BERKELEY – Cal sand volleyball coach Rich Feller announced his first-ever recruiting class Thursday.
The Bears welcome five new student-athletes to Berkeley to begin play next spring. In its recently completed inaugural season, Cal used almost strictly players from its indoor team.
Emily Shults of Roswell, GA; Bryce Bark of Palos Verdes Estates, Calif.; Mackenzie Feldman of Honolulu; Teya Neff of Novato, Calif. and Katie Regalia from San Francisco all have submitted a Statement of Intent to Register at Cal.
“I’m excited to have our first-ever sand recruiting class,” Feller said. “More and more sand players are playing with their own sand club and doing much more sand training only. I’m excited to have them come in here and play on our intercollegiate sand team.”
Shults was invited to USA Volleyball’s Beach Elite Camp at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif. last summer as well as the USA Volleyball Beach Elite Holiday High Performance Camp in Clearwater Fla. She also qualified for the 2013 USA Beach Nationals in Milwaukee, Wisc. and last year’s AAU West Coast Junior Nationals, where she placed eighth out of over 50 teams.
“Emily was one of the very first athletes to contact us,” Feller said. “She wanted to come to California and she went out of her way to come out to our sand camp last summer. She impressed us with her dedication to the sand game.”
Bark, the daughter of former Cal and San Diego Chargers wide receiver Andy Bark, played her club ball at Elite Beach Volleyball under co-director and former Cal star Holly McPeak. Last summer, she took second place at the AAU Tour Championships in Hermosa Beach, Calif. She was an All-Bay League selection as an indoor player.
“Bryce is a great athlete and she dedicated herself to sand to give her an opportunity to play at Cal,” Feller said.
Feldman participated in last summer’s AAU Junior Olympic Games, where her club took second overall.
“Mackenzie comes from Hawaii, where there is a great history of playing a lot of sand volleyball,” Feller said. “She had a desire to come to Cal for her academics and to play sand volleyball.”
Regalia and Neff are both local products who excelled for their high school indoor teams. Regalia was an all-league selection all four years at Mission High School and also won the NorCal Grand Slam Open in 2013. Regalia earned a bid to the USA Volleyball Junior Nationals. Neff was an All-MCAL Second Team pick last season playing for Novato High School.
“Katie and Teya are both a really good fit for Cal,” Feller said. “They are both six-rotation indoor players and we just didn’t have space on our indoor team. Both of them are now devoted to the sand game, which is great.”