Friday, Nov. 22 6 p.m. PT - No. 3 Washington (23-1, 15-1 Pac-12) at No. 23 Cal (17-8, 10-6) Haas Pavilion - Berkeley, Calif. Coverage: Pac-12 Networks, Live Stats, Twitter Cal All-Time Series vs. the Huskies: 29-32 Last meeting: L, 3-0 (10-16-2013)
Sunday, Nov. 24 11 a.m. PT - Washington State (17-12, 4-12) at No. 23 Cal Haas Pavilion - Berkeley, Calif. Coverage: Pac-12 Networks, Live Stats, Twitter Cal All-Time Series vs. the Cougars: 39-22 Last meeting: W, 3-1 (10-19-2013)
BERKELEY - The No. 23 Cal women’s volleyball team plays its final home matches of 2013 this week as the Bears welcome No. 3 Washington and Washington State to Haas Pavilion. Cal will host the Huskies on Friday at 6 p.m. and then close out the home schedule against the Cougars on Sunday at 11 a.m. Sunday’s match is Senior Day, as the Bears will honor seniors Adrienne Gehan and Joan Caloiaro in a pre-match ceremony. Cal coach Rich Feller enters the week with 599 career wins, needing one more victory to become just the 29th coach in Division I history to reach the 600-win mark.
Following The Bears Both of Cal’s matches this week will air live on the Pac-12 Networks. Krista Blunk and Tammy Blackburn will have the call on Friday and Blunk and former Cal setter Holly McPeak have the commentary on Sunday. Real-time live stats are also available for all matches 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.
This Week at Haas Pavilion Fans who show a ticket to the Big Game between Cal and Stanford will be admitted to Friday and Sunday’s matches for just $1. Sunday is Senior Day, as the Bears honor Adrienne Gehan and Joan Caloiaro, who will play their final matches at Haas Pavilion. That morning, the Berkeley Lion’s Club will host a Pancake Breakfast on Spieker Plaza from 8-11 a.m. Fans who purchase the $7 breakfast will gain free admission to the match as well as Cal’s women’s basketball game against Northwestern at 3 p.m. Sunday is also another Kids Day, with activities beginning at 10 a.m. on Spieker Plaza. Cal’s players will sign autographs following the match.
Catching Up With The Bears The Bears enter the week ranked No. 23 in this week’s AVCA Top 25, the fourth straight week they have appeared in the poll. Cal split a pair of road matches last week, winning at Oregon State before losing at Oregon. That completed a stretch of four road matches in eight days, a span in which Cal went 3-1.
Feller Earns 300th Win At Cal, Eyes 600th Overall Head Coach Rich Feller picked up his 300th victory at Cal when the Bears beat Oregon State last week. Feller is now 300-161 in 15 seasons at Cal. He became the program’s all-time winningest coach with his 156th win back in 2007. The win over the Beavers also gave Feller 599 for his career. His next win will make him just the 29th coach in Division I history to reach the 600-win mark for a career. Feller, who spent the first 14 years of his career at Colorado State, is 599-328 in his career.
Gehan Carries Bears, Fights Through The Pain Adrienne Gehan has been one of the Pac-12’s top outside hitters this season and the undisputed leader of the Bears. But the senior from Dallas, Texas is now fighting an abdominal injury which affected her play during last week’s loss at Oregon. Gehan had a season-low two kills on 41 attempts, but still played all six rotations for most of the match. Gehan still ranks fifth in the Pac-12 with 4.22 kills per set and is second on the team with 3.10 digs per set.
Gehan Reaches 1,000-Kill Mark Senior outside hitter Adrienne Gehan put down her 1,000th career kill during the Bears’ win over Oregon State on Oct. 27. She is the 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.
Caloiaro Looks To Become Cal’s First Assist Champ Senior setter Joan Caloiaro continues to lead the Pac-12 in assist average at 11.76 per set, a mark that also places her ninth in the country. 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. Despite not having even played two full seasons at Cal yet, Caloiaro is already seventh on the Bears’ all-time assists list with 2,276 and needs just two more to move into sixth place.
Lights-Out Lara Sophomore middle blocker Lara Vukasovic is making a strong bid for all-conference honors. She begins the week ranked eighth in the Pac-12 with a .353 hitting percentage and seventh with 1.24 blocks per set. Vukasovic moved to middle blocker this season after playing both opposite hitter and outside hitter as a freshman.
Higgins Does It Right Junior Christina Higgins moved to her more natural position on the right side this season and she is thriving in her new role. Higgins has been in and out of the top-ten in the conference in kills throughout the season, and enters this week averaging 3.26 kills per set, just .01 behind No. 10 Ebony Nwanebu of USC. Higgins also is hitting for a solid .287 percentage while also averaging 0.83 blocks per set.
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 appears to be getting stronger down the final stretch of the season. After averaging just 1.26 kills per set at a .108 hitting percentage during the first 20 matches of the season, Neumayr has averaged 2.32 kills per set at a .235 clip during the past five contests.
The Last Time vs. Washington: Oct. 16 - Washington 3, Cal 0 Senior outside hitter Adrienne Gehan had 16 kills and 11 digs but the Bears fell 25-23, 25-21, 25-20 in Seattle. Junior opposite hitter Christina Higgins added 15 kills and three blocks while hitting for a .371 percentage. Cal got off to a strong start, leading 7-2 in the first set. The Bears also were as close as 22-21 in the second set before falling.
The Last Time vs. Washington State: Oct. 19 - Cal 3, Washington State 1 Junior opposite hitter Christina Higgins had a career-high 19 kills at a blistering .425 hitting percentage and the Bears overcame a sluggisth start to defeat the Cougars, 15-25, 25-22, 25-19, 25-16 in Pullman. Senior outside hitter Adrienne Gehan added 13 kills, 12 digs, four blocks and a career-high four aces.
About Washington • The Huskies have won 13 in a row and have a two-game lead in the Pac-12 standings with four matches left to play. • Junior outside hitter Krista Vansant is the reigning AVCA National Player of the Week and a leading candidate for Pac-12 Player of the Year. • The Huskies have four players ranked in the top-10 in the conference in service aces per set.
About Washington State • The Cougars notched a stunning five-set upset of then-No. 4 USC last Sunday in Pullman. • Freshman outside hitter Kyra Holt ranks seventh in the Pac-12 with 3.85 kills per set and is tied for eighth with 0.29 service aces per set. • Sophomore libero Kate Sommer ranks eighth in the conference with 3.86 digs per set.
Next Week The Bears close out the regular season with a pair of road matches, first traveling to Arizona State before finishing up at No. 5 Stanford. Cal visits the Sun Devils on Wednesday, Nov. 27 at 1 p.m. PT and the Cardinal on Friday, Nov. 29 at 6 p.m. The match at Stanford will be televised by the Pac-12 Networks.
Freshmen Class Ranked No. 21 Nationally Cal’s six-member 2013 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. Sarah Cole, Sabrina Blackwell and Katie Curci round out the class.
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.
Feller To Appear On “Inside The Locker Room” Cal coach Rich Feller will be a guest this Wednesday on “Inside the Locker Room,” the weekly radio show about Cal athletics on AM KGO 810 from 7-8 p.m. The program features a weekly appearance by football coach Sonny Dykes.