No. 5 Bears Outlast No. 11 Huskies, 3-1
Nov. 12, 2011
SEATTLE - Down two sets, the Husky volleyball team jumped up off the mat and came within two points of a decisive fifth set, but fifth-ranked California ended the match on a four point run to escape with the 3-1 win tonight at Alaska Airlines Arena in front of a season-high 3,788 fans. Senior Bianca Rowland had a standout match on Senior Night, but Cal held on for the 25-21, 25-23, 22-25, 25-23 win.
The Huskies (19-7, 11-17 Pac-12) completed a stretch of four straight matches against teams ranked in the top-five nationally, going 1-3 with last night's win over No. 3 Stanford. Tonight UW was not quite as sharp offensively, as Cal outhit the Huskies, .215 to .135. Rowland had the hot hand, as she posted 12 kills and a .435 attack percentage. Freshman Krista Vansant had a double-double with a team-high 13 kills and 10 digs. Washington also had one of its best serving nights, with nine aces, three from Summer Ross.
After Cal took the first two sets, it opened up a 14-7 lead in the third set and the Huskies seemed on their way to a straight set loss. But Washington made a furious rally, going on an 11-1 run to climb back into the lead and eventually take the set. The Huskies then held a 23-21 lead late in the fourth set looking for a comeback for the second night in a row. But Cal took the last four points to finish it. Before the match, UW honored seniors Rowland, Lauren Barfield, and Evan Sanders though the Huskies will have one more regular season home match left.
"They were hot tonight," said Head Coach Jim McLaughlin of the Bears. "We finally settled down and were hitting the edges of the block and started scoring. We were in a good position and that comeback in game three was great. We've just got to do that again and again and again. I liked our fight when our backs were against the wall. But I thought our preparation was weak, I've got to figure out what I can do because we came out sloppy."
Nogueras served to start the match and Muñoz got the kill in transition. The teams traded sideouts with Muñoz notching another kill and Ross getting her first, and then Barfield hit down an overpass for a 5-5 tie. The Bears made the first move with a 5-1 run to take an 11-7 lead and force a Husky timeout. The Huskies fought back on the serve of Ross, as Muñoz won a battle at net and then Ross served an ace followed by another Muñoz kill for 11-12. Cal pushed back out to a 16-12 advantage before Rowland hammered one down on the slide attack. But the Bears came back with two straight on a Gehan kill and a block of Parker for an 18-13 lead and UW called its second timeout. The Bears were getting all the bounces, however, and they extended their run to six points and opened up a 22-13 lead. Vansant finally connected from the right side to stop the run, then Cal was called four a double touch, and Ross posted a solo block on a Murrey tip attempt to cut it to 16-22 and force Cal's first timeout. Out of the break, it was Ross again on the solo stuff of Murrey, but the Cal senior snapped the 4-0 run on the next rally. The Bears got to set point at 24-18, but Muñoz saved the first set point on a roll shot, and then Cal clipped the antenna for 20-24. UW saved one more, but Vansant hit one long out of the back row and Cal took the set, 25-21. The Bears were hitting over .500 for much of the set before a couple late errors dropped them to a still hot .359, while UW hit .209. Muñoz was strong for UW with five kills on 10 swings to hit .400.
Muñoz added a sixth kill to start the second set and then Ross scored an ace for a 2-0 lead. Cal came right back though with three straight to get on top until Muñoz hit from the right to tie it at three. After Cal took the 4-3 lead, the Huskies shot out on a 5-0 run to take the lead. A Vansant finish and a Sanders ace was followed by Cal hitting the net to make it 7-4, and then Sanders hit the back line with her next service for another ace and Cal took time. Johnson got another slide kill for Cal to snap the streak, but then served into the net. Gabbi Parker came in with her first kill off the block to end a long rally for a 10-5 Husky edge. The Bears came back with a 3-0 run before Barfield landed one out of the middle, but Cal then scored three more in a row to tie it up at 11 and force a UW timeout. Cal then took the lead with a UW error and an ace from Rostratter that the Huskies thought was going long. Back-to-back kills from Rowland and Vansant tied it back up for UW at 14-all. Rowland and Muñoz then blocked Murrey to put the Dawgs back up one. Another Ross ace put the lead at 16-14 before Brown stopped the 4-0 run with a quick kill. The Bears knotted it at 16 but then Rowland hit again and Brown was blocked in the middle by Rowland and Parker for 18-16. Barfield got UW to 20 first with a shot down through the block. Murrey pushed one deep for a kill to tie it at 20-all, but Parker banged one in on the right for the sideout. UW could not open up space as Murrey added two more kills, then the Bears blocked Muñoz to take a 23-22 lead and force UW to call time. On the next rally, Murrey hit one offspeed that UW thought was wide but was ruled to catch the line for set point. Murrey went for another tip on set point but Rowland and Ross stuffed it back down and Cal took time. The Bears went to Murrey once again out of the break and she put it down in-between Muñoz and the net for the 25-23 win. Again Cal outhit UW, .333 to .154. Barfield was the most effective with three kills on four swings.
The Huskies started set three with a 4-3 lead but Cal ran off three more to force an early Husky timeout. Cal needed just one kill for its six early points as UW made four errors. Cal was not phased by the timeout, running off four more points before missing serve. McLaughlin went to his bench to bring in Kaleigh Nelson, Kelly Holford, and Kelcey Dunaway early in the third but the Bears still pushed out to a 14-7 lead. Nogueras and Rowland rotated back in and Rowland hammered down a quick and then Ross finished on the right to trim the deficit to 10-14. Washington pushed the run to five points on a Cal ball-handling error and then an ace from Nogueras and Cal called time at 14-12. The next rally had several jousts at net before Rowland nailed it down to cut the lead to one, and then Cal was in the net and just like that the Huskies had tied it back up at 14-all. A couple UW stuffs eventually led to Murrey going into the net and then Rowland had a block for a 16-14 Husky lead as now it was Cal looking down its bench. The 9-0 Husky run served by Nogueras was finally snapped as Muñoz missed just long. But Rowland reignited the crowd with a quick kill, and then Vansant went up the line to make it 18-15 Dawgs and Cal took timeout again as UW's run was at 11-1. Johnson got the slide kill out of the break but Muñoz came right back on the right. Rowland and Vansant then stuffed Johnson for a 20-16 edge. Kat Brown served up a much-needed ace for Cal to make it 20-18 and the Huskies took their last break. The Huskies missed their first swing out of the break to cut it to one, but then Cal missed wide to snap the run. Parker checked back in and had a key kill to make it 22-20. Vansant shanked a pass on the next play but made up for it by perfectly placing her swing short and down for the kill and then Murrey fired one wide for set point at 24-21. Hawari saved the first but then Rostratter sent her serve into the net and incredibly the Huskies were playing on, taking the set 25-22. Rowland had four kills on five swings to key the comeback.
The Bears used a 4-0 run early in the fourth set to take a 5-2 lead and force a Husky timeout. Washington stabilized, and a Parker ace off the top of the net cut it to 5-6. Parker rifled in a second ace on the next point to tie it up. Nogueras then placed an ace in the middle to 8-8. Muñoz and Rowland finished two points to keep things even at 10. Ross banged up down the line on the left to make it 13-all, then she and Dunaway stood up to the Murrey swing for a 14-13 Husky lead, their first since 2-1. They blocked her a second time for 15-14. Vansant used the block well for a kill on the left and a 17-16 edge, but Cal blocked her on the next rally to tie it up. Cal then blocked Rowland on the right for an 18-17 lead and the Huskies called time. Nogueras set Vansant on the right and she found open floor to tie it back up at 18. She finished again after some tough digs by both sides for a one-point Husky lead, then Cal came back to tie it. Vansant had a flat-footed kill on the right, and then Dunaway and Parker stood tall for a huge stuff of Hawari on the weak side for a 21-19 lead and a Cal timeout. Gehan got a tough kill off the block out of the break to stop UW's run, but Ross came back through the block for the finish. Ross and Dunaway posted another block, this one of Murrey, for 23-21, but the Bears answered. Cal got back even at 23-all with a Brown middle kill, then Ross was blocked on the right and suddenly Cal had match point. Muñoz had a look on the left side but she knocked it long and the Bears escaped with the 25-23 victory. Rowland hit .500 with four kills in the fourth and Vansant put away five balls, but overall UW hit just .116 while Cal made four fewer errors to hit .186.
Washington now takes to the road again, heading next week to face Utah and Colorado, before ending the season with a home-and-home series against Washington State.