force a third set with the Sun Devils. The Bears trailed 9-10 in the third set, but scored three straight to take the lead, which they wouldn't relinquish. With the match 14-13, Delgado hit a kill down the middle to clinch the fifth point.
#1 - Ana Costa/Mima Mirkovic (Cal) def. Cierra Flood/Lexi Sweeney (ASU) – 21-10, 21-12
#2 - Ava Mann/Ainsley Radell (Cal) def. Anya Pemberton/Lila Bordis (ASU) – 21-14, 22-20
#3 - Brooke Buchner/Ashley Delgado (Cal) def. Sarah Waters/Rylie Kael (ASU) – 24-26, 21-13, 15-13
#4 - Ella Dreibholz/Lexi McKeown (Cal) def. Taryn Ames/Kate Fitzgerald (ASU) – 21-18, 21-17
#5 - Maya Gessner/Natalie Martin (Cal) def. Kylie Wickley/Malina Baker (ASU) – 21-17, 21-14
Order of finish: 1,5,2,4,3
No. 17 Arizona 4, No. 11 Cal 1
The Bears dealt with difficult conditions playing against the host school and had an injury in the top pair, but the Bears ultimately saw their seven-match win streak end against No. 17 Arizona.  
Mirkovic and Buchner got off to a slow start, but fought off four set points in the first set. However, it wasn't enough as Arizona took the first set 21-17. The Bears led in the second set, but an injury to Mirkovic caused the Bears to withdraw and give Arizona the first point of the day. Arizona won in straight sets on court two to take a 2-0 lead.
The other three matches all came down to the final set with Cal needing to win all three to win the match. The Bears got a win on court four as McKeown and Dreibholz won the first set 21-14, before dropping the second set 21-19. That set up a third set that could go either way as the teams were tied at 12, however the Bears won the final three points to claim the matchup.
The Bears won the first set on court five as Gessner and Martin started with a 21-18 win. However, Arizona responded with a 21-16 win in the second set and carried that momentum into the third set to win 15-10.
On court three, Buchner and Delgado fought off four set points in the first set, but they ultimately fell 24-22. Cal won the second set 21-15, but Arizona won the final set 15-10 to claim the final point of the match.
#1 - Alex Parkhurst/Alana Rennie (UA) def. Ana Costa/Mima Mirkovic (Cal) – 21-17, 6-9 unf.
#2 - Sarah Blacker/Maja Kaiser (UA) def. Ava Mann/Ainsley Radell (Cal) – 21-14, 21-17
#3 - Dilara Gedikoglu/Jasmine Safar (UA) def. Brooke Buchner/Ashley Delgado (Cal) – 24-22, 15-21, 15-10
#4 - Ella Dreibholz/Lexi McKeown (Cal) def. Abby Russell/Dana Parker (UA) – 21-14, 19-21, 15-12
#5 - Hope Shannon/Annie Kost (UA) def. Maya Gessner/Natalie Martin (Cal)  – 18-21, 21-16, 15-10
Order of finish: 1,2,4,5,3
The Bears will be back in action tomorrow as they continue play at the Pac-12 South Invitational with another two matches against Pac-12 opponents. Cal plays Washington at 8 a.m. PT followed by a 10:30 a.m. match vs. Oregon. Both matches will be broadcast on the Pac-12 Network.  
For complete coverage of Cal beach volleyball, please follow the Bears on Twitter (@CalBeachVB), Instagram (@CalBeachVB) and Facebook (/CalBeachVolleyball/).