Cal Volleyball: Bears Fall to Stanford for 15th Straight Time
No. 21 Cal won the first set against top-ranked Stanford, but could not complete the task as the Cardinal knocked off Cal 3-1 in women’s volleyball before a crowd of 4,178 at Cal’s Haas Pavilion Thursday night.
It was the Cardinal’s 15th straight win over Cal, which suffered its first loss of the season by scores of 20-25, 25-17, 27-25, 25-19.
The crowd was the second-largest ever for a Cal home match and was just 11 shy of the record.
By winning the first set the Bears (10-1) at least ended a run of 18 consecutive sets lost to Stanford dating back to the 2016 season.
"First, I want to say thank you to the entire Cal family for showing amazing support throughout the match, I'm speechless," Cal head coach Sam Crosson said. "It was the students, alumni, the band, supporters of the program, locals who just wanted to see what Cal volleyball was about, everyone. It was a rockin' atmosphere tonight and I can only say thank you. It was as loud as I've ever heard it in here.
"We're getting there in terms of our belief, and that's something we talked about after the match. We were close to going five tonight and then who knows from there. I thought out of all our preseason matches we seemed more tentative from the service line tonight. We hit the net a bit too much tonight and that tells me we were trying to be too perfect. I think heading into Saturday we need to get back to being more consistent in terms of being fearless. We need to go out there with that mentality on Saturday (against Washington State)."
Stanford improved to 7-2 overall, 1-0 in the Pac-12, while Cal is 10-1 after losing its conference opener.
Preslie Anderson led Cal with 11 kills while Maddie Hayne had 19 kills and 16.5 points. But the Bears could not handle Kathryn Plummer, a two-time national player of the year who had 22 kills. Jenna Gray had 48 assists for Stanford.
The turning point was the tight third set. Cal had a 13-11 lead in that set, and after Stanford tied it, neither team led by more than a point until the clinching point. Cal never had a set point, but saved two set points before Stanford converted the third.
Cal led the fourth set 5-2, but the Cardinal dominated the rest of the way. Plummer finished the match with her final kill.