Oct. 29, 2001
A LOOK AT THE GOLDEN BEARS
A young but talented California women's basketball team tips off the 2001-02 season with the first of two exhibition games Sunday, Nov. 4 against a Bay Area Pro Am team at Haas Pavilion. Game time is at 2 p.m.
The Bay Area Pro-Am team features former Cal player Eliza Sokolowska (1994-96). Former Cal assistant coach Ronalda Smitherman (1999-00) is one of the coaches of the local team.
The Golden Bears also entertain KSC Szekszard, a club team from Hungary, Monday, Nov. 12, at 7 p.m. before their regular season opener Sunday, Nov. 18, at home against San Diego State. Tip-off against the Aztecs is at 2 p.m.
The Bears' schedule is conducive to the make-up of the team. After playing seven of 10 non-conference games on the road last season, six of their nine non-league games are at Haas Pavilion this year.
Senior Ami Forney will be looked towards for leadership this season as the only returning starter and one of only two seniors on the team. The 6-2 forward/center is Cal's top returner for points (10.0 ppg), rebounds (7.9 rpg), steals (1.2 spg), blocked shots (0.6 bpg) and FG percentage (.481).
This year's squad also features five other returning letterwinners but only junior forward Amber White and sophomore guard LaTasha O'Keith saw significant playing time last season. Both were reserves last year but are tabbed to start this season.
Nine members of Cal's 16-player roster are newcomers. The top prospects are 21-year-old sophomore center Olga Volkova, freshman guard Jackie Lord and freshman forward Leigh Gregory. Lord and Volkova are both recovering from torn ACLs. Volkova is cleared to play in games, and Lord is hoping to be cleared by Dec. 1
Horstmeyer has been encouraged by the progress her entire team has made in the weight room during the off-season. She will utilize the exhibition games to get a clearer picture of her depth chart.
The team looks to build on last year's 12-16 overall record and 8-10 Pac-10 mark. The eight conference wins were the most by a Cal team since the 1992-93 season. The Bears also ended 15-game losing streaks to Stanford and Oregon last year and posted their first five-game Pac-10 winning streak since 1986-87.