Lilomaiava Posts Career Night
BERKELEY – California volleyball (7-16, 0-13 Pac-12) welcomed the Colorado Buffaloes (16-7, 8-5) on Friday night to Haas Pavilion, hoping to turn their fortunes around against a squad loaded with talent on both sides of the ball. Although the Bears avoided the shutout, winning a decisive second set, the Buffs ultimately prevailed with a final score of 3-1.
Senior Sydney Lilomaiava was the standout player for Cal, setting a new career high with 15 kills to lead all players on either team and scoring the Bears' first point in all 4 sets. Freshman Peyton DeJardin posted her own career high of 14 kills, while sophomore Annalea Maeder put together her eighth double-double of the season (27 assists, 14 digs). Junior Tara DeSa, who came into the weekend ranked fourth in the conference in both total digs and digs per set, added 23 more (as well as 7 assists) on the night. Freshman Mikayla Hayden rounded out the stat sheet with a team-high four blocks, bringing her season total to 83.
Colorado jumped ahead by winning the first set, 25-16, but Cal had no intentions of going away quietly. An early 3-0 run in the second set, including two straight blocks from Hayden, put the Bears up by a margin of 5-1; soon afterward, they followed with another 3-0 run to go up, 9-3, and another to increase their lead to 14-7. DeJardin posted two straight kills late in the set to bring the score to 21-12, a lead that the Buffaloes were unable to overcome as Cal finished with a 25-19 set win to tie up the match at 1-1.
A valiant comeback effort in the third set, which included a 4-0 Cal run, ultimately fell short as Colorado's 25-20 win added yet another tally to the Bears' "by five or fewer" Pac-12 set loss column. Finally, the Buffs closed out the night the way they started, book-ending things with a 25-16 fourth-set win for the match victory.
The Bears celebrated the 50th anniversary of Title IX on Friday and also gave a special welcome-back recognition for Cal volleyball legend Kat Brown, who played for the Bears from 2009-12 and holds the all-time program record with 505 career blocks.
The Bears host Utah (13-11, 6-7 Pac-12) at Haas Pavilion on Sunday, Nov. 6 at 12:00 p.m. PT.