After a close two sets, the No. 4 Cal volleyball team ripped Friday night’s match wide open in the third frame to sweep No. 15 Oregon, 25-23, 25-22, 25-12.
Before a record crowd of 6,210 fans in Matthew Knight Arena in Eugene, Ore., the Bears (16-2, 6-2 in the Pac-12) came out of the break on fire to start the third frame with a 6-0 run. The Ducks (12-3, 5-2) were never able to recover as Cal cruised to victory.
The Bears’ defense held Oregon to a season-low .042 overall hitting percentage. Middle hitter Shannon Hawari contributed eight of Cal’s 18 blocks on the night, while libero Robin Rostratter logged 24 digs.
The Bears dominated the stats sheet, though Oregon held a 5-0 advantage in aces.
Senior outside hitter Tarah Murrey shouldered the load for the Cal’s offense, posting 19 kills for a .340 attack rate. The All-American also logged 15 digs and 5 blocks.
Nine of Murrey’s kills came in the contentious first set alone. The frame featured 13 ties, but the Bears were finally able to emerge from a 23-all score to take the set.
The second stanza was also tight, but Cal had more of an advantage as it neared the 25-point mark. The Bears held a 22-18 lead after a block by Correy Johnson and Kat Brown, but the Ducks wouldn’t go away. After three failed attempts to secure the set, Cal finally closed Oregon out a 25-22 win to lead the match, 2-0.
In the third set, however, it was all Cal. The Bears never relented, building a 21-8 lead before taking the set, 25-12.
Cal has Saturday off before Sunday’s tilt at Oregon State in Corvallis, Ore. The Beavers (11-6, 3-4) took the first set from No. 7 Stanford on Friday night, but ultimately fell, 22-25, 25-23, 25-17, 25-16. Sunday’s first serve at Gill Coliseum is set for 1 p.m.
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