Sports

No. 1 Cal gets upper hand over No. 2 Stanford

 

For now, the No. 1 women's volleyball team in the nation also rules in the Pac-12 as host California beat Stanford, 23-25, 25-16, 25-16, 25-21, in the conference opener for both teams Tuesday night.

The Bears (1-0, 11-0) stretched their winning streak over the second-ranked Cardinal (0-1, 6-1) to three games, all decided in four sets.

Stanford, which shared last year's Pac-10 title with the Bears, hopes to get back on track when it hosts Utah in a conference match on Friday at 7 p.m. Colorado visits Saturday, also at 7 p.m.

Sophomore outside hitter Rachel Williams led Stanford with 15 kills and 10 digs, her fourth double-double of the year. Sophomore middle blocker Carly Wopat added 11 kills and six blocks.

Junior setter Karissa Cook recorded 38 assists and 17 digs as Stanford was held to a .103 attack percentage, while Cal, who reached last year's NCAA championship match, hit .264.

Stanford won the first set, 25-23, following 13 tie scores and two lead changes. It marked the first time Cal has lost a set this season. The Cardinal out hit the Bears .209 to .195 as Wopat was seven of nine on attacks. Junior Hayley Spelman and redshirt freshman Lydia Bai combined for six kills.

Errors cost the Cardinal in the second as Cal tied the match with a 25-16 win. Stanford committed 11 errors and was held to a .103 attack percentage, while the Bears' offense rolled. Cal hit .387 and had just one attack error.

Stanford jumped out to a 10-5 lead in the third, but a 6-1 run by Cal tied the set and forced coach John Dunning to call timeout. After three straight Cal points, Dunning burned his second timeout. Stanford pulled within four, but the Bears' offense was too much as they went on to a 25-16 win. Stanford hit negative in the set with just nine kills and 10 attack errors.

Once again, Stanford held a lead and watched it dwindle, as Cal came from behind to win the fourth set, 25-21. Up 19-17, Cal used a 7-2 run to seal the victory.

— Palo Alto Online Sports

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