Wednesday, Oct. 16 7:30 p.m. PT - Cal (10-5, 3-3 Pac-12) at No. 6 Washington (13-1, 5-1) Alaska Airlines Arena - Seattle, Wash. Coverage: Pac-12 Networks, Live Audio, Live Stats, Twitter Cal All-Time Series vs. the Huskies: 29-31 Last meeting: L, 3-2 (11-7-2012)
Saturday, Oct. 19 7 p.m. PT - Cal at Washington State (15-4, 2-4) Bohler Gym - Pullman, Wash. Coverage: Live Audio, Live Video, Live Stats, Twitter Cal All-Time Series vs. the Cougars: 38-22 Last meeting: W, 3-1 (11-8-2012)
BERKELEY - Cal’s women’s volleyball team will look to separate itself from the middle of the Pac-12 Conference when it travels to the Pacific Northwest this week to take on the Washington schools. The Bears, who are in a five-way tie for fourth place in the conference standings, first visit No. 6 Washington on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. and then travel to Washington State for a match Saturday at 7 p.m.
Following The Bears Wednesday’s match will be televised nationally by the Pac-12 Networks. Live online play-by-play audio will also be provided for both matches this week with Cal Assistant Athletic Communications Director Jonathan Okanes on the microphone. The Pac-12 also is providing a live video stream of Saturday’s match against Washington State. Finally, real-time live stats are also available on the volleyball schedule page at 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.
Catching Up With The Bears The Bears split a pair of Pac-12 matches at home last week, first sweeping Colorado in three sets on Wednesday and then falling in four sets to Utah on Sunday. Against the Buffaloes, the Bears got 15 kills from senior outside hitter Adrienne Gehan and held Colorado to just a .144 hitting percentage. The Buffs entered the match as the talk of the Pac-12 after upsetting then-No. 1 Washington. The Bears and Utes split the first two sets Sunday before Utah pulled away.
Gehan Greatness Senior outside hitter Adrienne Gehan is an early-season contender for Pac-12 Player of the Year honors. The senior from Dallas, Texas ranks third in the conference and 19th nationally with 4.42 kills per set and is hitting a respectable .273 for the season. Gehan also averages 2.90 digs per set and has been one of the Bears’ primary passers in an offense hitting .282, which is fourth in the Pac-12 and tied for 12th in the country. Gehan was named tournament MVP of the Cal Molten Classic and the Bluejay Invitational.
Higgins Does It The Right Way Christina Higgins moved from outside hitter to the right side this season, and she is thriving in her new role. The junior from Inglewood, Calif. is averaging 3.11 kills per set and has a .321 hitting percentage. Higgins had arguably the best weekend of her career two weeks ago in Los Angeles. In the Bears’ sweep of then-No. 16 UCLA, she had 18 kills and hit .500. She had 15 kills and hit .345 in the five-set loss at then-No. 2 USC, including three kills in a row that tied the fifth set up at 13-13.
Feller Nears 600-Win Mark Cal head coach Rich Feller needs just eight wins to become the 17th active coach and 28th in Division I history to reach the career 600-win mark. Feller, who is in his 15th season leading the Bears, has amassed a career record of 592-325 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. American’s Barry Goldberg and Sam Houston State’s Brenda Gray each reached the 600-win mark earlier this season.
Latest on Lara Sophomore Lara Vukasovic is embracing her new role as a middle blocker. Vukasovic enters the week ranked seventh in the Pac-12 with a .374 hitting percentage and is averaging 2.35 kills and 1.08 blocks per set. Vukasovic was named to the All-Tournament Team at the Bluejay Invitational and Hilton Garden Inn Invitational. Vukasovic was a part-time starter at both outside hitter and opposite hitter last season as a freshman.
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 for the 2013 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 half of the season. The transfer from San Francisco has quarterbacked an offense that ranks fourth in the Pac-12 and is tied for 12th in the nation with a .282 hitting percentage and averages 11.69 assists per set, good for third in the Pac-12 and 10th 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.
Pinpoint Passing Fuels Efficient Attack 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 Pac-12 and tied for 12th in the country with a .282 hitting percentage. Senior setter Joan Caloiaro is running a precise offense and Cal’s hitters are benefitting. Middle blocker Lara Vukasovic is seventh in the conference with a .387 hitting percentage.
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 Washington • The Huskies were ranked No. 5 in the AVCA Preseason Top 25, ascended to the No. 1 spot two weeks ago, and now are ranked sixth in the country. • Washington’s only loss of the season came at Colorado on Oct. 4. • The Huskies rank second in the country with 1.98 aces per set and seventh with a .309 hitting percentage. • Junior Krista Vansant, a second team All-American last season, is seventh in the Pac-12 with 3.65 kills per set. •Middle blockers Melanie Wade (5th, .393) and Lianna Sybeldon (9th, .365) each rank among the conference’s top-10 in hitting percentage. • Washington was picked to finish in third place in the Pac-12 preseason coaches poll.
About Washington State • The Cougars defeated then-No. 16 Arizona State in five sets last weekend, their first victory over a rannked opponent in four years. • The Cougars have also lost five-setters in conference play to Utah and Arizona. • Washington St. needs just one win to equal its conference victory total from all of last year.
Next Week The Bears return home to take on the Oregon schools at Haas Pavilion. Cal will first host No. 21 Oregon on Friday night at 6 p.m. The Bears will then welcome Oregon State to town for a Sunday afternoon matchup at 3 p.m. Both matches will be televised by the Pac-12 Networks.
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 during the season, the senior from Dallas, Texas will provide an inside look at everything going on with the program. From their on-court battles to the locker room to the classroom to road trips, Gehan, a senior outside hitter, will pull back the curtain to give fans a closer look at Cal’s volleyball program.
Inside The Locker Room Tune in every Wednesday to “Inside the Locker Room,” the new weekly radio show on AM KGO 810 from 7-8 p.m. The program features a weekly appearance by football coach Sonny Dykes and includes interviews from other athletes and coaches from around Cal Athletics. This week’s show will originate at Crossroads on Bowditch Street.
California Golden Bears Usage Guidelines When referring to University of California intercollegiate athletic teams, please use California or Golden Bears on first reference. Cal or Bears may be used on second reference. Terms such as UC Berkeley, Cal-Berkeley, Berkeley or California-Berkeley (or other similar variations) are incorrect and should not be used in connection with Cal Athletics.