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Comeback Attempts Not Enough Against Buffs

Oct 9, 2022

BOULDER, COLO. – California volleyball (7-9, 0-6 Pac-12) finished up its third week of conference play on Sunday in a tight matchup with Colorado (12-4, 4-2 Pac-12), taking the Buffs down to the wire in two out of three sets. Ultimately, the home team prevailed, 3-0; however, Cal returns to Berkeley with a demonstrated never-say-die attitude that it can build upon and utilize in next week's road trip to the desert.

Junior Leah Schmidt led all players with 14 kills, while classmate Lydia Grote added 10 of her own. Sophomore Annalea Maeder posted her sixth double-double of the season, adding 33 assists and 10 digs to her total.

Colorado jumped out to an early lead right off the bat, posting several small runs to slowly put the Bears into a hole that they could not climb out of, despite a pair of late 3-0 scoring stretches for Cal to close the gap. The Buffs took the first set by a margin of 25-17, but quickly found that the Bears had no intention of going away quietly as the two teams traded points for nearly the entire set. It was only a late 3-0 run by Colorado that prevented Cal from taking the lead at the end, as the Bears' offense drew within one point no fewer than three times following the 20-point threshold.

Colorado eventually won the second set, 25-23, but the tone had been set – the two teams continued exchanging points from the get-go in the third set before a 5-0 Buffs run put the Bears behind. The home team's blocking was on full display in this particular set, having entered the weekend as the nation's third-best team in blocks per set, but Cal's gutsiness emerged to answer as Grote posted three straight kills as part of a 6-0 comeback run. Shortly afterward, two straight aces from Maeder put the Bears up, 22-21, but the Buffs pulled out a gutsy run of their own to finish off the set, 25-22, and the match.

Cal travels to Tempe, Ariz., on Friday, Oct. 15 to face the Arizona State Sun Devils (8-9, 2-3 Pac-12). First serve is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. PT.
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