BERKELEY – Cal’s captains came to play in the 2013 season-opener Friday night, and the rest of the Bears followed.
Senior outside hitter Adrienne Gehan had 16 kills and four blocks while sophomore Michelle Neumayr added 10 kills in her college debut as Cal’s women’s volleyball team rolled past Nevada, 25-11, 25-12, 25-20 during the first night of the Cal Molten Classic at Haas Pavilion.
Sophomore middle blocker Lara Vukasovic added eight kills and three blocks for the Bears, who hit .404 as a team.
“I think we did a really good job of staying consistent and playing our game,” said Gehan, a member of the Preseason All-Pac-12 Team. “When you’re passing that well, it’s easy to run an effective offense. We put points together. Across the board, we played really well.”
Freshman libero Maddy Kerr, the daughter of former NBA guard and current television broadcaster Steve Kerr, had 14 digs in her college debut, including a couple spectacular efforts. Kerr is one of three Cal freshmen who were Volleyball Magazine “Fab 50” selections last year.
“We’re getting used to that. It happens every day in practice,” Cal coach Rich Feller said of Kerr. “The team has stopped being amazed. She is very, very good and very confident out there. She didn’t show any nerves. We’re expecting good things from her.”
It was a special night for Neumayr, a former top recruit who missed each of the past two seasons with major knee injuries. Neumayr started and played the entire match.
Despite having not played before this season, Cal’s coaches designated her as a captain, along with Gehan.
“It was just so much fun to be in this environment,” Neumayr said. “I’m just honored to finally be able to put on my Cal jersey and do what I love to do. It really hasn’t set in yet.”
When Neumayr put down a kill to give the Bears a 5-2 lead in the first set, teammate Christina Higgins turned to her and said, “You just got your first kill at Cal.”
“It is really, really exciting to see her out there,” Gehan said. “It’s so nice to have my co-leader out on the court with me. We’re always on the court and we have each other’s back.”
The Cal Molten Classic continues Saturday with the Bears taking on New Mexico State at Noon. In an earlier match Friday, New Mexico State downed Nevada in three sets.