No. 5 California Scores 3-0 Victory Over James Madison

9/5/2008

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BERKELEY, Calif. - The No. 5 California volleyball team (3-0, 0-0 Pac-10) defeated visiting James Madison (2-3, 0-0 CAA) in its third straight 3-0 sweep of an opponent on the first night of the 2008 Golden Bear Invitational at Haas Pavilion in Berkeley, Calif.

The Golden Bears hit .431 for the match with 38 kills (7e, 72att) and added 10 service aces as a team to put away the Dukes 25-12, 25-11, 25-20.

"Our serving really set us up to have a great night tonight" said head coach Rich Feller. "A lot of our players had opportunities to step up during the match and they did. Our hitting percentage was phenomenal and our quick-sets were working great. I'm certainly very pleased with the team's performance."

Senior outside hitter/middle hitter Morgan Beck and freshman Tarah Murrey outside hitter each had seven kills apiece. Beck hit .286 (3e, 14att) and Murrey hit .455 (2e, 11att) but junior middle hitter Mindi Wiley put up the most efficient performance, notching six kills on eight attacks without an error (.750). Last week's Pac-10 Player of the Week sophomore setter Carli Lloyd stayed her pace, getting 32 assists while adding four digs. Lloyd's three kills on five attacks without an error keep her attack-error free for the season.

Senior outside hitter Am'ra Solomon put down two of Cal's final three points to end the match and ended up with six kills on the night (1e, 14att, .357). The Bears struggled to stay afloat in the third set, facing ties on 10 occasions before pulling away with a 7-2 run. Beck's solo block in the third put Cal up 20-18 down the homestretch. Junior outside hitter Hana Cutura sat out the third after getting four kills on eight attacks without an error (.800) and added three service aces to her final stat line.

In the second set, the Bears saw the Dukes jump out to a 4-1 lead before putting up a short run to catch them at four points each on a Cutura kill. James Madison made another push and took an 8-6 lead but the Bears went on a four-point run and then embarked on a 10-1 run to put the set out of reach for the Dukes. Wiley's two straight kills gave the Bears a 23-11 lead before sophomore defensive specialist/libero Megan Schmitt's service ace gave Cal set point. Murrey's solo block put the set away heading into the break.

The Bears came out roaring in the first, getting out to an 8-1 lead by capitalizing on several James Madison errors while Beck took two service aces to the bank. The Dukes fought back to come within seven points at 14-7 but Cal responded and never looked back. The Bears took their biggest lead of the set when Cutura put a shot off a Duke block to give the Bears set-point at 24-10. Lloyd finished things off with a kill-shot to the left-hand side of the court to give Cal a 1-0 set lead.

Earlier in the day, UC Riverside (4-2, 0-0 Big West) defeated DePaul (0-3, 0-0 Big East) in four sets (24-26, 25-17, 25-23, 25-17) to win the opening match of the Golden Bear Invitational. Murrey's elder sister Brittney Murrey led the Highlander attack with 45 assists and 13 digs for a double-double and added three kills. As a team, UCR tallied 10.0 total team blocks to hold down the Blue Demon attack and came away with the 3-1 win.

The Bears play two matches tomorrow (Sept. 6) to conclude the Golden Bear Invitational, starting with a noon bout against DePaul. Going on at the same time, UCR will face James Madison on an adjacent court. At 4:30 p.m., DePaul will take on James Madison and then the Bears will tangle up with UCR to conclude the tournament at 7 p.m. The all-tournament team will be announced following the final match. Please check CalBears.com for Gametracker and video links.

Article courtesy of California athletics.

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