BERKELEY, Calif. – Utah State’s volleyball team saw its 2010 season come to a close here Friday in the first round of the NCAA Tournament against seventh-seeded and fourth-ranked California in three sets (25-15, 25-11, 25-20). Utah State, who was making its fourth-ever NCAA Tournament appearance, ends its season with a 24-9 record. Those 24 wins for the Aggies are the seventh-most in school history and the most since the 1982 team finished with a 28-19 mark. Senior middle blocker Shantell Durrant (American Fork, Utah) led Utah State with seven kills and six blocks, while hitting .545 (7-1-11). Senior setter Chelsea Fowles (Hollister, Calif.) added six kills, six digs and three blocks, and hit .500 (6-0-12), and senior libero Christine Morrill (Neola, Utah) had a match-high 16 digs. Tarah Murrey had 19 kills and eight digs for California and hit .463 (19-0-41) in the match. California used a 7-2 run in the first set to break a 6-6 tie en route to its 10-point win. Cal hit .379 (14-3-29) in the first set and Utah State hit .062 (9-7-32). California carried its momentum into the second set scoring the first four points and leading 8-1 early on as it coasted to the 25-11 win. The Bears hit .326 (17-3-43) in the second set as compared to a negative .023 (5-6-43) hitting percentage for the Aggies. Utah State continued to fight in the third set as it forced six ties before California used an 8-1 run to turn a 12-12 tie into a 20-13 lead and the Bears went on to post the five-point win. Cal hit .333 (18-5-39) in the final set and Utah State hit .143 (12-6-42). California finished the match with a .342 (49-11-111) hitting percentage and Utah State hit a season-low .060 (26-19-117). Cal also had 21 more digs (60-39) and six more team blocks (12-6), while both teams had three service aces and USU had two fewer service errors (6-4). -USU-
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