Beavers’ hard-fought battle ends in defeat

Aliyah McDonald (#5) and Megan Sheridan (#21) block an attack on Oct. 22, 2023 from the California Bears in Gill Coliseum.
Aliyah McDonald (#5) and Megan Sheridan (#21) block an attack on Oct. 22, 2023 from the California Bears in Gill Coliseum.
Maya Kirschenbaum

The California Golden Bears secured their first five-set win this season, as they beat the Oregon State Beavers 3-2 on Sunday at Gill Coliseum. 

Disregarding the loss, Beaver defensive specialist Keira Herron secured a career-high in digs in the game, accumulating 18 over the five-set match.

“I was super psyched. I didn’t even realize that I had so many digs,” Herron said.

“I think you know as the rallies go on, you just pick up balls, everyone was picking up balls, we probably had a career-high in team digs.”

Herron was indeed correct, the Beavers dug 89 balls today, which was the highest of the season. This defensive clinic was led by Ryan White who had 20 digs on the day. 

“We have really good communication, we know where each other is, there was one ball where I think we had both hands together and got it up, ” Herron said about her relationship with White.

Set one seemed closer than it was. The Beavers controlled the entire set from the first serve, starting it off with a 3-0 lead and never giving it up. The Golden Bears tried clawing back into it, but it was too little too late as the Beavers finished them off 25-17.

Mychael Vernon led the way with eight kills in the first set, which paved the way for the most kills she has gotten since Sept. 9 with 23.

Set two was the exact opposite of set one, as Cal led from the start and didn’t look back. The Beavers closed the gap to five when the score was 11-16, but the Golden Bears didn’t allow another point, going on to win the set 25-11.

The closest set so far, as set three was back and forth, with teams trading points left and right for the entire set. The Beavers rallied to take this set with the final score being 25-21.

Set four was another back-and-forth set, but Cal ultimately took the lead early and didn’t give it back up after the constant onslaught from the Beaver offense. 

The Golden Bears took this set 25-21 to force a set five, which has been a struggle for them, as they have not been able to win the fifth set this season.

Unfortunately for the Beavers, the Golden Bears secured their first win in five sets on the season, taking it 15-13. This fifth set had five ties and two lead changes as both teams were fighting to win.

Even with the loss, another player saw career numbers in Amanda Burns. She secured a career-high in assists, notching 36 on the game. Her previous high was 33.

The Golden Bears travel to Tucson to face the Arizona State Sun Devils on Friday, Oct. 27.

Oregon State leaves home for the first time in a few weeks, as they travel north to face the Washington Huskies in Seattle on Friday, Oct. 27 at 7 p.m.

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