Winless Roadrunners Can't Escape Merciless Beating by Bears

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What happens when an 0-11 team challenges an undefeated, top-10 team on its home court? Exactly the thrashing witnessed on Tuesday evening at Haas Pavilion, as the No. 10 Cal volleyball team crushed Cal State Bakersfield in straight sets (25-14, 25-17, 25-14).

The first play of the match was a kill by freshman Adrienne Gehan off of a broken play. Gehan set it over weakly, but the return by the Roadrunners landed out of bounds. Bakersfield made a service error on the third play, and the one-sided patter continued for most of the match.

The Roadrunners (0-12) had a .000 hitting percentage after the first set and finished the match just one kill above that rate. The Bears (8-0), on the other hand, hit a whopping .480 for the match, led by sophomore middle hitter Kat Brown's .818 percentage off of 10 kills. "I was getting really good sets," Brown said. "Their blocking wasn't as big as when we're in practice."

Brown, who was a perfect 6-for-6 on kill attempts through two sets, was a little upset about not finishing perfect; she referenced a questionable call on her lone miss. Yet, despite the sweep, Cal had bouts of inconsistent play what bothered her and head coach Rich Feller.

"I don't think we played that well," Feller said. "Getting aced 10 times I'll give a few inexcusable excuses."

Feller admitted that it wasn't easy to play an evening match on a Tuesday after a three-match weekend; however, the Bears yet again had a stretch of miscues in the second set that gave the Roadrunners the lead.

"We were a little inconsistent, especially in the second game," Brown said. "We made a lot of errors. We weren't making them earn their points."

Five times in that set, Cal failed to return a Bakersfield serve. The Bears gave the opponet four more free points on their own service errors.

"Coach called a timeout, refocused us," junior outside hitter Tarah Murrey said. "He let us know we needed to meet our goals we set before the game."

One of those goals, according to Brown, was to feel good about the way they played. A 9-1 run to end the second set must have felt good - as did a 14-3 start to the third set, which Cal breezed through, thanks to Murrey.

After recording just four kills through two sets on Tuesday, the Bears' kill leader registered eight in the final frame. Only two of those kills came off passes from setter Carli Lloyd, whose 23 assists exceeded Bakersfield's team total by six. The senior sat out the end of the set, the first time she's been on the bench in "just about ever," according to Feller.

Sophomore setter Elly Barrett and other young subs saw extended minutes for one of the few times this season.

The Dallas, Tex. native recorded nine assists total, while freshman outside hitter Lauren Loerch attempted 10 kills.

Tags: RICH FELLER, CAL VOLLEYBALL, CARLI LLOYD


Jonathan Kuperberg covers volleyball. Contact him at [email protected]



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