Superior Blocking Nets Cal a Four-Set Road Win Over UCLA

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The No. 7 Cal volleyball team defeated No. 12 UCLA in four sets (25-18, 18-25, 25-15, 25-22) tonight at Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles, thanks to a 14-3 run deep in the fourth set.

The Bruins (11-4, 1-3 in the Pac-10) jumped ahead to a 15-10 lead in the final frame and looked to push the match to a fifth set, but the Bears (15-0, 5-0) charged right back to clinch their first win over UCLA in two years.

As always, junior outside hitter Tarah Murrey and senior setter Carli Lloyd led Cal, with 20 kills (for a .341 percentage) and 36 assists, respectively. Yet the story of the match was the Bears' blocking, particularly by their middle hitters.

Cal put on an exhibition at the net as it recorded 17 total blocks. Sophomore Kat Brown blocked 10 shots, while redshirt sophomore Shannon Hawari blocked seven more. Lloyd and sophomore Correy Johnson both notched five.

Their nifty net play provided much-needed points against a Bruins squad known for its defense. UCLA's blocking corps could not keep up with Cal's, though.

The Bears held the Bruins to a .142 hitting percentage for the match; in the third set, UCLA finished with a percentage of .000.

That crucial third set was all Cal from the beginning, opening with two Murrey kills.

But the team could not sustain that momentum in the fourth, as a combination of Bear errors and Bruin kills built UCLA its lead.

The first two sets were mirror images of each other. Each team won its set the same sizable margin, seven points, with Cal triumphing in the opening set and the Bruins taking the second.

UCLA served up nine aces but shot itself in the foot with 12 service errors.

Cal hopes to keep its record undefeated when it challenges No. 8 USC tomorrow night at 7 p.m., at the Galen Center.


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