Thursday, Nov. 7 7 p.m. PT - No. 22 Cal (14-7, 7-5 Pac-12) at Utah (17-6, 6-6) Huntsman Center - Salt Lake City Coverage: Pac-12 Networks, Live Audio, Live Stats, Twitter Cal All-Time Series vs. the Utes: 6-4 Last meeting: L, 3-1 (10-13-2013)
Saturday, Nov. 9 6 p.m. PT - No. 22 Cal at Colorado (15-7, 7-5) Coors Events Center - Boulder, Colo. Coverage: Live Stream, Live Audio, Live Stats, Twitter Cal All-Time Series vs. the Buffaloes: 4-2 Last meeting: W, 3-0 (10-9-2013)
BERKELEY - The No. 22 Cal women’s volleyball team looks to keep its perch in the upper half of the Pac-12 Conference standings this week when it hits the road to take on the Mountain schools for a pair of pivotal conference showdowns. First, the Bears will aim to avenge a home loss to Utah earlier this season when they visit the Huntsman Center to take on the Utes on Thursday at 7 p.m. PT. Then Cal travels to Boulder to meet up with Colorado on Saturday at 6 p.m. PT. The Buffs haven’t lost a home match in Pac-12 play.
Following The Bears Thursday’s match at Utah will be televised by the Pac-12 Networks, with Kevin Barnett and Al Scates provding the call. Saturday’s contest will be streamed live at www.pac-12.com. Live play-by-play audio will be in effect for both matches this week at CalBears.com. 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.
Probable Starters No. Name Pos. Ht. Yr. Hometown 12 Joan Caloiaro S 5-11 Sr. Saratoga, Calif. 5 Adrienne Gehan OH 6-3 Sr. Dallas, Texas 18 Michelle Neumayr OH 6-1 So. San Mateo, Calif. 23 Christina Higgins OPP 6-2 Jr. Inglewood, Calif. 1 Lillian Schonewise MB 6-3 So. Papillion, Neb. 4 Lara Vukasovic MB 6-5 So. Zagreb, Croatia 9 Maddy Kerr L 5-7 Fr. San Diego, Calif.
Catching Up With The Bears Cal played a pair of nail-biters last week, falling in four sets to No. 4 USC and then getting by UCLA in five sets at Haas Pavilion. Two of the three sets the Bears lost to the Trojans were by two points, and the set they won was 26-24. Against the Bruins, the Bears won two sets 26-24 and prevailed 15-12 in the fifth. Cal has won four of its past five matches, with three of the victories coming in five sets.
The Last Time vs. Utah: Oct. 13 - Utah 3, Cal 1 The Utes registered 13 blocks and had four players in double-figures in kills as they defeated the Bears, 25-23, 17-25, 25-20, 25-16 at Haas Pavilion. Senior outside hitter Adrienne Gehan led Cal with 20 kills.
The Last Time vs. Colorado: Oct. 9 - Cal 3, Colorado 0 Senior outside hitter Adrienne Gehan had 15 kills and the Bears held Colorado to a .144 hitting percentage in an impressive 25-21, 25-17, 25-21 sweep of the Buffaloes. Sophomore Lara Vukasovic added eight kiills and four blocks.
Cal Ranked No. 22 By AVCA For the second week in a row, the Bears come in at No. 22 in the American Volleyball Coaches Association Division I Top 25. Cal has received votes in every weekly poll this season and was No. 23 in the second poll after winning the Bluejay Invitational at Creighton University and starting the season 7-0.
Feller Nears 600-Win Mark Cal head coach Rich Feller needs just four 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 596-327 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, and current Colorado State coach Tom Hibbert is two wins shy of the mark.
Gehan Notches 1,000th Career Kill Senior outside hitter Adrienne Gehan put down her 1,000th career kill during the Bears’ win over Oregon State on Oct. 27. She is te 15th player in school history to reach that mark. The last Cal player to go over the 1,000-kill mark for a career was Tarah Murrey in 2010. Gehan went on to tie her career-high with 22 kills against the Beavers. She currently ranks fifth in the Pac-12 and 26th in the country with 4.27 kills per set. Gehan was named tournament MVP of the Cal Molten Classic and the Bluejay Invitational earlier this season.
Caloiaro Looks To Become Cal’s First Assist Champ Senior setter Joan Caloiaro ranks second in the Pac-12 and 12th in the nation with 11.55 assists per set. After leading the conference the past few weeks, she now trails Stanford setter Madi Bugg, who leads with 11.61 assists per set. No Cal player has ever paced the conference in assist average. Carli Lloyd led the Pac-12 in total assists in 2008 with 1,392. Caloiaro is quarterbacking an offense that ranks fourth in the Pac-12 with a .249 hitting percentage. The Bears also rank fifth in the conference and 26th in the country with 14.10 kills per set. Caloiaro’s cousin is three-time Olympic gold medalist Kerri Walsh-Jennings.
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 had arguably the best offensive match of the season Sunday against UCLA when she put down nine kills at a .407 percentage.
Lights-Out Lara Sophomore middle blocker Lara Vukasovic has been playing at an all-conference level for much of the season. She enters the week ranked ninth in the Pac-12 with 1.16 blocks per set and her .352 hitting percentage puts her just outside the conference leaders. Vukasovic, who was moved to middle blocker this season after playing both opposite hitter and outside hitter as a freshman, was named to the All-Tournament Team at the Bluejay Invitational and Hilton Garden Inn Invitational.
Kerr Named Pac-12 Freshman Of The Week Libero Maddy Kerr was named Pac-12 Freshman of the Week last week after tying the school record with 33 digs during the Bears’ five-set victory over then-No. 20 Oregon on Oct. 25. At the time, it was the second-highest single-match dig total in the Pac-12 this season and just the 10th time in school history a player has had at least 30 digs. Kerr added 12 digs in a win over Oregon State to average 4.50 per set for the week.
Bears Picked To Finish 7th In Preseason Poll Cal was selected to finish in seventh place in the Pac-12 standings in the annual 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 for the second year in a row.
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.
About Utah • In their third season in the Pac-12, the Utes have already equalled a season-best in conference wins with six. • The Utes enter the week with a very strong RPI of 18. They are tied for fifth in the Pac-12 standings. • Utah ranks second in the conference and tied for ninth nationally with 2.91 blocks per set. • Senior middle blocker Erin Redd-Brandon leads the Pac-12 and ranks sixth in the nation with 1.41 blocks per set.
About Colorado • The Buffaloes are tied with Cal for fourth place in the Pac-12 standings with a record of 7-5. • Colorado is 5-0 at home in Pac-12 play this season, including a win over then-No. 1 Washington. Colorado has three wins over ranked teams at the Coors Event Center this year. • Junior middle blocker Kelsey English ranks second in the Pac-12 in service aces (0.40) and is tied for fifth in hitting percentage (.367). • Junior outside hitter Taylor Simpson is eighth in the conference with 3.38 kills per set.
Next Week The Bears stay on the road to visit the Oregon schools on back-to-back nights. First, the Bears take on Oregon State on Thursday, Nov. 14 at 7 p.m. Cal then plays the next night at Oregon for a 6 p.m. matchup. The match against the Ducks 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, Gehan 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.
The Cal Leader Board Hitting Percentage: Lara Vukasovic - .352 Kills: Adrienne Gehan - 333 (4.27/set) Assists: Joan Caloiaro - 889 (11.55/set) Blocks: Lara Vukasovic - 88 (1.16/set) Digs: Maddy Kerr - 285 (3.65/set) Service Aces: Adrienne Gehan - 19 (0.24/set)
Bears On Pac-12 Leader Board Kills per set: Adrienne Gehan - 4.27 (Fifth) Assists per set: Joan Caloiaro - 11.55 (Second) Blocks per set: Lara Vukasovic - 1.16 (T-Eighth) Digs per set: Maddy Kerr - 3.66 (Tenth)
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. Cal volleyball coach Rich Feller is scheduled to appear on the show on Nov. 20.