I posted the previous article about Volleyball thinking I’d post something later in the tournament when the Bears make it near the finish line. I didn’t think I’d have to write something now.
I got home on Thursday at around 6:45. I remembered that Cal Volleyball was playing and I assumed the game was over. Instead I found out not only was Cal up 2-1 in Set 4, North Carolina was actually winning Set 4!
I started watching the stream and the set was close, but North Carolina started going on a run (a 6-0 run to be exact) and the Bears looked helpless to stop it. Eventually the set was won by UNC 25-17.
It was not pretty for Cal, who seemed unable to set up any good kills. There were some times when the ball went far out of play (and offscreen) only for a UNC player to hustle and put the ball back in play. Cal was unable to pull any of these off on their own, and were often losing on simple spike plays that I’ve seen them defend so well in the past.
There was no doubt who was going to win the fifth set once UNC raced off to a huge lead. It was 6-1 at one point and Cal tried their best to cut the lead but with the fifth set only requiring 15 points, it was an uphill battle and Cal was never able to get the lead to less than two. Eventually the season came to a close with a stunning loss to the TarHeels. And how sad was it to see one of the final kills in the game being made by Tia Geffen, who played her freshmen year at Cal last year before transferring east?
It was supposed to be a promising tournament for Cal, but ultimately the team showed glimpses of the team that lost their final four home games, rather than the team that swept Washington and Stanford. Some people speculate that the team couldn’t overcome losing their leader Carli Lloyd to graduation after all, but that doesn’t explain why the team could look so good at a lot of points (being ranked #1 for most of nonconference play) and so average at other points.
some quotes courtesy of calbears.com
"Rich Feller:“Obviously we are extremely disappointed … There were a lot of factors. I don’t think we played our best match by a long shot. I have to give North Carolina a lot of credit. They played hard, they played with abandon. They made a lot of good things happened and put a lot of pressure on us. Certainly this is not the outcome we wanted or expected, but we got beat tonight by a very good team.”"
Tarah Murrey (who’s Cal career is over):
"“It is an experience I will never forget. I love these girls. I have loved every minute I have had with this team. It is very disappointing for it to end this way.”Robin Rostratter:“At this point everybody wants it. Whoever performs the best gets it. We learned we not only have to work hard but we have to show up to practice every day and show actual improvement so when we get out on the court we can show our skills and play at the best level we can.”"
Golden Bear Lair will have some offseason reports in the spring regarding recruiting and training.