SAN JOSE – The University of California women’s volleyball team lost a disappointing match to host San Jose State, 3-0 (30-21, 30-28, 30-27), Tuesday night at The Event Center on San Jose State’s campus.
The Bears, who had substantial leads during the contest, were led by freshman Mia Jerkov’s 15 kills, while junior outside hitter Leah Young added 11 kills and junior Reena Pardiwala had a team-high 13 digs.
San Jose State’s top hitter was Liz Hudson with 18 kills and the Spartans out hit Cal, .271 to .181.
The Bears (5-10) let the first game slip away. Cal had a 10-8 lead on a Jerkov kill, but had a let down after that and fell behind 21-14 and could never rebound, losing 30-21. Jerkov led the Bears with five kills and Pardiwala had five digs in game one.
Game two was even a worse case of Cal falling apart. The Bears held a 22-12 lead, only to see the Spartans go on a 9-0 run to get within 22-21. From there the two teams were tied six times, before San Jose State’s Brianna Blair’s service ace gave the Spartans (16-3) a 28-27 lead. A Cal hitting error gave SJS a 29-27 lead, followed by a Gabrielle Abernathy kill to get the Bears within 29-28, only to see Young’s kill attempt go long to lose the game, 30-28. Jerkov led Cal with six kills in game two.
The Bears did not let a big lead slip away in game three, but still fell 30-27. Cal was down 15-12, but was able to eventually tie the contest, 16-16 on a kill by Abernathy. There were eight more ties before the Bears were able to muster a 26-25 advantage on another kill by Abernathy. San Jose State was able to tie the game at 26-26 when Cal again fell apart, losing points on a missed block attempt and a bad set.
The Spartans had a net call on a block to get the Bears within 28-27, but a bad pass and finally a kill by San Jose State’s Stephanie Pascucci ended the game and the match.
Cal will next return to Pac-10 play, hosting Washington State, Friday, Oct. 19 and Washington, Saturday, Oct. 20. Both matches will begin at 7 p.m. at Haas Pavilion. The Bears will try to avenge earlier loses this season to the Cougars and Huskies, as Cal fell to the two teams, 3-0, Sept. 20 and 21 in Seattle and Pullman.