No. 6 California Gets No. 20 With Win Over Arizona State
TEMPE, Ariz. - The No. 6-ranked California volleyball team (20-4, 10-3 Pac-10) got its 20th win of the season today with a 3-1 victory (26-24, 26-28, 25-17, 25-21) over Arizona State (12-13, 3-9 Pac-10). The Golden Bears reach the 20-win mark for the eighth time in school history (five under head coach Rich Feller) and have strung together three consecutive 20-win seasons for the first time since 1981-83 when Cal was under the direction of Chris Stanley. The Bears were led by junior outside hitter Hana Cutura's team-high 21 kills (6e, 45att, .333) as she moved into seventh all-time at Cal in kills (1,243) and 10th in total attacks (2,892).
The Bears had 75 kills against the Sun Devils (one shy of their season high) on 155 attacks (21e, .348) and held Arizona State to 57 kills (18e, 148att, .264). Cutura also matched a career-high by serving up four service aces against the Sun Devils; and added seven digs and four blocks (one solo) to her final stat line. Senior outside hitter Am'ra Solomon nearly matched her career-high in kills with 19 (5e, 35att, .400) as she continued to play well at the net, adding two blocks (one solo). Freshman Tarah Murrey recorded 11 kills (5e, 23att, .261) while the middle hitters each contributed eight kills apiece. Freshman middle Shannon Hawari got hers on 14 attacks (1e, .400) while junior Mindi Wiley attacked 23 times (4e, .174) and added four blocks. Sophomore setter Carli Lloyd matched her season-high in assists with 59 and logged her eighth double-double of the season by putting up a season-high 15 digs, one shy of her career mark. Junior libero Kristen Kathan led all players in digs with 20. Arizona State sophomore outside hitter Sarah Reaves led all players with 26 kills (3e, 51att, .451) and added 13 digs.
Solomon's 19th kill of the night ended the fourth set, 25-20, in Cal's favor to right the ship for the Bears who had lost two consecutive matches for the first time this season. Solomon's team never trailed in the fourth set after wrestling its way out of a four-all tie on two quick-set kills by Hawari. The Bears rolled out to a six point advantage at 16-10 when Lloyd and Cutura teamed up to put the block on Reaves. The Devils mounted a comeback to pull within three points at 23-20 when Reaves recorded her 26th kill of the night, but the Bears stayed the course and finished things off when Cutura's 21st kill set up set-point. The Bears had 20 kills in the fourth set (6e, 43att, .326) while the Devils managed just 12 kills on 39 attempts (4e, .205).
After the Devils scored the first point of the third set, the Bears claimed control to seize a 5-1 lead. ASU sophomore middle blocker Sara Todorovich killed a ball to knot things up at five all but the Bears regained the lead at 7-6 lead on a Cutura kill and never trailed again. Cal got out in front by as many as nine points at 19-10 and 20-11 as the Bears continued to attack efficiently from all areas of the court. The Bear block also got on track as it put up four big blocks in the set. On the other side of the net, the Bears figured out the Arizona State block, not allowing any points off blocks to the Devils. Cal logged 17 kills in the third set (3e, 33att, .424) and held the Devils to a .179 attack rate with 12 kills (5e, 39att).
The Bears went on the offensive like nobody's business in the second set, recording 23 kills on 41 attacks (5e, .439) but that was not enough to offset a Sun Devil offense that logged just two errors on 36 attacks and got 18 kills (.444). The lead changed five times in the and was tied a total of 21 times, the last of which came at 26-all when Cutura knocked her 14th kill off the Devil block. Her next attempt to score would be met by the hands of three Arizona State blockers to set the Sun Devils up with their fourth set point. Sun Devil junior outside Maggie Giordano capitalized this time, putting a kill off the Cal block to swing the second set to Arizona State, 28-26.
Cal opened the night slowly, falling behind by four points at 10-6 on several attack errors. A kill and a service ace by Cutura pulled the Bears into a 13-all tie. The teams traded leads several times until the Bears went ahead by three at 21-18 on two straight kills by Wiley. The Sun Devils pushed back, drawing the 23-all tie when Murrey's attack was blocked. Reaves killed a ball on the next play to give Arizona State set point at 24-23 but the Bears fought it off as Cutura double-fisted an overplayed ball to the floor. The Sun Devils committed an attack error to give Cal its first set point when Cutura ended things with her second service ace. Both teams had 15 kills and seven errors in the first set. Cutura alone had eight kills on 11 attacks without an error (.727) while her Arizona State counterpart, Reaves had eight of her own on 15 attacks (2e, .400). As a team, the Bears registered a .211 attack rate on 38 attempts while the Devils posted a .235 percentage on 34 attacks.
The Bears return to Haas Pavilion for a three-match home stand beginning with the second half of the Big Spike as Stanford (21-3, 12-1 Pac-10) comes to Berkeley for a 7 p.m. match on Friday, Nov. 14. Comcast SportsNet California will be on hand to broadcast all of the action as Cal battles the Cardinal for the second time this season. The Bears defeated Stanford, 3-1, at Maples Pavilion earlier this season to notch the first victory at their rival in 29 years. Cal now has a chance to beat the Cardinal twice in the same season also for the first time in 29 years.
Article courtesy of California athletics.