Wednesday, Nov. 27 1 p.m. PT - Cal (17-10, 10-8 Pac-12) at Arizona State (18-12, 7-11 Pac-12) Wells Fargo Arena - Tempe, Ariz. Coverage: Live Video, Live Audio, Live Stats, Twitter Cal All-Time Series vs. the Sun Devils: 28-30 Last meeting: L, 3-2 (10-26-2012)
Friday, Nov. 29 6 p.m. PT - Cal at No. 3 Stanford (22-5, 15-3 Pac-12) Maples Pavilion - Stanford, Calif. Coverage: Pac-12 Networks, Live Audio, Live Stats, Twitter Cal All-Time Series vs. the Cardinal: 12-65 Last meeting: L, 3-1 (9-25-2013)
BERKELEY - Cal’s banged-up women’s volleyball team closes out the regular season this week with a pair of road matches that sandwich Thanksgiving. The Bears will play a matinee at Arizona State on Wednesday at 1 p.m. before finishing up the schedule against rival and third-ranked Stanford on Friday at Maples Pavilion at 6 p.m. Cal hopes to see the return of leading attacker and senior team captain Adrienne Gehan and All-Pac-12 candidate Lara Vukasovic. Gehan has missed the past two matches because of injury and Vukasovic was forced to sit out the Bears’ match against Washington State.
Following The Bears Friday’s match at No. 3 Stanford will be televised by the Pac-12 Networks while Wednesday’s match will be streamed live by Pac-12.com. Online play-by-play audio and real-time live stats will be provided for both 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.
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 is on a three-match losing streak, having dropped both of its home matches last week in five sets. Despite playing without leading attacker Adrienne Gehan on Friday, the Bears had three match points against No. 3 Washington before the Huskies came back for the win. The Bears, playing without Gehan and sophomore middle blocker Lara Vukasovic on Sunday, took the first two sets against Washington State before the Cougars stormed back for the victory.
Feller Earns 300th Win At Cal, Eyes 600th Overall Head Coach Rich Feller picked up his 300th victory at Cal when the Bears won at Oregon State in four sets on Nov. 14. Feller is now 300-163 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 the history of Division I college volleyball to reach the 600-win mark for a career. Feller spent the first 14 years of his career at Colorado State.
Higgins Puts Up Career Numbers At Old Position Because of the injury to Adrienne Gehan, junior Christina Higgins moved from the opposite spot back to outside hitter last weekend and set career-highs in kills in back-to-back matches. She registered 21 kills against Washington and came back with 26 in the loss to Washington St. The 26 kills against the Cougars was the most by a Cal player in a match since Tarah Murrey put down 34 at USC in 2010. For the weekend, Higgins averaged 4.70 kills per set at a .295 hitting percentage. Higgins played outside hitter all of last season but had played opposite in every match this year before last weekend.
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. Gehan ranks sixth in the Pac-12 with an average of 4.22 kills per set.
Offense Features Explosive 1-2 Punch Cal is the only team in the Pac-12 with two players among the top-10 in kills per set. Senior outside hitter Adrienne Gehan ranks sixth at 4.22 while junior Christina Higgins is 10th at 3.41 kills per set. The last time the Bears had two players finish the season in the top-10 in the conference in kills per set was in 2007, when Hana Cutura finished fourth at 4.22 and Angie Pressey was fifth at 4.21.
Injuries Get New Faces On Floor Injuries forced the Bears to tinker with their lineup last weekend, and it resulted in the first significant playing time in freshman middle blocker Jenelle Jordan’s career. The former No. 17 Senior Ace by Prepvolleyball.com played in seven of a possible 10 sets over the weekend and had seven kills and four blocks. Meanwhile, sophomore defensive specialist Sarah Cole had a career-high 19 digs against Washington and 18 more against Washington St. to average 3.70 for the weekend. Junior opposite Lindsey Parrott played in eight sets and had nine kills and three blocks.
Caloiaro Looks To Become Cal’s First Assist Champ Senior setter Joan Caloiaro continues to lead the Pac-12 in assist average at 11.72 per set, a mark that also places her 10th 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 sixth on the Bears’ all-time assists list with 2,390 in her career.
Lights-Out Lara Sophomore middle blocker Lara Vukasovic is making a strong bid for all-conference honors. She begins the week ranked sixth in the Pac-12 with a .355 hitting percentage and ninth with 1.19 blocks per set. Vukasovic missed the Bears’ last match against Washingotn State with a sprained ankle.
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.
The Last Time vs. Arizona State: Oct. 28, 2012 - Arizona St. 3, Cal 2 Middle blocker Shannon Hawari had 18 kills and 12 blocks while hitting for a .500 percentage but the Sun Devils outlasted the Bears 25-23, 23-25, 25-18, 13-25, 16-14 at Haas Pavilion. Opposite hitter Correy Johnson added 14 kills and nine blocks for the Bears and Christina Higgins had 12 kills and four blocks. Wednesday’s match will be the only one between the two teams this season.
The Last Time vs. Stanford: Sept. 25, 2013 - No. 7 Stanford 3, Cal 1 Senior outside hitter Adrienne Gehan had 19 kills and 16 digs but the Bears came up just a few points short in a 20-25, 25-23, 25-22, 28-26 loss to the Cardinal in both team’s Pac-12 opener. Sophomore middle blocker Lara Vukasovic added 12 kills and sophomore middle blocker Lillian Schonewise recorded 11 kills and three blocks.
About Arizona State • Sophomore outside hitter Macey Gardner ranks second in the Pac-12 at 4.43 kills per set • Senior libero Stephanie Preach is fifth in the conference with an average of 4.53 digs per set • The Sun Devils have won five of their last eight after a seven-match losing streak
About Stanford • The Cardinal is in second place in the Pac-12, one match behind Washington. • Stanford snapped Washington’s 13-match win streak with a sweep of the Huskies last week • Pac-12 Player of the Year candidate Carly Wopat leads the conference in both hitting percentage (.452) and blocks per set (1.44) • Senior Rachel Williams is the reigning Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week
Bears Add Two Top Prospects For 2014 Cal added two of the premier high school players in the nation to its program last week when 6-foot-2 outside hitter Ashten Smith-Gooden from Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. signed a National Letter of Intent and 6-foot-5 middle blocker Laura Leap of Thousand Oaks, Calif. signed a Statement of Intent to Register. Smith-Gooden is an Under Armour First Team All-American rated as the nation’s No. 5 recruit by Prepvolleyball.com. Leap is the No. 94 Senior Ace by Prepvolleyball.com and is enrolling at Cal in the spring.
The Cal Leader Board Hitting Percentage: Lara Vukasovic - .355 Kills: Adrienne Gehan - 388 (4.22/set) Assists: Joan Caloiaro - 1184 (11.72/set) Blocks: Lara Vukasovic - 113 (1.19/set) Digs: Maddy Kerr - 384 (3.76/set) Aces: Adrienne Gehan - 23 (0.25/set)
Bears On Pac-12 Leader Board Hitting Percentage: Lara Vukasovic - .355 (Sixth) Kills per set: Adrienne Gehan - 4.22 (Sixth) Kills per set: Christina HIggins - 3.41 (Tenth) Assists per set: Joan Caloiaro - 11.72 (First) Blocks per set: Lara Vukasovic - 1.19 (Ninth) Digs per set: Maddy Kerr - 3.76 (Ninth)
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, the senior from Dallas, Texas will provide an inside look at everything going on with the program, both on and off the court.
Bears To Take Trip To Europe The Bears are taking an international trip to Switzerland, Italy, Slovenia and Switzerland next spring. The trip will be from May 24-June 7 and and Cal will play matches against various club and nationally sponsored teams from the different countries it visits, while getting a cultural education in the process. Under NCAA rules, teams are permitted to take a foreign tour once every four years. The tour will be paid for exclusively through fundraising efforts, and about 50 percent of the necessary funding has already been raised. To make a donation to Cal Volleyball, visit https://givetocal.berkeley.edu/egiving/index.cfm?Fund=FF0559000 or contact Associate Director of Annual Giving Kevin McCormick at email@example.com or 510-642-2427.