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Cal Volleyball Update: Golden Bears Dominate Aggies In NCAA First Round


via (via Cal Volleyball Facebook)

The Golden Bears won impressively, sweeping in straight sets 25-15, 25-11, 25-20. Utah State took a 4-3 lead in the first set and never led again. Cal nearly doubled Utah State in kills (49 to 26), digs (60 to 36) and blocks (23 to 12), and shut down their attacking ability (.342 for Cal, only 0.006 for the Aggies). It was complete domination for Cal, who will move onto the second round to face North Carolina Saturday night at 6 PM PT at Haas Pavilion.

Carli Lloyd had 35 assists (standard) and 14 digs to lead the team (unorthodox). Tarah Murrey was her usual dominant self, serving up 19 kills with a .463 attack percentage, adding eight digs and three blocks. Adrienne Gehan added 11 kills and three digs, and Shannon Hawari had eight kills and blocks each. Kat Brown had five kills, five digs, three blocks. Robin Rostratter and Meagan Schmitt combined for 23 more digs.

The Bears will have to prepare for the Tar Heels, who beat Ole Miss in four sets. GO BEARS!

After the jump, links to the video replay, stats, the live chat transcript, and a Carli Lloyd feature.

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Video replay: Click here

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Live chat: Click here

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In case you haven't followed the Golden Bears this season, here's some food for thought.

The Bears hold several distinguished statistical positions nationally. The Bears are third in the country in hitting percentage (.308) and in blocks (3.02 bps), seventh in assists (13.68 aps) and ninth in kills (14.53 kps). Among nationally notable individuals, junior outside hitter Tarah Murrey ranks third in kills (5.18 kps) and fourth in points (5.76 pps). Sophomore middle hitter Shannon Hawari is sixth in the nation in hitting percentage (.423). Senior setter Carli Lloyd ranks 12th in assists (11.72 aps) and sophomore middle Kat Brown is 14th in blocks (1.37 bps).

More on Carli Lloyd after the jump.

Daily Cal wrote up this excellent feature on Carli Lloyd.

In her first team meeting freshman year, the players set goals for the season. Coming off a surprising sweet 16 appearance the previous year, the team's objective was to make it one step further: to the elite eight. 

"I was like, 'set the goal higher,'" Lloyd says.

She put up 1,550 assists that season, none bigger than the one at match point in the elite eight against Nebraska. Lloyd's perfectly placed set to outside hitter Angie Pressey for the match-clinching kill sent Cal to the final four.

"That probably still goes back as one of the biggest memories," coach Rich Feller says.

Since then the Bonsall, Calif., native has been named All-Pac-10 first team twice, AVCA Second-Team All-American twice and Pac-10 Player of the Week three times.

This season she has led the Bears to their first Pac-10 Championship in program history, not to mention Cal's first season sweep of Stanford in 31 years.

That's nothing to what a national championship would mean to Lloyd.

"How do you put words to that?" she asks with complete seriousness, even pausing for emphasis. "If we won a national championship, I feel like my life would be over. I would've gotten everything I wanted."