California volleyball was hoping to pick up its second Pac-12 win on Sunday afternoon after a loss on Friday night, but ultimately found itself on the wrong end of a 3-1 result courtesy of Washington, which came into the game with just one conference win to its credit.
The match may have been decided on the service line, where the Golden Bears (12-5, 1-5 Pac-12) struggled, posting 14 total errors to four aces. Washington (11-6, 2-4) entered the weekend ranked among the top-25 teams in the nation in service aces per set and total aces; despite missing top server Lauren Bays, the Huskies made up for her loss with nine aces on the day.
Senior Tara Village Once again entered the court with 15 digs, while junior Ellie Hamm and sophomore Mikayla Hayden placed four blocks up the court each. Junior Annalea Maeder just missed a double-double with 29 assists and nine digs as a freshman Maggie Lee posted stats in all five categories with 15 kills, two assists, two aces, one block, and six digs. Senior Sam Taumoepeau also posted a solid offensive outing with 12 kills on.321 hitting.
Although the Bears outshot the Huskies in the first set,.357 to.269, and blanked the home team 4-0, Cal’s six service errors made the difference in a 20-25 finish. Hayden put together her best set of the season with a perfect five kills on five attacks and two blocks, but UW raced to a six-point lead that the Bears couldn’t overcome, only cutting the deficit to four points at 18-22 on a 3-0 run. However, in the second set, it was seen that Cal had a better run as they defeated their hosts by.375 to.194. A pair of early 4-0 runs pushed the Bears’ lead to 11-6; after that, three more kills each from Li and Taumoepeau helped the Blue & Gold extend their lead to a 25-20 set win.
The third set, however, was almost all Washington, who hit.769 as a team and held the Bears to just.053. Cal scored first on an ace from Maeder, but soon trailed by five after a 6-0 run by the Huskies; that difference grew to 14 points after another 6-0 run from UW, which ultimately resulted in a 25-11 Washington victory. Down two sets to one, the Bears found themselves at a disadvantage right away in the fourth courtesy of an immediate Huskies ace. Cal put together a pair of 3-0 runs to eventually cut UW’s four-point lead to one at 13-12 and kept things close for most of the set, but Washington’s offense allowed this to get away later, which finally sealed the game with a 25-19 victory.
Cal returns to Haas Pavilion next week, welcoming UCLA (9-7, 1-5 Pac-12) on Friday at 7 p.m. PT and USC (11-5, 5-1 Pac-12) at 2 p.m. Sunday afternoon.
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