Cal Wraps Up The Weekend With A Split
STANFORD, CALIFORNIA – No. 12 California beach volleyball swept Utah, 5-0, in Sunday's opener at the Pac-12 North Invitational. However, Cal fell to No. 9 Stanford, 3-2, in a tightly-contested battle in the second half of the doubleheader.
No. 12 Cal 5, Utah 0
The Bears opened Sunday's competition with a sweep of Pac-12 foe Utah as they earned four straight-set wins.
The Bears began the day with a pair of straight-set wins in the opening wave. Ainsley Radell and Ava Mann continued their fine play at the top pair by claiming a dominant victory over the Utes, 21-11, 21-17. On court four, Ella Sears and Natalie Martin were playing their second match as a pair, and the duo didn't miss a beat as they won 21-16 in the first set. They improved in the second set to claim a 21-12 victory.
The Bears clinched the match on court two as the tandem of Ana Costa and Maya Gessner lost in a hard-fought battle in the first set, 23-21. However, they broke things open in the second set. Leading 11-10 at the technical timeout, the Bears scored 10 straight points to claim the second set 21-10. They carried that momentum to the third set as they claimed a 15-10 victory to score the fourth point.
The tandem of Ella Dreibholz and Lexi McKeown moved to 17-3 as a pair on the season with another straight set win on court three. They rolled to a 21-12 victory in the first set and followed that up with a 21-11 win in the second set to clinch the dual for the Bears.
The Bears pulled out their fourth-straight-set win of the match with a 21-13, 21-14 win over Utah on court five. Ashley Delgado and Alex Young-Gomez, who were playing together for the first time this weekend, completed the sweep.
#1 - Ava Mann/Ainsley Radell (Cal) def. Sage Patchell/Amaya Messner (Utah) – 21-11, 21-17
#2 - Ana Costa/Maya Gessner (Cal) def. Grace Andrews/Bella Vezzani (Utah) – 21-23, 21-10, 15-10
#3 - Ella Dreibholz/Lexi McKeown (Cal) def. Marissa Koch/Sam Leight (Utah) – 21-12, 21-13
#4 – Natalie Martin/Ella Sears (Cal) def. Lauren Sayre/Summer Daniel (Utah) – 21-16, 21-12
#5 – Ashley Delgado/Alex Young-Gomez (Cal) def. Kylie Pitzak/Sydney Jacinto (Utah) – 21-13, 21-14
Order of finish: 1,4,2,3,5
No. 9 Stanford 3, No. 12 Cal 2
The Bears won two matches, but lost three tightly-contested battles including two three-set matches as they fell to No. 9 Stanford in the finale of the Pac-12 North Invitational.
Both of the matches in the third set went to three sets in the tightly contested battle between the Bay Area rivals. Cal won the first set on court four, 21-16, but Stanford bounced back with a 21-17 win in the second set. In the third set, Cal trailed 5-4, when the ball popped over the net and Delgado hammered it home. The ref called Cal for a net violation despite the appearance that the violation was against Stanford. The momentum shift favored the Cardinal who went on to win 15-9.
On court two, Stanford won the first set 21-15. Radell and Mann battled back to take the second set 21-16 to set up the third set. The Bears led 13-12 in the third set, but Stanford's pair of Charlie Ekstrom and Maddi Kriz ended the set on a 4-1 run to win 16-14 and give the Cardinal a 2-0 lead heading into the second wave.
Stanford clinched the match on court five, as they were able to hold on to a 21-19, 21-17 win. The Bears made a valiant run to fight off four set points in the first set, but it wasn't enough. In the second set, Cal led 14-11, but Stanford went on a 10-3 run to claim the dual.
On the top court, Gessner and Costa won the first set by a 21-17 margin. In the second set, they pulled away after leading 12-9, they finished on a 9-6 run to double the advantage and claim the win for the Bears.
On court three, the teams were locked up at 18 in the first set, but McKeown and Dreibholz won the final three points to take the lead. The two teams fought back-and-forth in the second set with both teams fighting off three set points. The teams were locked at 25, but Stanford won two consecutive points to push the match to a third set. Cal took control of the third set early and didn't trail as they won the matchup 15-11.
#1 - Ana Costa/Maya Gessner (Cal) def. Xolani Hodel/Kate Reilly (STAN) – 21-17, 21-15
#2 - Charlie Ekstrom/Maddi Kriz (STAN) def. Ava Mann/Ainsley Radell (Cal) – 21-15, 16-21, 16-14
#3 - Ella Dreibholz/Lexi McKeown (Cal) def. Emma Morris/Taylor Wilson (STAN) – 21-18, 25-27, 15-11
#4 - Emmy Sharp/Jordan McKinney (STAN) def. Alex Young-Gomez/Ashley Delgado (Cal) – 16-21, 21-17, 15-9
#5 - Maddie Dailey/Maya Harvey (STAN) def. Ella Sears/Natalie Martin (Cal) – 21-19, 21-17
Order of finish: 4,2,5,1,3
The Bears will be back in action on Friday as they will play one match at Santa Clara. The Bears will see Cal graduate, Alexia Inman, and the Broncos for a 1 p.m. match in the South Bay.
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