Nov. 26, 2010
BERKELEY, Calif. – In the regular season finale in Haas Pavilion in Berkeley, Calif., the No. 20 University of Arizona volleyball team fell to No. 2 California 3-1 with the Golden Bears earning at least a share of the conference championship with the victory.
Whitney Dosty recorded a career-best 30 kills for the Wildcats breaking her previous high of 29 set during her freshman season in 2006, but it wasn’t enough as the Cats fell in 20-11 overall and 9-9 in conference to end the regular season. Paige Weber notched a double-double in the loss with 47 assists and 16 digs while Candace Nicholson lead the defensive effort with 19 digs.
In the first set, California was hot from the get-go with Correy Johnson helping the Bears to a 7-3 lead. After a timeout, Cal kept up the pressure using UA attack errors and a couple blocks to jump out to an 11-5 advantage. The Wildcats never led in the first set as Cal got off to the quick start and never looked back, winning set one 25-14.
Looking to combat the Cal defense, the Wildcats got off to a much better start in the second set behind kills from Jackson and Dosty and a number of Bear attack errors. UA’s lead grew to 12-7 after the Cats forced yet another attack error and prompted a Cal timeout. The timeout must have worked as the Bears went on a 10-3 run to make it 17-15. Trailing by two at 22-20, the Wildcats took a brief lead spurred by points from Dosty but Cal was too strong and won the second, 25-23.
Arizona led most of the way in the third set as Dosty rattled home a season set-high 13 kills to lead UA to a 25-22 win. Weber had 17 assists as UA staved off a late rally from the Golden Bears to force another set. The Wildcats notched 20 kills over the set and hit for .425 while limiting its errors to just three.
In the fourth set, both teams remained close early on, with Cal eventually taking a three-point lead at 17-14. After a UA timeout, the Cats closed the gap to 20-19 but a couple attack errors and a kill from Tarah Murray boosted Cal’s advantage to 23-19. The Bears would eventually win the match on a kill from Shannon Hawari to win the set 25-21.
On Sunday, the Wildcats will learn its NCAA Tournament fate, as the Tournament Selection Show will be broadcast at 1 p.m. MST on ESPNews and will unveil the seedings for all 64 postseason teams.