Cal Opens Pac-12 Tournament With Split
TUCSON, ARIZONA – Fourth-seeded California beach volleyball fell to fifth-seeded Arizona, but responded with a win over eighth-seed Oregon to stay alive at the Pac-12 Championship on Wednesday afternoon at Bear Down Beach.
With the loss to Arizona, Cal dropped into the contenders bracket of the double elimination tournament. That set up a matchup with Oregon, who had defeated No. 9 Utah, but fell to No. 1 USC in earlier action on Wednesday.
#5 Arizona 3, #4 Cal 2
Cal's top pair of Ana Costa and Maya Gessner was down 10-5 in the first set, but they scored five straight to tie it at 10. However, Arizona was able to pull out the first set 21-18 and followed with another win in the second set, 21-12. Arizona took a 2-0 lead on court four with a 21-19, 21-14 win.
Cal responded with a win on court two as Ashley Delgado and Ainsley Radell were dominant for the Bears. The duo, playing only their second match together, won the first set 21-13. They followed that with a 21-16 victory in the second set to score the first point for the Bears. With the win, Radell recorded the 50th victory of her career, becoming just the tenth Cal beach volleyball player to achieve that feat.
Cal quickly added a second point as Ella Dreibholz and Lexi McKeown picked up a straight set victory for the Bears at court three. The duo won 21-15, 21-11 to claim their 22nd win of the season as a pair. They are now one win away from tying for the second most wins by a pair in school history.
With two wins apiece, the match came down to the fifth pair. Cal won 21-16 in the first set, but Arizona responded with a 22-20 victory in the second set as they were able to fight off two match points for the Bears as they scored four straight to end the set. In the third set, Natalie Martin and Alex-Young Gomez took a 7-5 lead, but Arizona responded to make it 8-7. The two teams traded points until Arizona led 14-12, but then Cal fought off two match points to make it 14-14. However, Arizona scored the next two, including a controversial double hit call on the final point that awarded the match and the dual to the host school, Arizona.
#1 – Alana Rennie/Alex Parkhurst (UA) def. Ana Costa/Maya Gessner (Cal) – 21-18, 21-12
#2 – Ashley Delgado/Ainsley Radell (Cal) def. Sarah Blacker/Maja Kaiser (UA) – 21-13, 21-16
#3 – Ella Dreibholz/Lexi McKeown (Cal) def. Jasmine Safar/Dilara Gedikoglu (UA) – 21-15, 21-11
#4 – Abby Russell/Dana Parker (UA) def. Ava Mann/Brooke Buchner (Cal) – 21-19, 21-14
#5 – Hope Shannon/Annie Kost (UA) def. Natalie Martin/Alex Young-Gomez (Cal) – 16-21, 22-20, 16-14
Order of finish: 1,4,2,3,5
#4 Cal 3, #8 Oregon 0
Cal responded to the early loss with a sweep of Oregon to advance to the next round in the final match of Wednesday's competition at Bear Down Beach.
Cal started on court two as Radell and Delgado moved to 3-0 as a partnership with a straight set win. The Cal pair jumped out early, claiming a 21-13 win in the first set. They followed that with a 21-17 win in the second set as they held the lead for the entirety of the set and got the Bears on the board.
Shortly after, Mann and Buchner clinched the second point for the Bears. The duo won in straight sets on court four with a 21-16, 21-17 victory. It was the third match this season that the duo has played together, but they got a big win to ensure that Cal's Pac-12 Championship run didn't come to a close on Wednesday.
After a heartbreaker in the first match of the day, Martin and Young-Gomez responded with an efficient victory on court five to clinch the match. They won 21-12 in both sets to clinch the dual for the Bears and send the Bears into the next round of the contenders bracket.
The matches at court one and court three were unfinished as the duals are being played to a result, so they are stopped as soon as a team scores three points.
#1 – Ana Costa/Maya Gessner (Cal) vs. Brooke Nuneviller/Reagan Hope (UO) – 19-21, 17-17 unf.
#2 – Ashley Delgado/Ainsley Radell (Cal) def. Alex Laita/Bea Wetton (UO) – 21-13, 21-17
#3 – Ella Dreibholz/Lexi McKeown (Cal) vs. Daley McClellan/Madelyn LaFollette (UO) – 21-12, 18-21 unf.
#4 – Ava Mann/Brooke Buchner (Cal) def. Ella Tyus/Ashley Schroeder (UO) – 21-16, 21-17
#5 – Natalie Martin/Alex Young-Gomez (Cal) def. Savannah Siegrist/Ally Haden (UO) – 21-12, 21-12
Order of finish: 2,4,5
The Bears will continue play at the Pac-12 Championship on Thursday as they will take on the loser of a matchup between No. 3 seed Stanford and No. 2 seed UCLA on Thursday morning. Cal will play start at 12:45 p.m. at Bear Down Beach in Tucson, Arizona. All of the matches at the Pac-12 Championship will be televised on the Pac-12 Network.
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