Bears Remain Perfect With Sweep of Arizonas

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When Arizona State recorded the first four points of Sunday's match, it conjured up images of the No. 8 Cal volleyball team's previous contest.

Against Arizona on Friday, the Bears dropped the first two sets before rebounding to win the match.

They didn't let that happen again on Sunday, as Cal defeated the Sun Devils in straight sets (25-23, 25-21, 26-24) at Wells Fargo Arena in Tempe, Ariz.

"I think we had a little bit more energy on our side of the net," senior setter Carli Lloyd, who had a game-high 45 assists, said.

Outside hitter Tarah Murrey notched three kills during a six-point run that gave the Bears (12-0, 2-0 in the Pac-10) an early first set lead. The squads matched each other until four straight points by Cal. Murrey capped off the run with a kill to put the Bears up for good for the set.

"I think we played a consistent and clean match," Murrey said. "We knew if we played aggressive and as a team we could take them in three."

The junior couldn't quite equal her career-high 28 kills that she registered against the Wildcats (10-14, 0-2), but played a much more efficient and effective match against ASU, Murrey recorded 20 kills with only three errors for an impressive .472 hitting percentage.

"Tarah was great today," coach Rich Feller said. "She passed well, hit real smart ... able to do kind of whatever she wanted."

The Sun Devils (5-9, 0-2) trailed the entire second set but built an early lead in the final frame.

But ASU's momentum came to a screeching halt when the team came up against Kat Brown. The Bears' middle hitter recorded three kills and a block assisted and Cal never trailed again.

"We just needed to get the next point and eliminate their runs," Murrey said. "We have a lot of perseverance (and) we're willing to fight and grind."

The match between two fast tempo offenses went by quickly until the coaches slowed it down at the end.

Down 23-20, the Sun Devils called a timeout and came out with three straight points to tie the score. Cal called a timeout of its own and, after trading errors with ASU, strung together two points in a row to pull off the road sweep.


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

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