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Cats Fall in Five Set Heartbreaker
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 09/24/2010
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Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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Sept. 24, 2010

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TUCSON, Ariz. - Opening the Pac-10 schedule at home against No. 8 California, UA looked to be in control of things, up 2-0.  Looks can be deceiving however as the Bears pulled themselves out of the hole, took sets three and four, and hung on in the fifth set to end the Wildcats' upset bid.

 

Tiffany Owens led the way for Arizona (0-1, 10-3) offensively tonight as she tallied 25 kills on .351 hitting and posted 13 digs.  Paige Weber had 61 assists and eight digs.

 

"Well it was a cat-mouse game at the beginning," said head coach David Rubio. "They won the war of adjustments.  In games three and four they made their setter Carli (Lloyd) an attacker. Their left side hitters were hitting cross court and we didn't do a good job of adjusting. We just didn't have enough offense."

 

The turning point of the match occurred with Arizona leading 24-18 in set two, looking to take the comfortable 2-0 lead.  The Cats would in fact win the set, albeit by way of an error, but not before Cal ripped off five straight points and gained confidence heading into intermission.

 

The Bears, with that momentum, went on to win the third set, 26-24 and the fourth, 25-22.Now, with the match knotted at two sets apiece, the Cats did their best to put behind the mental lapses on focus on the fifth game. 

 

Play teetered back-and-forth with UA gaining the edge, only to see Cal come right back and vice versa.  Receiving fan support from the season-high 1,867 in attendance at McKale Center, UA hung tough with the touted Bears. 

 

Arizona managed to pulled ahead 14-13 in the deciding set and was serving for the match, but Weber committed a service error which lifted Cal spirits.  After Cal's Tarah Murrey and UA's Owens exchanged kills, the Bears picked up a block from Correy Johnson followed by another kill from Murrey to win the set 17-15 and match 3-2.

 

"Tonight is our fault," added Rubio.  "We were up and let them come back.  We need to do a better job of taking responsibility." 

 

The five set loss is Arizona's second defeat after leading 2-0 in the match. 

 

The Cats will be back in action Sunday afternoon as they host No. 1 Stanford at 1 p.m.

 

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