After No. 5 Stanford and No. 2 UCLA were upset earlier in the evening, the No. 3 Cal volleyball team must have figured it needed to follow suit.
The Bears (25-5, 15-5 in the Pac-12) inexplicably fell to Oregon State 3-2 (22-25, 23-25, 21-25, 25-14, 15-17) Friday night in front of a sparse crowd at Haas Pavilion.
The Beavers (15-14, 7-12) used a nice one-two punch from Camille Saxton and Arica Nassar, who finished with 21 and 17 kills, respectively, and capitalized on a lackluster performance from Cal. The Bears looked out of sorts for the vast majority of the match, committing 26 errors, plagued by inaccurate passing and erratic hitting.
Down 2-1, Cal began to clean up its play and find some rhythm, stringing together series of kills and taking hold of the momentum. Freshman Lillian Schonenwise dominated at the net, accounting for five of the Bears’ final six points in the set — including an emphatic kill to cap off an 11-2 run and knot the match up at two sets a piece.
In the final frame, however, it was back to the subpar play that plagued the Bears in the first four sets. Facing match point at 14-15, junior Correy Johnson laid down a kill on her signature slide play, keeping Cal’s hopes alive. But middle hitter Shannon Hawari then pushed a serve well beyond the end line, and Robin Rostratter couldn’t handle a Beaver kill, sealing Oregon State’s first win over a ranked opponent in 2011.
Schonewise’s was a bright spot for the Bears, however. The Papillion, Neb., native finished with 13 kills in 18 attempts with just one error, leading the match with a .667 hitting percentage.
Cal will return to action Saturday night, when the squad takes on No. 15 Oregon at 7 p.m. at Haas Pavilion.