Hilton Garden Inn Invitational Thursday, Sept. 12 4:30 p.m. PT - Kansas State (6-0) vs. Santa Clara (3-3) 7 p.m. PT - Cal Poly (4-2) vs. No. 23 Cal (5-0) Haas Pavilion - Berkeley, Calif. Coverage: Live Video (Cal match only), Live Stats, Twitter Cal All-Time Series vs. the Mustangs: 9-6 Last meeting: W, 3-1 (9-14-2008)
Friday, Sept. 13 4:30 p.m. PT - Cal Poly vs. Kansas State 7 p.m. PT - Santa Clara vs. No. 23 Cal Haas Pavilion - Berkeley, Calif. Coverage: Live Video (Cal match only), Live Stats, Twitter Cal All-Time Series vs. the Broncos: 31-7 Last Meeting: W, 3-0 (9-14-2007)
Saturday, Sept. 14 1 p.m. PT - Kansas State vs. No. 23 Cal Haas Pavilion - Berkeley, Calif. Coverage: Live Video, Live Stats, Twitter Cal All-Time Series vs. the Wildcats: 1-0 Last Meeting: W, 3-0 (9-3-2004) 2 p.m. PT - Cal Poly vs. Santa Clara Leavey Center - Santa Clara, Calif.
BERKELEY - The newly ranked Cal women’s volleyball team hosts its second tournament of the season when it welcomes Cal Poly, Santa Clara and Kansas State to Berkeley for the Hilton Garden Inn Invitational. The three-day event will feature two matches on Thursday and Friday and one on Saturday afternoon. The Bears are off to a 5-0 start to the season and have yet to drop a set. Cal is ranked No. 23 in this week’s AVCA Coaches Top 25.
Following The Bears All Cal matches during the Hilton Garden Inn Invitational will be streamed live for free on CalBears.com. Real-time live stats for all matches during the tournament are available by accessing the volleyball schedule page on CalBears.com. .
Social Studies Follow the Bears through social media all season in a variety of ways. Real-time match updates, links and other content is available by following Cal Volleyball on Twitter. The Cal Volleyball Facebook Page also has extensive content about the team on and off the court. And join the Bears ride this season through a camera lens at the Cal Volleyball page on Instagram.
Bears Back In The National Rankings Cal is ranked No. 23 in this week’s AVCA Top 25, marking the first time the Bears have been ranked since they were No. 25 in the Aug. 27 poll last year. When Cal dropped out of the rankings the following week, it marked the first time they weren’t in the poll since the final rankings of the 2002 season. Cal was ranked No. 24 in the 2003 preseason poll and remained in the top 25 every week until Sept. 4, 2012.
Efficient Offense Paces Bears Cal’s coaching staff placed an extra emphasis on passing during training camp, and it appears to be paying off. Pinpoint passing has been one of the primary reasons the Bears are ranked fourth in the country with a .336 hitting percentage. Senior setter Joan Caloiaro is running a precise offense and Cal’s hitters are benefitting. Senior outside hitter Adrienne Gehan ranks third in the Pac-12 and No. 23 nationally with 4.33 kills per set, and she’s doing so with a .385 hitting percentge. Middle blocker Lara Vukasovic is fifth in the conference with a .437 hitting percentage.
Bears Win Bluejay Invitational Cal swept all three of its opponents last weekend, including then-No. 19 Creighton on its home floor, to win the Bluejay Invitational Championship in Omaha, Neb. Senior outside hitter Adrienne Gehan was named tournament MVP after averaging 4.33 kills per set and hitting for a .341 percentage. Senior setter Joan Caloiaro and sophomore middle blocker Lara Vukasovic were named to the Bluejay Invitational All-Tournament Team.
Feller Nears 600-Win Mark Cal head coach Rich Feller needs just 13 wins to become the 15th active coach to reach the 600-win mark in his career. Feller, who is in his 15th season leading the Bears, has amassed a career record of 587-320 in 29 years of coaching overall. Feller spent the first 14 years of his career as the head coach at Colorado State. Feller entered the season ranked 17th among active coaches in career wins. Sam Houston State coach Brenda Gray needs just two more victories to reach the 600-win plateau.
Gehan Greatness Senior outside hitter Adrienne Gehan is playing like an All-American through the first two weeks of the season. Gehan has been named tournament MVP in each of the first two events the Bears have played so far -- the Cal Molten Classic and the Bluejay Invitational. Gehan ranks third in the Pac-12 and 23rd nationally with 4.33 kills per set. She also has a .385 hitting percentage, which is 10th in the country among outside hitters. Gehan also has been one of the Bears’ top back row players, averaging 3.00 digs per set and serving as a primary passer on offense. Gehan was a Preseason All-Pac-12 Team selection this season.
Latest on Lara Sophomore Lara Vukasovic is embracing her new role as a middle blocker. Entering the week, Vukasovic ranks fifth in the Pac-12 and 30th nationally with a .437 hitting percentage. She also averages 1.07 blocks per set, including a career-high seven blocks during last weekend’s win over Northern Colorado in the Bluejay Invitational. Vukasovic was a part-time starter at both outside hitter and opposite hitter last season as a freshman, but is playing middle blocker full time this year.
Michelle Neumayr’s Long Road Back Outside hitter Michelle Neumayr made her long-awaited college debut in the Bears’ season-opener against Nevada on Aug. 30 at the Cal Molten Classic. Neumayr, who was the No. 27 Senior Ace by Prepvolleyball.com at Burlingame High School, tore the ACL in her left knee the summer before her freshman year at Cal. Then after fully recovering, she tore the same ligament last summer. Two surgeries and hours of rehab later, Neumayr is finally on the floor for the first time at Cal. Neumayr was also selected as a team captain this season, along with senior outside hitter Adrienne Gehan.
Cool Caloiaro Senior setter Joan Caloiaro has been extremely efficient leading the Bears’ offense through the first two weeks of the season. She has quarterbacked an offense that ranks fourth in the nation with a .336 hitting percentage and averages 11.07 assists per set, good for fifth in the Pac-12 and 34th nationally. Caloiaro made a seamless transition leading Cal’s offense last season after transferring from San Francisco. She finished 2012 ranked fourth in the Pac-12 with 10.4 assists per set. Caloiaro has a notable volleyball family. Her cousin, Kerri Walsh, is a three-time Olympic gold medalist in beach volleyball.
Freshmen Class Ranked No. 21 Nationally Cal’s six-member recruiting class features three “Fab 50” selections by Volleyball Magazine and was ranked as the No. 21 class in the country by Prepvolleyball.com. Not only were middle blocker Jenelle Jordan, setter Alyssa Jensen and libero Maddy Kerr named to the Fab 50 list, each also was tabbed as a “Senior Ace” by Prepvolleyball.com. Defensive specialists Sarah Cole, Sabrina Blackwell and Katie Curci round out the 2013 recruiting class.
Bears Picked To Finish 7th In Preseason Poll Cal was selected to finish in seventh place in the Pac-12 standings in a preseason vote among the conference’s coaches. The Bears received 59 points in the ballotting, six points behind sixth-place Arizona State and seven ahead of eighth-place Arizona. Stanford was chosen to win the conference championship.
About Cal Poly • Mustangs head coach Sam Crosson was an assistant coach at Cal for two seasons before taking the Cal Poly job. • Cal Poly has already matched its entire win total from last season (4). • The Mustangs won the Sac State Tournament last weekend. Senior outside hitter Megan McConnell was named the tourney MVP.
About Santa Clara • The Broncos have played a tough schedule so far, taking on two top-10 teams last weekend at the Wahine Volleyball Classic in Honolulu. • Santa Clara was able to win a set against both No. 9 Hawaii and No. 10 UCLA. • The Broncos are led by senior middle blocker Megan Anders, who averages 3.25 kills per set at a .343 hitting percentage.
About Kansas State • The Wildcats were scheduled to put their perfect record on the line with a midweek match Tuesday night at home against Tulsa. • The Wildcats received 31 votes in this week’s AVCA Top 25, putting them at No. 31 nationally. • Kansas State has missed the NCAA Tournament just three times since 1996. • Setter Katie Brand was named MVP of last weekend’s Kansas State Invitational.
Next Week The Bears play just once next week, traveling to UC Davis on Thursday for a nonconference match. Cal defensive specialist Sarah Cole attended UC Davis for one year before coming to Cal.
Diggin’ It With Adrienne Gehan Go inside Cal’s volleyball program every week with Adrienne Gehan’s blog, “Diggin’ It With Adrienne Gehan,” on CalBears.com. Every week, Gehan will provide an inside look at everything going on with the program, both on and off the court. From their on-court battles to the locker room to the classroom to road trips, Gehan will pull back the curtain to give fans a closer look at Cal’s volleyball program.
Bears To Get Plenty Of TV Exposure Sixteen of Cal’s 20 conference matches will be televised by the Pac-12 Networks, including all 10 taking place at Haas Pavilion. Each of Cal’s first seven conference matches will be televised, beginning with its Pac-12 opener against Stanford on Sept. 25.
Season Tickets On Sale 2013 season tickets are still on sale and can be purchased by calling (800) GO-BEARS, visiting CalBears.com or at the Athletic Ticket Office at Haas Pavilion. Season tickets include the upcoming Hilton Garden Inn Invitational as well as 10 Pac-12 matches to be played at Haas Pavilion. The cost of season tickets is a 50 percent discount over buying them on a game-by-game basis.
The Cal Leader Board Kills: Adrienne Gehan - 65 (4.33/set) Hitting Percentage: Lara Vukasovic - .437 Assists: Joan Caloiaro - 166 (11.07/set) Blocks: Lillian Schonewise - 18 (1.29/set) Digs: Maddy Kerr - 50 (3.33/set) Service Aces: Joan Caloiaro - 6 (0.40/set)
Bears On Pac-12 Leader Board Hitting Percentage: Lara Vukasovic - .437 (Fifth) Kills per set: Adrienne Gehan - 4.33 (Third) Assists per set: Joan Caloiaro - 11.07 (Fifth) Aces per set: Joan Caloiaro - 0.40 (t-Ninth) Blocks per set: Lillian Schonewise - 1.29 (t-Fifth) Digs per set: Maddy Kerr - 3.33 (Ninth)
Inside The Locker Room “Inside The Locker Room, a new hour-long radio show that features guests from all over Cal Athletics, airs every Wednesday on KGO AM 810. Cal coach Rich Feller was a guest on the first broadcast last week and the volleyball program will be well-represented throughout the fall. Cal football coach Sonny Dykes will appear every week. The show is hosted by Todd McKim.