CM – Bears are scared of Arizona, ASU during Halloween weekend


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Last scary weekend, the Bears traveled to Arizona to scare the skin off the bones of ASU and Arizona. Unfortunately, Cal walked away with no scares, tricks or treats, taking his 11th and 12th losses in the Pac-12 conference.

The Bears fought the Sun Devils on October 29 at the Desert Financial Arena, but fought against the wild game of the team and lost 3-0. The Bears have had a tough time at the conference, but junior full-back Leah Schmidt believes her losing streak has the potential to change.

« We have the talent, but we’re having a hard time figuring out what. » makes clicks for us. If we find it, we can start winning games and hopefully get out of this losing streak, « said Schmidt.

Hopefully future games will prove to be an escape from their losing streak, but as of now, the Arizona bears’ losses must be motivators for such a reality to materialize. ASU opened the first set strongly, leading 6-1 with an ace from junior outside hitter Iman Isanovic. But the game’s Sun Devil star belongs to newbie outside hitter Geli Cyr. The young player led her team well, hitting a career high of 14 kills with a hit rate of .385 while also adding six digs.

Cyr fought hard against Cal, scoring six kills in the first set alone. Eventually the Sun Devils brought the score to 20-11, but Schmidt added three kills in the first frame to come back. Shortly thereafter, however, ASU ended the match with another kill from Isanovic and ended the first set with 25-15.

The second set began with a 6-0 run by the second underdog of the Sun Devils, Marta Levinska. Cal senior libero Darian Clark responded, serving four aces in a row, giving the bears a temporary 8-7 lead. But eventually, successive blocks and kills gave middle blocker Claire Jeter her second set win in ASU’s sophomore year. Cal improved slightly from the first set and finished the match with three more points, but still lost 25:18.

The third set didn’t start with a big Sun Devil lead like in the two previous sets. After a second-year kill alongside Sam Taumoepeau, Cal was actually tied with five points. After an 8-0 run by ASU, however, the gap soon widened dramatically and brought the team to 15: 6. The third set finally ended at 25:17 and added another win to ASU’s now four-game winning streak.

Two days later, on Halloween, Cal fought Arizona, where the match began with the dominance of Wildcat.

Arizona led the first set with a 6-0 run, but Schmidt had some tricks to playing against the team and soon responded with back-to-back kills to bring the gap to 12-7. Schmidt, a strong force in both games, played particularly well against the Arizona teams and her attitude towards the game showed her performance.

“I went into the games with a pretty positive attitude and intense focus. The fact that we have nothing to lose enables me to go up to these games and play hard, ”said Schmidt.

If the bears adopt the Schmidt mentality, who scored a total of 17 kills in both games, will results in future games may be different.

Cal eventually lost the first set by 25-15, and a few star players from Arizona made it happen. Freshman to Puk Stubbe, sophomore outside hitter Sofia Maldonado Diaz and senior middle blocker Merle Weidt of the Wildcats each walked away with four kills from the first set.

After losing so dramatically in the first set, blue and gold were determined to play differently in the second movement. Even though Stubbe went wild again in the second set, leading Arizona with seven kills, the Bears kept the score relatively close for most of the set. But despite the strong game of the Bears, who even managed to finish the game at the age of 24, the team lost 26:24 in the end.

The Wildcats finished the third and last set of the game at 25:18 and completed the one Sweep over Cal. Stubbe had another win alongside the blue and gold sweep and walked away with a career high of 17 kills with a hit rate of 0.517.

In a match of fear or fear, the Bears lost to the two Arizona teams. But as Schmidt said, maybe the future looks bright for the team when it comes to figuring out what makes them click.

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