Grote Makes Golden Bear History
LOS ANGELES – After posting 28 kills on Thursday night against UCLA, something no Golden Bear has done in 12 years, junior Lydia Grote had no intentions of slowing down.
Just two days later, Cal's biggest offensive star matched that 28-kill total while recording an astonishing 94 attacks, the latter of which set a new program record that has stood since Mia Jerkov's 91-attack outing in 2002.
California volleyball (7-19, 0-16 Pac-12) posted its third straight five-set match on Saturday, falling to USC (19-8, 11-5) in its biggest nailbiter of the season as no set was decided by more than three points. Sophomore Annalea Maeder joined Grote in achieving a career-high plus career-match day, recording 6 kills and 4 service aces on her way to her 10th double-double of the season (43 assists, 11 digs).
The Trojans clinched the first set, 26-24, by taking advantage of several late scoring runs to eke ahead of the Bears, but Cal returned the favor in the second set, with freshman Mikayla Hayden recording three blocks and Maeder adding two aces on the way to a 30-28, score-tying victory. The Bears carried their momentum into the third, overcoming a 5-0 USC run and eventually pulling ahead on a 4-0 scoring run of their own to win the set, 25-22.
Despite Cal posting another 4-0 run early in the fourth set, however, USC's offensive prowess kept them just ahead on the way to a 25-22 Trojan win, forcing a tiebreaking fifth set. The plucky Bears refused to give in, battling the entire way and forcing extra points; ultimately, though, USC prevailed with a score of 16-14 to take the match.
Grote and the Bears return home to Haas Pavilion next week, welcoming Arizona (13-12, 3-11 Pac-12) on Nov. 17 at 7:00 p.m. PT followed by a matchup against Arizona State (11-16, 5-10) on Sunday, Nov. 20 at 12:00 p.m.