With the loss, Saint Mary's drops to 5-5 while Cal improves to 6-3.
Kristina Graven led the Gaels with 17 kills and 16 digs while Gabby Jolly added 14 kills on .417 hitting and eight blocks. Jordan Shaw just missed a double-double with nine kills and 14 digs. Sarah Reams had 17 digs and was one of a trio of Gaels with two aces (Dalas Dodd, Shaw).
Cal was led by Adrienne Gehan with 18 kills while Correy Johnson added 16 kills.
The first set was close throughout as the Gaels took the first two point lead of the night at 10-8 after a Jolly and Samantha Tinsley block. The Gaels later took a 23-22 lead on a Jolly kill. Cal scored the next two points but Shaw had an answer to tie the set at 24-24. Cal would score the next two points on a kill and block at 26-24.
The Gaels outhit the Golden Bears .282 - .075 in the second set Cal jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the set, only to be outscored 25-10 the rest of the way. The Gaels quickly tied up the set at 8-8 and later at 10-10. Cal only trailed 16-14, but SMC ended the set on a big 9-2 run, capped by a Shaw ace at 25-16.
Cal took a 13-8 lead in the third set, only to see the Gaels storm back to tie it and take a 15-14 lead after a Tinsley kill. The next two point lead would come at 21-19 Cal after an SMC error. SMC tied it up at 21-21, but it was the Golden Bears coming out on top, scoring the final point on a Johnson kill after the Gaels came within one point.
It was the Gaels jumping out to an 8-2 lead in the fourth set, only to see Cal tie it up at 9-9. Saint Mary's took a 19-18 lead after a Jolly kill, but Cal scored seven of the next eight points to cruise to the win at 25-20.
Saint Mary's is back in action on Saturday night for its 2012 home opener against No. 7 Stanford. First serve is set for 7:00 p.m. in McKeon Pavilion.