vs. Radford Friday, Sept. 5 | 9 AM Pan American Center Las Cruces, N.M. Live Audio: CalBears.com Live Stats: CalBears.com
vs. North Dakota St. Friday, Sept. 5 | 3:30 PM Pan American Center Las Cruces, N.M. Live Audio: CalBears.com Live Stats: CalBears.com\
vs. New Mexico St. Saturday, Sept. 6 | 1 PM Pan American Center Las Cruces, N.M. Live Audio: CalBears.com Live Stats: CalBears.com All Times PT
BERKELEY - Cal was tested during the season-opening Falcon Classic, and it won’t get any easier this weekend at the New Mexico State Tournament. The Bears will face two teams that were picked to win its respective conference in preseason polls - host New Mexico State in the WAC and Radford in the Big South. Both teams were NCAA Tournament participants in 2013. Cal already has played a Big South opponent as it defeated Winthrop in four sets last weekend.
BEAR NECESSITIES: CAL'S TOP STORYLINES, STREAKS & TRENDS
STRONG STARTS THE NORM FOR BEARS For the 11th time in the past 13 seasons, Cal has started the season 3-0. Not surprisingly, early success has led to postseason play, as the Bears have qualiied for the NCAA Tournament 12 consecutive years. Last season, Cal started the season 7-0, sweeping every opponent along the way.
CAL VOLLEYBALL TURNS 40 The 2014 season marks the 40th for Cal’s volleyball program. The Bears started playing intercollegiate volleyball in 1975 under head coach Chris Stanley, and have an all-time record of 646-570. Cal has made 17 NCAA Tournament appearances and advanced to the Final Four twice. The program has also produced 19 All-American selections.
JENSEN RUNS WITH THE OFFENSE Sophomore setter Alyssa Jensen has taken over the setting duties for departed All-American Joan Caloiaro, and if last weekend is any indication, the Bears are in pretty good hands. Jensen averaged 11.5 assists per set and had the top-two highest single-match assist totals in the Pac-12 over the weekend. Jensen registered 58 assists in a five-set win over Air Force and 50 assists during a four-set triumph against Winthrop. Friday’s season-opener was Jensen’s first career start.
SCHONEWISE’S AMAZING 2014 Junior middle blocker Lillian Schonewise is having quite a 2014. She was the Bears’ leading hitter during the team’s European Tour in the spring, then played on a Pac-12 All-Star Team that toured China in the summer. She was named a team captain, and then opened the 2014 season by hitting .464 at the Falcon Classic, putting her fourth in the Pac-12 in hitting percentage after the first weekend of the season.
LIBERO/WARRIORS FAN Libero Maddy Kerr made an impact immediately, earning Pac-12 All-Freshman Team honors in 2013 after ranking ninth in the Pac-12 at 3.71 digs per set. She also had an exciting offseason when her father, Steve Kerr, was named the head coach of the NBA’s Golden State Warriors. Kerr’s 430 digs last season were the ninth-best single-season mark in Cal history.
ABOUT RADFORD (2-1) • Picked to win the Big South title for the second straight year • Won the Big South last season and qualified for the NCAA Tournament • OH Rachel Wiechecki is the Preseason Big South Player of the Year • LAST MEETING: First meeting
ABOUT NORTH DAKOTA STATE (1-2) • Picked to finish sixth in the Summit League • OH Jenni Fassbender was an All-Summit League pick last season • MB Emily Miron played with U.S. Collegiate National Team during the summer • LAST MEETING: First meeting
ABOUT NEW MEXICO STATE (1-2) • Have won back-to-back WAC titles and are picked to do so again in 2014 • Had three players picked to the Preseason All-WAC Team - OH Bradley Nash, MB Gwen Murphy and S Taylor Livoti • LAST MEETING: Cal defeated the Aggies in three sets at last year’s Molten Classic