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Cal Falls In Doubleheader Against Top-Three Foes

Apr 9, 2022

STANFORD, CALIFORNIA No. 12 California beach volleyball dropped both halves of a doubleheader against top-three opponents on Saturday on the first day of the Pac-12 North Invitational hosted by Stanford. Cal opened the day against No. 3 UCLA, losing 4-1. In the afternoon, Cal dropped a 4-1 decision to No. 1 USC.
No. 3 UCLA 4, No. 12 Cal 1
The Bears opened the Pac-12 North Invitational with one of their most tightly-contested matches against No. 3 UCLA. UCLA won 4-1, but Cal forced three-set battles on court three and five that came down to the final points.
The Cal duo of Ana Costa and Maya Gessner was aggressive from the outset. They were playing only their third match as a pair, but the Cal duo jumped out early in the first set and were able to hold the lead for the entire set. In set two, it was more of the same as Cal took the lead early and extended it to grab the win over the UCLA pair of Devon Newberry and Jaden Whitmarsh. It was a huge win for the Bears as the UCLA pair came into the match with a 14-match winning streak and having won 18 of their 19 matches this year.
UCLA claimed their first point with a straight-set win on court four, winning 21-11, 21-16. The Bruins collected a second point on court one. The two teams were tied at 14 in the first set, but UCLA was able to go on a 7-3 run to end the set. The Bruins won 21-13 in the second set to take a 2-1 lead.
Cal's pair of Lexi McKeown and Ella Dreibholz won the first set on court three. They took a 12-9 lead into the technical timeout, but they were able to extend their lead in the second half and win 21-15. UCLA responded in the second set with a 21-12 win. Neither team could gain more than a one-point advantage in the third set until the end. The Bears led 13-12, but UCLA was able to score three straight points to win 15-13 to clinch the match.
At court five, UCLA took the first set 21-15, but the Cal duo of Natalie Martin and Kate Bierly responded in the second set. The set was tied at 14, but Cal went on a 6-1 run. UCLA scored four straight points, but Bierly was able to secure the set with a kill and force a third set. UCLA took the final set 15-9.
#1 - Abby Van Winkle/Lexy Denaburg (UCLA) def. Ava Mann/Ainsley Radell (Cal) – 21-17, 21-13
#2 - Ana Costa/Maya Gessner (Cal) def. Devon Newberry/Jaden Whitmarsh (UCLA) – 21-16, 21-14
#3 - Lea Monkhouse/Rileigh Powers (UCLA) def. Ella Dreibholz/Lexi McKeown (Cal) – 15-21, 21-12, 15-13
#4 - Jess Smith/Marlie Monsorez (UCLA) def. Ashley Delgado/Ella Sears (Cal) – 21-11, 21-16
#5 - Tessa Van Winkle/Peri Brennan (UCLA) def. Natalie Martin/Kate Bierly (Cal) – 21-15, 19-21, 15-9
Order of finish: 4,2,1,3,5
No. 1 USC 5, No. 12 Cal 0
The Bears earned a point on court three, but fell to top-ranked USC in the afternoon match at the Pac-12 North Invitational.
The Bears secured a point on the third court. Dreibholz and McKeown secured a straight set victory over Carolina Schafer and Sammy Slater. Cal opened with a 21-16 win in the first set and followed with a 21-17 victory in the second set to secure the win. Schafer is a Cal graduate, who ranked third in school history with 66 career wins. She received a fifth year of eligibility due to the 2020 season and graduate transferred to USC.
USC secured the first point of the day on court one as they won 21-8, 21-14. USC added a second at court four as the Nourse sisters, Audrey and Nicole, defeated Cal's pair of Ashley Delgado and Alex Young-Gomez, who were playing their first match as a pair together, 21-16, 21-16.
USC collected the third point of the day on court two as they were able to pull out a 21-16, 21-19 victory that went down to the wire in the second set. The fourth point of the afternoon was secured on court five as USC won 21-12, 21-9.
#1 - Tina Graudina/Hailey Haward (USC) def. Ava Mann/Ainsley Radell (Cal) – 21-8, 21-14
#2 - Julia Scoles/Delaynie Maple (USC) def. Ana Costa/Maya Gessner (Cal) – 21-16, 21-19
#3 - Ella Dreibholz/Lexi McKeown (Cal) def. Caroline Schafer/Sammy Slater (USC) – 21-16, 21-17
#4 - Audrey Nourse/Nicole Nourse (USC) def. Ashley Delgado/Alex Young-Gomez (Cal) – 21-16, 21-16
#5 - Mollie Ebertin/Sunny Villapando (USC) def. Natalie Martin/Kate Bierly (Cal) – 21-12, 21-9
Order of finish: 1,4,2,3,5
The Bears will be back in action tomorrow as they continue play at the Pac-12 North Invitational with another two matches against Pac-12 opponents. Cal plays Utah at 11 a.m. PT followed by a 4 p.m. match vs. No 9 Stanford. The Utah match will be on the graduate school of business courts, while the Stanford match will be at the Stanford Beach Volleyball Stadium and be broadcast on Pac-12 Bay Area.  
For complete coverage of Cal beach volleyball, please follow the Bears on Twitter (@CalBeachVB), Instagram (@CalBeachVB) and Facebook (/CalBeachVolleyball/).