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Bears’ Early-, Late-Match Heroics Not Enough Thursday

Sep 1, 2022

OREM, UTAH – California volleyball (2-2) kicked off this week's slate of play on Thursday afternoon with its first-ever match against host Utah Valley (2-3) as part of the Utah Valley Tournament. Although the Bears started off with a strong first set and forced several ties in the last, the Wolverines ultimately prevailed, 3-1.

Coming into the match with the 10th-most kills and 6th-most points in the NCAA, middle blocker Lydia Grote added another 17 kills and 21.5 points to her junior campaign. Meanwhile, freshman Sophie Scott continued to impress by earning Cal's highest hitting percentage of the day with an 8-for-14 effort (.429).

As a team, the Bears held Utah Valley to a .135 hitting percentage.

Cal began the first set with a 4-0 scoring run, triggered by a kill from junior Leah Schmidt. Several forced Utah Valley errors allowed the Bears to post another 5-0 run, with kills from Scott and classmate Mikayla Hayden continuing their momentum to coast out to a strong lead. Despite a comeback attempt from the Wolverines, junior Sam Taumoepeau was able to put the set away with a kill, earning a 25-21 Cal victory.

Utah Valley flipped a switch in the second set, posting several scoring runs of their own to jump out to a 17-5 lead. Kills from Hayden and Grote launched a 4-0 Cal run late in the set, but the Wolverines showed just enough to close it out and end up with the 25-15 win.

The third set showed plenty of promise for Cal at the start, as they were able to tie the score at 5-5; from there, however, it was all Utah Valley as they subsequently put together 4-0 and 3-0 scoring runs to jump out ahead for good and finish with a set win of 25-18 over the Bears.

The Wolverines continued their momentum into the fourth set for a solid lead before a pair of errors and a kill from Scott sparked a gritty 6-1 scoring run to bring Cal within two points. From there, the Bears were quick to respond every time Utah Valley threatened to pull ahead, eventually tying the score at 22-22 and then at 24-24. Ultimately, the home team was able to prevail, 26-24, after a drawn-out, competitive set to clinch the match.
 
UP NEXT
California (2-2) will face Northern Arizona (1-2) on Friday, Sept. 2 at 1:00 p.m. PT to close out the Utah Valley Tournament. A live stream will be available via YouTube.
 
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