CORVALLIS, Ore. – Lila Toner tallied a team-best 20 kills and Becky Defoe posted 20 digs but the Oregon State volleyball team was edged in four sets by No. 20 California Thursday night at Gill Coliseum.
Set scores were 20-25, 25-23, 17-25 and 21-25.
“The key in this match was that our hitting took a turn for the worse in the third and fourth sets,” Oregon State head coach Taras Liskevych said. “We were attacking well but we have to sustain that outside attacking. We scrambled very well.
“I have to give my team credit. They keep fighting hard. It’s tough to be in the situation we’re in but we’re fighting hard. These are all good teams we’re playing. Cal is ranked 20th in the nation.”
Toner finished one kill shy of tying her season-best with the 20-kill performance on Thursday night. The freshman posted a match-high 48 attacks and had six digs and two blocks – one solo. She was especially strong on the attack in the Beavers’ (9-17 overall, 0-15 Pac-12 Conference) second-set victory where she finished with eight of the team’s 18 kills.
Toner was followed closely by Laura Schaudt, who had 12 kills to go along with five digs, and Sara Almen, who pitched in with 11.
As a team, the Beavers finished with a .181 hitting percentage with Cal tallying a .324 mark. Oregon State hit .216 and .275 in the first two sets, respectively, but dropped to .108 and .122 in the final two. The Golden Bears, meanwhile, were held to .244 in the first set but moved to .353, .407 and .324 in sets two, three and four.
Adrienne Gehan led the Golden Bears with 14 kills. Lara Vukasovic had 13 and seven blocks.
Defoe’s 20 digs led the Beavers as Oregon State out-dug the Bears, 65-to-51. OSU also out-killed Cal, 61-to-56, and finished with six more assists, 58-to-52, as Tayla Woods tallied 54. But Cal had a distinct advantage at the next, posting 17 blocks to the Beavers’ six. OSU had just one block in the final two sets while Cal posted 10.
Outside of set three, when Cal scored eight of the frame’s 12 final points, neither team was able to gain much distance in the match. The teams traded leads six times with 22 total tie scores, including 10 in set two.
The Beavers stay home for a match Saturday night against No. 6 Stanford, which starts at 7 p.m. PT. Fans are encouraged to be in their seats at Gill Coliseum by 6:45 p.m. in order to help the Beavers honor Becky Defoe as part of Senior Night.
For more information on the Oregon State volleyball team, follow the club’s official Twitter account at Twitter.com/BeavsVolleyball or by Facebook at Facebook.com/OregonStateVolleyball.