Bears Take Set Before Falling To Trojans
BERKELEY – California volleyball (7-12, 0-9 Pac-12) returned to Haas Pavilion on Friday night after two weeks on the road, hosting the surging USC Trojans (16-4, 8-1), who entered the weekend as one of the nation's leading offensive teams. The Bears kept things competitive and clinched their first Pac-12 set in nearly a month before falling 3-1 to the Trojans.
As part of Cal's Pride Night, the Bears donated a portion of each ticket sold to Friday night's match to the LGBTQ Center in Oakland.
Freshman Peyton DeJardin posted a career-high 10 kills on the match. Junior Leah Schmidt led the Bears with 15 kills on a .483 hitting percentage, also posting six digs and two service aces.
USC scored first to start off the match and quickly put together an early pair of 3-0 runs to draw ahead of the Bears, never allowing Cal to score more than two points in a row until late in the set, when Schmidt and DeJardin posted a 3-0 run of their own prior to a 25-15 Trojan set victory. The next set was much closer from the get-go, following the Bears' usual pattern of keeping the second set close after a tough first set; this time, however, Cal diverged from that pattern in a manner that set the home crowd ablaze.
Five different Bears were responsible for Cal's first 10 points of the set, the last coming off a kill from junior Lydia Grote to tie up the score. USC tried to jump ahead again, but junior Kendall Jensen brought Cal back into a tie with two straight service aces. From there, the Bears' momentum was officially in place – a late 5-0 run for Cal took them into the lead and kept their energy high despite USC coming back to tie the score at 25-25. In the end, it was two straight points from DeJardin – a kill and a service ace – to clinch the 27-25 victory for the Bears.
Having drawn even with the Trojans, Cal looked to gain a leg up on their guests as Schmidt scored first to start the third set. Both teams kept things close for the entire set, each side stringing together 2- and 3-point runs to stay in contention with one another the entire time and making USC's 25-20 win quite uncomfortable for the visiting team. Ultimately, the Trojans used that momentum to eventually close out the match in a 25-19 fourth set, jumping ahead to a 10-5 lead in the fourth set to stay ahead for good.
Cal hosts the UCLA Bruins (9-9, 3-6 Pac-12) at Haas Pavilion on Sunday, Oct. 23 at 1:00 p.m. PT.