Cal Travels To Iowa State For NCAA Tournament
Courtesy: Cal Athletics  
Release:  11/27/2012

Complete NCAA Tournament Notes Get Acrobat Reader

Nov. 27, 2012

Thursday, Nov. 29
NCAA Tournament - First Round
3 p.m. PT- Cal (15-15) vs. North Carolina (25-5)
Hilton Coliseum - Ames, Iowa
Coverage: Live Video, Live Audio, Live Stats, Twitter, Facebook
All-Time Series vs. the Tar Heels: 2-1 (1-1 in NCAA Tournament)
Last Meeting: L, 3-2 (12-1-11; first round of 2011 NCAA Tournament)

5:30 p.m. PT- IPFW (25-6) vs. No. 15 Iowa State (20-7)
Hilton Coliseum - Ames, Iowa
Coverage: Live Video, Live Stats
All-Time Series Record: First meeting between teams
Cal All-Time vs. IPFW: Teams have never met
Cal All-Time vs. Iowa State: 1-0
Last meeting: W, 3-0 (12-7-07)

Friday, Nov. 30
NCAA Tournament - Second Round
5:30 p.m. PT- Thursday's winners
Hilton Coliseum - Ames, Iowa

BERKELEY, Calif. - Cal's women's volleyball team will play in a school-record 11th straight NCAA Tournament when it travels to Ames, Iowa to for a subregional at Iowa State University. The Bears open play Thursday night at 5 p.m. PT against North Carolina. Cal and the Tar Heels have met in the NCAA Tournament in each of the past two seasons. The Bears knocked off UNC in the second round in 2010, when Cal advanced to the NCAA title match. Last year, the Tar Heels upset the Bears in a first-round match at Pepperdine University. Host Iowa State, the No. 15 seed in the tournament, takes on Indiana-Purdue Fort Wayne in Thursday's other first-round match. The two winners Thursday will meet Friday at 5:30 p.m. PT for the right to play in the NCAA Regionals at Cal's Haas Pavilion Dec. 7-8. Fans can purchase tickets to the NCAA Regionals by visiting, calling (800) GO-BEARS or buying them in person at the Haas Pavilion Athletic Ticket Office.

Probable Starters
No. Name Pos. Ht. Yr. Hometown
12 Joan Caloiaro S 5-11 Jr. Saratoga, Calif.
3 Nikki Gombar OH 6-0 Fr. Rome, Italy
5 Adrienne Gehan OH 6-3 Jr. Dallas, Texas
8 Correy Johnson OPP 6-4 Sr. Winter Park, Fla.
7 Shannon Hawari MH 6-2 Sr. Plano, Texas
11 Kat Brown MH 6-3 Sr. Aptos, Calif.
13 Mary McKennon L 5-9 Fr. Newport Beach, Calif.

Cal In The NCAA Tournament
• The Bears are making their 16th all-time appearance in the NCAA Tournament.
• This is Cal's 11th straight trip to the tournament, which is a school record.
• The Bears are 25-15 all-time in the NCAA Tournament.
• Cal has advanced to the NCAA National Semifinals in two of the past five seasons. The Bears played in the NCAA championship match in 2010.
• Cal advanced to at least the NCAA Regionals every season from 2006-10.

The 2012 Season
Reaching the NCAA Tournament this season was the most challenging for head coach Rich Feller since he's been at Cal. The Bears lost two starters to season-ending injuries during the preseason and two other starters missed significant chunks of time during the season. Still, Cal notched impressive wins against top-10 teams Hawaii and Oregon, both on the road. The Bears also had match points against top-10 opponents Washington and USC before falling narrowly in five sets. Cal also registed a quality win over Saint Marys.

Hawari, Johnson Earn All-Pac-12 Honors
Senior middle hitter Shannon Hawari has been named to the All-Pac-12 team. Hawari, who earned All-Pac-12 honorable mention in each of the two previous seasons, was one of 14 players named to the 2012 team. Hawari ranks third in the conference with a .374 hitting percentage and seventh with 1.20 blocks per set. Senior opposite hitter Correy Johnson received All-Pac-12 honorable mention for the second straight season. Johnson was named to the All-Pac-12 team in 2010.

Brown Tied For Cal's All-Time Blocks Lead
Senior middle hitter Kat Brown finished the regular season tied for No. 1 all-time in career blocks at Cal with 504. With one block against North Carolina, Brown will pass Ellen Orchard (2004-07) and stand alone as the Bears' all-time leader. Here's a look at Cal's top-five all-time blockers:
Name Blocks Years
1t. Ellen Orchard 504 2004-07
1t. Kat Brown 504 2009-
3. Shannon Hawari 468 2008-
4. Camille Leffall 438 2001-04
5. Cara Dane 434 1990-93

Block Party
Senior midde hitters Kat Brown and Shannon Hawari are putting together two of the best blocking seasons in Cal history. Brown's 149 blocks this season are the fifth-most all-time at Cal, while Hawari's 137 blocks rank seventh in school history. Brown had 151 blocks as a sophomore in 2010, which is the fourth-best mark all-time at Cal. Meanwhile, Hawari's 131 blocks in 2010 are the eighth-best mark at the school.

Models Of Efficiency
Five of Cal's 10 best all-time single-season hitting percentages come from current players. Senior middle hitter Shannon Hawari hit a school-record .419 in 2010 and her .387 clip as a freshman in 2008 is the third-best mark at the school. Senior middle hitter Kat Brown had the second-best single-season percentage at Cal when she hit .394 last season. Brown also hit .358 in 2010, good for sixth on the Bears' all-e-time list. Finally, senior opposite hitter Correy Johnson's .354 percentage in 2011 is the seventh-best all-time mark at Cal.

Hawari Most Successful Hitter Ever At Cal
Unless she has a dramatically ineffective end to the season, senior middle hitter Shannon Hawari should leave Cal as the school's all-time leader in hitting percentage. She entered the season No. 1 on the Bears' all-time career list at .366 and it's gone up to .369 with her play this year.

They Meet Again
This will mark the third straight year the Bears and Tar Heels have met in the NCAA Tournament. Cal knocked out UNC at Haas Pavilion in the second round of the 2010 tourney, a year in which the Bears advanced to the NCAA title match. Last season, North Carolina defeated Cal in the first round at Pepperdine.

Scouting North Carolina
• The Tar Heels went 25-5 during the regular season and finished in third place in the Atlantic Coast Conference with a record of 16-4.
• UNC was ranked No. 24 in the final AVCA Coaches Top 25 and No. 14 in the last NCAA RPI rankings.
• The Tar Heels are led by outside hitter Emily McGee, a three-time All-ACC selection who averages a team-leading 2.69 kills per set. Opposite hitter Chaniel Nelson is a two-time All-ACC pick.
• Middle blocker Paige Neuenfeldt was named the ACC Freshman of the Year after ranking eighth in the conference with a .331 hitting percentage and fourth with 1.17 blocks per set.

Scouting Iowa State
• The Cyclones finished the regular season 20-7 and in second place in the Big 12 with a 13-3 record.
• Iowa State was ranked No. 18 in both the final AVCA Coaches Top 25 and last NCAA RPI rankings.
• The Cyclones finished the regular season on a 10-match win streak, inlcuding three victories over ranked teams.
• Iowa State leads the Big 12 in kills per set (14.43). Sophomore outside hitter Victoria Hurtt ranks seventh with 3.13 kills per set.
• Junior libero Kristen Hahn tops the conference with 5.43 digs per set and has been named Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week eight times this season.

Scouting IPFW
• The Mastodons (25-6) earned a berth in the NCAA Tournament by winning the Summit League Tournament championship.
• Sophomore outside hitter Emily Spencer was named the Summit League Player of the Year after tying for the conference lead with 4.30 kills per set.
• Senior Tessa McGill, the Summit League Defensive Player of the Year, ranks fourth in the country with 6.18 digs per set.
• Senior Megan Steenhuysen was named the Summit League Setter of the Year.

The Cal Leader Board
Kills: Adrienne Gehan - 301 (3.10/set)
Hitting Percentage: Shannon Hawari - .374
Assists: Joan Caloiaro - 1166 (10.41/set)
Blocks: Kat Brown - 149 (1.31/set)
Digs: Mary McKennon - 405 (3.55/set)

Bears on Pac-12 Leader Board
Hitting Percentage: Shannon Hawari - .374 (Third)
Assists per set: Joan Caloiaro - 10.41 (Fourth)
Blocks per set: Kat Brown - 1.31 (Fifth), Shannon Hawari - 1.20 (Seventh)
Digs per set: Mary McKennon - 3.55 (Tenth)

Seven From The Pac-12
Seven teams from the Pac-12 earned NCAA Tournament berths, tying the Big Ten for the most from any conference. It marks the 13th straight season the Pac-12 has had at least six teams go to the NCAA Tournament. Five of the seven conference teams to make the tourney are seeded - No. 2 Stanford, No. 5 Oregon, No. 6 USC, No. 7 UCLA and No. 13 Washington. It's also the most Pac-12 teams to advance to the NCAA Tournament since the conference sent eight teams in 2008.

Bears Excel In Classroom
Six Cal players were named to the Pac-12's All-Academic Honorable Mention team this season. Senior middle hitter Kat Brown earned the honor for third straight year while senior middle hitter Shannon Hawari, senior opposite hitter Correy Johnson and junior outside hitter Adrienne Gehan were each tabbed for the second year in a row. Sophomore outside hitter Christina Higgins and sophomore defensive specialist Marlee Davis each earned the honor for the first time. Cal's women's volleyball program has a tradition of excelling in the classroom. For the second straight year, Cal won with the AVCA Team Academic Award, given to teams that have a cumulative grade point average of 3.30 or better on a 4.0 scale or 4.10 on a 5.0 scale.

Rostratter Earns Honor
Senior libero Robin Rostratter was one of 30 candidates for this year's Senior CLASS Award, given annually to an NCAA Division I senior with notable achievements in community, classroom, character and competition. Rostratter has twice been named to the Pac-12 All-Academic team, and in 2010 won the NCAA Elite 88 Volleyball Award for having the highest grade point average (3.81) of any student-athlete participating in the NCAA championships. Rostratter has spearheaded countless charitable and philantrhopic causes. Among them, she has led outreach programs to spread awareness for cancer and physically challenged athletes, and served as a coach at Special Olympics athletic skills clinics and with the Cal Corps to help underprivileged children. Rostratter, who is out for the season with an injury, was not one of the 10 finalists revealed for the award last month.