Bears swarm the Gaels on Thursday
MORAGA- California Volleyball (6-3) held off a scorching Saint Mary’s (CA) side Thursday night at the University Credit Union Pavilion in Moraga, sweeping the Gaels 3-0 in a game that was at times closer than the final score. indicate.
The freshman duo of Sophie Scott and Mikayla Hayden, who rank No. 1 and No. 2 respectively among all Pac-12 freshman blockers, each added several more blocks to their season totals (7 for Scott, 6 for Hayden). Heading into this week, no pair of rookie teammates in the country were ranked as highly as the Bears duo, who have started in every Cal game so far.
junior Lydia Cave and Leah Schmidt each added a double-double to their own resumes, with the former posting a .333 hit percentage (15-33) along with 10 digs, and the latter hitting 11 kills plus 10 digs.
The first set began with a quick kill from Schmidt, followed by a tight back-and-forth between the two teams that lasted over half the set – as soon as the Bears scored a point or two, the Gaels were coming to the right. return. Despite a late 3-0 run by Cal that included two straight scores from Grote, Saint Mary’s managed to tie at 24-24 and then move on, 25-24. It took a bold performance from the Bears to finally secure the 29-27 win, capped by Schmidt’s two-game winning streak.
Saint Mary’s started the second set demonstrating why they were coming off a three-game winning streak, going up 5-0 over Cal before Schmidt stopped the bleeding with a kill and a subsequent service ace. The Bears then found another spark to post a 4-0 streak, eventually tying the setup at six points apiece, then pulled out a six-point streak (with two rookie service aces Nathalie Lau) to go up, 14-8. An exchange of short runs followed until Cal finally took the lead for good – and again it was Schmidt who delivered the game-winning kill for the Bears for a final score of 25-21.
Cal continued their momentum in the third set, taking an early five-point lead, but the Gaels resumed their old tricks and tied the score at 8-8. Schmidt broke the tie to spark a 3-0 Bears run before the teams traded scores in pairs, but three-game winning streak by Hayden, Jr. Sam Taumohide, and Grote, respectively, put the Bears out of reach for good. A joint block from Grote and Hayden closed the set, 25-18, and the match.
The Bears will host visiting UC Davis Aggies (5-4) on Saturday, September 17 at the Haas Pavilion. The first service is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. PT.
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