No. 5 Cal Claims Golden Bear Invitational Crown With 3-0 Victory


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BERKELEY, Calif. - The No. 5-ranked California volleyball team (5-0, 0-0 Pac-10) defeated UC Riverside (5-3, 0-0 Big West) 3-0 to conclude the 2008 Golden Bear Invitational at Haas Pavilion in Berkeley, Calif. The Golden Bears were lifted by tournament Outstanding Setter and Most Valuable Player Carli Lloyd and her double-double performance as they took the three-set sweep 25-16, 25-21, 25-17. The sophomore setter put up 33 assists and 10 digs in the match and added four kills on four attempts without error. This is the second consecutive tournament in which Lloyd has claimed MVP honors.

"The entire tournament turned out to be all that our coaching staff could have hoped for" said 10th-year Cal head coach Rich Feller. "All three teams we faced made us work extremely hard this weekend. On top of that, we saw three very different styles of play and I think that only helps us as we continue to build our momentum."

With the win, the Bears completed the tourney with a 3-0 mark. UC Riverside went 2-1, while DePaul (3-2 win over James Madison) went 1-2. James Madison finished the weekend with a 0-3 record. Cal has not dropped a single set on its way to a perfect 5-0 record this season and continued to exhibit a strong offensive efficiency in their match against the Highlanders, coming away with 41 kills and hitting .214 (20e, 98att).

Stuck on 20 points in the third set, the Bears got a boost when junior middle hitter Mindi Wiley teamed up with senior outside hitter/middle hitter Morgan Beck to put the block on Dominique Cowling. Up 21-17, Cal pulled away as Wiley added her seventh and eighth kills of the night (3e, 13att, .385), the latter of which put an end to the match. Beck went without error on offense, getting seven kills on 18 attacks (.389). Both Wiley and Beck earned all-tournament team honors for their efforts over the three matches.

The Bears ran into a Highlander team on a mission in the second set, needing to fend off a five-point deficit at one point. Finding its first lead since 1-0, Cal turned a 21-20 advantage into a set-point opportunity when UCR's Kelly Quinn committed an attack error. On the next play, Lloyd and Wiley got together for a block assist to end the set, taking a 2-0 advantage into the break.

Cal had no troubles in the first set, cruising to an 11-point lead at 14-3 and then a 12-point lead at 22-10. Freshman outside hitter Tarah Murrey's kill ended a short UCR burst and set the Bears up for the first set-point of the match. The Highlanders made one last push to get within eight (24-16) before an attack error sent the set to the books with Cal up 1-0.

Earlier in the night, DePaul (1-4) fought back from two sets down to get a win against James Madison (2-5) in what turned out to be an unofficial third-place match (15-25, 20-25, 25-13, 25-23, 15-10).

Next up, the Bears hit the road for the first time in 2008, heading to Minneapolis, Minn. for the Diet Coke Classic Volleyball Tournament hosted by Minnesota. Aside from the Golden Gophers (Sept. 12, 5:30 p.m. PT), Cal will also face Notre Dame (Sept. 13, 3 p.m. PT) and Cal Poly (Sept. 14, 10 a.m. PT) in a Midwest showdown at the Minnesota Sports Pavilion. Please check for updates and information on live statistics.

2008 Golden Bear Invitational All-Tournament Team
Most Valuable Player/Outstanding Setter Carli Lloyd, So., California
Defensive Standout Kristen Kathan, Jr., California
Tournament Standouts Morgan Beck, Sr., California; Hana Cutura, Jr. California; Jacie Fiedler, So., DePaul; Kelly Fink, Sr., UC Riverside; Lauren Miles, Sr., James Madison; Mindi Wiley, Jr. California

Article courtesy of California athletics.

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