Cal Volleyball Upset By North Carolina In First Round

UPDATE: Avinash with the recap here.

The Bears opened the tournament against North Carolina, and didn't look good at all, losing 17-25, 25-16, 25-23, 17-25, 9-15. All the problems Cal has struggled with all season came home to roost on Thursday night--average digging, poor passing to set up the setting, and when passing was good, poor setting to set up the kills. Cal was outblocked by a team that was generally much smaller than them and North Carolina played with spirit and fire. Carli Lloyd was missed all season, and definitely tonight--her fundamentals and leadership would've turned this team into national champion contenders. Instead they'll have to retool and rebuild for next year.

This is a bittersweet ending for Tarah Murrey, who will finish her career at Cal with one of the most storied careers in Cal volleyball history. Murrey was unstoppable last season as Lloyd's partner-in-crime, and she still had some dominant stretches despite less-than-wonderful passing to lead Cal to a top ten finish this season and (briefly) a number one ranking.

Rich Feller and Cal have a lot of retooling to do before 2012. There's a lot of talent coming back, but the fundamentals definitely need to improve, and someone will have to lead these Bears.

Follow Cal volleyball on Twitter and Facebook. GO BEARS!

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