In its fourth match against a top-five team in six matches, the Arizona volleyball team (13-7, 5-7) fell to No. 2 California (21-2, 11-2), 3-0, (27-25, 25-23, 27-25) Saturday night at McKale Center.
Freshman Chloe Mathis (La Jolla, Calif.) recorded her second double-double of the season with 29 assists and 10 digs.
Two additional players recorded double-digit digs for the Wildcats with sophomore Emily Helm’s (Queen Creek, Ariz.) 11, and sophomore Candace Nicholson’s (Long Beach, Calif.) 10.
Freshman Taylor Arizobal (Dana Hills,Calif.) had a career-high seven blocks and senior Courtney Karst (Centennial, Colo.) posted a team-high 10 kills for Arizona.
“Courtney really struggled early and I really got on her,” Arizona head coach David Rubio said. “But then, she turned it around and I was really proud of how she finished the game. She kept grinding and never got discouraged and that's the mark of a champion."
Arizona stormed out to a 9-1 lead to start the match, but California went on a 4-0 run and a 5-0 run and eventually tied the score at 20. The Wildcats had the edge at 23-21, but the Bears scored two-consecutive points to tie the score at 23. The teams went point-for-point after that, but California came out on top, 27-25.
In the second set, the Wildcats and Bears tied seven times before California pulled away with a series of short runs to go up 22-17. Arizona then came back and tied the score at 22, but the Bears were victorious in set two, 25-23.
The third set was much of the same, as both teams stayed within three points for the entirety of the set. The teams tied at 23, but the Bears gave the Wildcats déjà vu and took set three, 27-25.
“We couldn't do anything right tonight and I don't know why,” Rubio said. “We couldn't tie our shoes right tonight. Seven days ago, I told the team I had never been prouder of their effort. Seven days later I've never been more disappointed."
Lillian Schonewise and Shannon Hawari led California with 12 kills each and Erin Freeman added 10 digs.
Next weekend, the Wildcats will hit the road to take on the Washington schools. They will play Washington State on Friday, Oct. 28 at 7 p.m. and will travel to Seattle to face No. 7 Washington at 12 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 30.
For complete results and continued coverage of Arizona Wildcat Volleyball, visit ArizonaWildcats.com.