Cal Volleyball Upsets No. 20 Ranked Arizona, 3-0
Bears (12-4, 3-4) defeat Wildcats for first time since 1995.
Oct. 12, 2002
TUCSON, AZ - The University of California women's volleyball team (12-4, 3-4) upset No. 20 ranked Arizona (8-7, 3-4) 3-0 (32-30, 30-27, 31-29) Saturday night at the McKale Center in Tucson, AZ. The Bears had lost 12 straight to the nationally ranked Wildcats, not defeating Arizona since winning 3-0, Oct. 27, 1995 in Tucson. It was also the first nationally ranked opponent Cal had defeated since topping No. 19 Santa Clara, 3-2, Oct. 23 of last season.
Sophomore Mia Jerkov was outstanding for the Bears, recording 26 kills with a .340 hitting percentage (26 kills, eight errors, 53 attempts). Junior setter Caity Noonan added 34 assists and had a team-high 12 digs. Cal outhit Arizona, .259-.256.
In game one the Bears battled to a 32-30 win. A kill by Jerkov tied the game, 29-29. Noonan then gave Cal a 30-29 lead on a service ace, but followed with a service error that tied the contest, 30-30. Jerkov responded with a kill and then an Arizona hitting error gave the Bears their hard-fought win.
Cal was able to win game two, 30-27 behind nine kills by Jerkov. A Jerkov kill gave the Bears a 28-26 lead, Arizona countered with a kill, but a service error and an attack error by the Wildcats gave Cal the win. The Bears made an outstanding comeback to capture game three, 31-29. Cal was down 29-27, but back-to-back kills by Jerkov and two hitting errors by Arizona gave the Bears the upset win.
The win over the Wildcats was especially sweet for Cal as it had squandered a 2-0 lead and lost a 3-2 match to Arizona State the night before in Tempe.
"The disappointment in the dessert turned into redemption, that was the word of the day for us," said Cal coach Rich Feller. "Every member of the team believed it. This shows how strong the Pac-10 is, considering that Arizona had defeated defending national champion Stanford the night before. This also shows how good we can be."
Cal will next host the Washington schools, facing Washington Thursday, Oct. 17 at 7 p.m. at Haas Pavilion and then Washington State Friday, Oct. 18 at 7 p.m. at Haas Pavilion. The Oct. 17 Washington-Cal match is tentatively scheduled to be shown on Fox Sports, Saturday, Oct. 19 at 10 a.m.
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