Just back from onight's Cal-ASU upset at Haas Pavilion, which can best be likened to "Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events." For the Bears, the match had "a bad beginning," "the penultimate peril" and, finally, "the end." Just like the titles of three Lemony Snicket books.
It's unfortunate that Cal (24-3, 14-3 Pac-10) lost to an inferior team in ASU (13-17, 7-10), but one which had nothing to lose and everything to gain. The Sun Devils never gave up and took advantage of several miscues by the Bears throughout, including service errors, rotation errors and poor hitting.
Although Cal posted a .246 hitting percentage (71 k, 23 e, 195 att) and held ASU to a .201 rate (64 k, 24 e, 199 att), it was the Bears' first loss when hitting at a higher percentage than their opponent. Cal's best percentage hitter was Shannon Hawari (14 k, 2 e, 20 att), who hit .600. Tarah Murrey was held to only .176 (21 k, 9 e, 68 att).
One of the key stats of the match, however, was Cal was outblocked by ASU 16-11.
It was one of those nights that I'm sure the Bears would just soon forget ~ and the fans, too ~ and come back out ready to play on Seniors Day Friday afternoon against Arizona. There's still a lot a stake and a lot to play for ~ a chance to tie for the conference title, and, hopefully, a respectable seed in the NCAA Tournament.
This year's Cal team has bounced back from defeats before to put together some impressive win streaks. I'm confident they can bounce back, again.