Friday, Dec. 6 3 p.m. PT - Cal (17-12) vs. North Carolina (27-4) UW Field House - Madison, WI Coverage: Live Video, Live Audio, Live Stats, Twitter All-Time Series vs. the Tar Heels: 2-2 (1-2 in NCAA Tournament) Last meeting: L, 3-1 (11-29-2012, in NCAA Tournament first round)
Friday, Dec. 6 5:30 p.m. PT - Milwaukee (18-10) vs. Wisconsin (23-9) UW Field House - Madison, WI Coverage: Live Video, Live Stats All-Time Series Record: Wisconsin leads 24-5 Last meeting: Wisconsin, W 3-1 (9-14-2013) Cal All-Time vs. Milwaukee: Teams Have Never Met Cal All-Time vs. Wisconsin: 0-2 (0-1 in NCAA Tournament) Last meeting: L, 3-0 (12-3-2005 in NCAA Tournament)
Saturday, Dec. 7 4 p.m. PT - Friday’s winners UW Field House - Madison, WI
BERKELEY - The Cal women’s volleyball team begins play in its 12th consecutive NCAA Tournament this week when it travels to Madison, WI for a first-round matchup against North Carolina on Friday at 3 p.m. PT. This will mark the fourth straight year the Bears and Tar Heels have met in the postseason, and the third season in a row the showdown has come in the first round. The Bears defeated North Carolina in the second round in 2010 when they advanced to the NCAA title match. The Tar Heels have knocked Cal out of the tournament in the first round in each of the past two seasons.
Following The Bears A live video stream will be provided for all matches played in Madison. Live audio will also be available for Cal’s matches, and real-time live stats will be provided for all matches. Links can be found at CalBears.com.
Social Studies Follow the Bears through social media 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.
Cal In The NCAA Tournament • The Bears are making their 17th all-time appearance in the NCAA Tournament • This is Cal’s 12th straight trip to the NCAA Tournament, which is a school record • The Bears are 29-20 all-time in the NCAA Tournament • Cal advanced to the NCAA National Semifinals in 2007 and 2010 and played in the NCAA title match in 2010 • The Bears advanced to at least the NCAA Regionals every season from 2006-10. • Senior outside hitter Adrienne Gehan is the only player remaining from Cal’s 2010 Final Four team.
The 2013 Season The Bears have at least received votes in every AVCA poll this season and have appeared in the rankings five times, with a season-high of No. 20 on Nov. 11. Cal began the season by winning its first seven matches, all by sweeps. The Bears also had a month-long stretch in which they won seven of eight matches to forge a record of 17-7. Injuries to key players such as Adrienne Gehan, Lara Vukasovic and Michelle Neumayr hurt the Bears down the stretch, but Cal is expected to be close to full strength this weekend.
Gehan All-Pac-12; Caloiaro, Higgins, Kerr Also Honored Senior outside hitter Adrienne Gehan was named to the All-Pac-12 Team on Tuesday, senior setter Joan Caloiaro and junior opposite hitter Christina Higgins earned honorable mention and libero Maddy Kerr was selected to the Pac-12 All-Freshman Team. Gehan ranks sixth in the Pac-12 with 4.11 kills per set, Caloiaro ranks second in the conference with 11.66 assists per set and HIggins ranks ninth in the Pac-12 with 3.52 kills per set. Kerr is ninth in digs (3.73 digs per set).
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 300-165 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 Scorching Down The Stretch Junior Christina Higgins has carried a huge load offensively late in the season for the Bears. During the Bears’ last four matches, HIggins has averaged 4.78 kills per set at a .306 hitting percentage while playing on both the left and right side. Higgins has spent most of the season playing opposite but started three matches at outside hitter due to an injury to Adrienne Gehan. Higgins registered a career-high 26 kills against Washington State on Nov. 24, the most by a Cal player in a match since Tarah Murrey had 34 at USC in 2010.
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.
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 4.11 while junior Christina Higgins is ninth at 3.52 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.
Caloiaro Looks To Become Cal’s First Assist Champ After leading the Pac-12 in assist average for most of the season, senior setter Joan Caloiaro currently ranks second in the conference at 11.66 assists per set, a mark that also places her 11th 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 2,477 in her career.
Lights-Out Lara Sophomore middle blocker Lara Vukasovic made the move from the pins to the middle this season and is thriving in her new role. She is one of only six players to rank among the top-10 in the Pac-12 in both hitting percentage (.342) and blocks per set (1.14).
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.
Scouting North Carolina • The Tar Heels were ranked No. 15 in the final AVCA poll of the regular season • UNC had won seven in a row before dropping their regular season finale at Duke • Middle blockers Paige Neuenfeldt (.364-3rd) and Victoria McPherson (.312-9th) each rank in the top-10 in the ACC in hitting percentage.
Scouting Wisconsin • Setter Lauren Carlini was named the Big Ten Freshman of the Year • The Badgers lead the Big Ten with 15.60 digs per set • Junior outside hitter Ellen Chapman ranks eighth in the Big Ten with 3.43 kills per set
Scouting Milwaukee • The Panthers won the Horizon League championship • Senior middle blocker Rachel Neuberger was named the Horizon League Player of the Year • No Horizon League team has ever won an NCAA Tournament match
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or 510-642-2427.
Bears Add Two Top Prospects For 2014 Cal added two of the premier high school players in the nation to its program last month 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. She is the highest-rated prospect to sign with Cal since No. 2 Tarah Murrey came to Berkeley in 2007. Leap is the No. 94 Senior Ace by Prepvolleyball.com and is enrolling at Cal in the spring.
Quick Hitters • With 410 digs this season, libero Maddy Kerr needs just 12 digs to break into the top-10 on Cal’s single-season dig list • Middle blocker Lara Vukasovic is the third Croatian native to play at Cal under head coach Rich Feller. The first two - Mia Jerkov and Hana Cutura - were each All-Americans. • Middle blocker Lillian Schonewise’s .684 hitting percentage against New Mexico State on Aug. 31 is the third-highest clip by a Pac-12 player this season • Setter Joan Caloiaro has the most assists by a Pac-12 player in a three-set match (45) and four-set match (62) this season. Her 62 assists at Colorado on Nov. 9 is the second-most in a Pac-12 match overall this season.