The season may be young for the No. 14 Cal softball team, but the Bears were out to make a statement last weekend at the Cathedral City Classic just outside of Palm Springs.
Four teams were lined up to play Cal over the weekend, and all four went home defeated. While the wins over Indiana (4-3), Massachusetts (4-0) and Cal Poly (2-0) were important, it was Saturday's defeat of No. 20 LSU (11-3) that particularly resonated with the team.
With five straight (and nine of the last 10) College World Series championships, the Pac-10 has illustrated its dominance over the last decade. Yet it is the SEC that generally receives much of the attention around the country, which can be attributed to the television contract that the conference has with ESPN.
Until the Pac-10 is able to secure a television contract that will feature softball more frequently (which, we're told, is in the works), Cal and the rest of the Pac-10 will simply let on-field results do the talking.
We caught up with starting infielder Jace Williams - who happens to be a blogger as well - this afternoon to talk about the weekend and, more specifically, the Pac-10-SEC rivalry. Here's what she had to say.
David Seawright: What was the highlight of your weekend?
Jace Williams: We've had some good games, some OK games, games where we didn't play well but still won, but against LSU we had a glimpse of brilliance where it showed the potential of this team. It showed where we're going and where we could go this season.
DS: What feeds the Pac-10's rivalry with the SEC? JW: The Pac-10 is clearly the most dominant conference in softball. It's pretty impressive for a conference as a whole. The SEC wants to pipe in and say that the Pac-10 was dominant but isn't anymore, but until they win I don't see them being able to say those things. DS: Is that why it was so special to beat LSU, a top-25 team from the SEC?
JW: It shouldn't be more special, but whenever you see an SEC team, especially after what Georgia did to us at the Super Regional last year, we really wanted to take it to them. We wanted to make a statement for our conference and us as a team. DS: What was that statement? JW: That we're a force to be reckoned with. We have an insane amount of athleticism on this team. Our speed is unbelievable. We showcased what our team is capable of and where we're going and what we have to look forward to this season. We really capitalized our strengths.
Caitlin Leverenz at the dual meet against Stanford two weeks ago.
The Cal women's swimming and diving team finished second at the Pac-10 Championships in Federal Way, Washington this past weekend.
Only weeks after beating Stanford in a dual meet at Spieker Pool here in Berkeley, the Bears barely fell to the Cardinal this time around. Thankfully, they'll get another shot at their Bay Area rival in two weeks at the NCAA Championships in Austin, Texas.
Sophomore swimmer Caitlin Leverenz - the 2010 Pac-10 Newcomer of the Year and reigning Pac-10 swimmer of the month - took some time out of her busy schedule (she has three midterms this week) to speak to the Bear Blog about her weekend. Here's what she had to say.
David Seawright:How would you grade your performance this weekend?
Caitlin Leverenz: Overall, it was a good weekend - we swam well and had a lot of really good things happen, but we also definitely had some not so great things happen as well. Of course we wanted to win, but it's better to not win Pac-10s and have the extra motivation for NCAAs than lose out at NCAAs and have to wait an entire year for another shot. DS:You guys lost to Stanford only weeks after beating them in a dual meet. What's that like? CL: It's tough - of course we loved beating Stanford in the dual meet, but at the end of the day it's not dual meets that matter. We're disappointed we didn't win a Pac-10 title but we're definitely looking forward to another opportunity in a couple weeks. The team is really fired up. DS:You won your first ever individual Pac-10 title this weekend. What does that mean to you?
CL: It's exciting. It's a big honor to win a Pac-10 title at all, whether it's on a relay or an individual event. But we want more than that, so I'm glad we're not finished.
DS:What are your personal goals heading into NCAAs? CL: First and foremost I want to win a team title, but I also want to win an individual title. Also, some of the relays that I'm on are close to some American and NCAA records so I'd love to get those. Bust mostly it's just to swim faster than I did last weekend.
As you may recall from this video that was the Bear Blog's on camera debut, the Bears had quite a bit going on around the country over the weekend.
Today, apart from filming the newest edition of This Week in Cal Athletics (which you'll get to see tomorrow), the Bear Blog will be bringing you reactions from players and coaches following the numerous events that took place since we last posted on the blog Friday afternoon.
What does that mean for you? Keep it here throughout the day for the type of Cal sports coverage you won't get anywhere else.
The current Cal baseball season is young, but senior pitcher Kevin Miller is certainly starting things off on the right foot.
In just the fourth game of the year, Miller allowed only one hit in over eight innings of work in a 17-0 victory over Coastal Carolina in the first game of the Caravelle Resorts Tournament in Conway, South Carolina.
Miller's no-hit bid ended with a John Fidanza double in the bottom of the eighth inning. After allowing the hit, Miller was replaced by junior Joey Donofrio.
Be sure to visit CalBears.com later tonight for a full recap of the game. No. 17 Cal plays North Carolina State tomorrow and Kansas State on Sunday to conclude the tournament schedule.
The Cal softball team may not play a game in Berkeley until April 1 - and no, that's not an early April Fool's joke - but the Bears have quite a bit going on before then.
With four different tournaments coming up (one of which is in Honolulu - I'll have to see if they want the Bear Blog covering that one exclusively) before Pac-10 play begins, No. 14 Cal has an important preseason stretch throughout March.
One of those tournaments began earlier today in Cathedral City, California - which is right outside of Palm Springs - as the Bears just finished a close game with Indiana that ended with a wild pitch scoring junior Frani Echavarria for the winning run. The Bears will face of against Massachusetts in today's second game.
Cal will play No. 20 LSU tomorrow afternoon before the tournament schedule concludes with a Sunday afternoon match up with Cal Poly.
For constant updates on everything Cal softball, you can follow the team on Twitter. And of course, stick with the Bear Blog for a more in depth look at the Bears coming soon.
Fresh off of a dual meet victory over No. 1 Stanford, the Cal women's swimming and diving team has had a strong performance thus far at the Pac-10 Championships in Federal Way, Washington.
Heading into today's competition, numerous impressive individual performances have put the Bears in second place behind the team they beat less than two weeks ago.
Liv Jensen further secured her spot in Cal swimming history as the defending national champion swam a school record 21.73 seconds in the 50-free, securing a school record and automatic qualifying position at NCAA's - not to mention an individual Pac-10 championship.
Sophomore Caitlin Leverenz, who has already been named the Pac-10 swimmer of the month this year, placed second in the 200 individual medley and fell just short of breaking the school record held by Cal swimming legend Natalie Coughlin.
With two days worth of competition remaining, the Bears seem poised to make a push for the Pac-10 crown. One thing we know for sure is that if it comes down to the final relay, Cal certainly has the advantage over that team from Palo Alto.
The No. 5 Cal women's tennis team is quietly putting together a stellar season this year. With wins over then No. 4 UCLA and No. 19 Arkansas, the Golden Bears seem poised to make another push deep into the postseason.
Cal still has two matches scheduled with currently top-ranked (and defending national champion) Stanford. Of course, the Bears were national runner ups in 2009 after falling to Duke in the championship match.
Cal will continue its quest for a Pac-10 and national championship today against Washington State, weather permitting, at 1:30 p.m. at the Hellman Tennis Complex on campus.
Earlier this week I sat in on one of the Bears' practices to see them in action. Here are a few photos from Wednesday afternoon.
The Bears stretch before practice at the Hellman Tennis Complex, just north of Edwards Stadium.
Two of Cal's No. 5 women's tennis team stretch prior to an afternoon practice.
The Bears use bands to fully warm up their upper bodies before practice.
Two Bears warm each other up on the courts of the Hellman Tennis Complex.
After finishing practice on the floor of Haas Pavilion this morning, the Cal volleyball team went directly into the weight room across the hall and commenced a strenuous hour-and-a-half long workout.
Strength and conditioning coach Hank Behrens put the Bears through an extensive warm up before starting the workout with a lengthy, endurance building circuit including box jumps, burpies, hurdles, and more.
While the circuit alone would have been an admirable workout for a single day, it merely served as a precursor to the actual weight lifting that was about to begin.
All in all, the Bears were at it for about three hours this morning in the gym and weight room. Reigning national coach of the year Rich Feller certainly is wasting no time in preparing his team to return once again to the Final Four.
It may be the off season for the Cal volleyball program, but the 2010 national runner ups are hard at work preparing to return to the Final Four in 2011.
This morning we were on hand for their morning practice in Haas Pavilion. The Bears went through serving, passing and hitting drills before heading to the weight room for an extensive workout session. Here are some photos from the practice, with a look at the weight room workout to come.
Coach Rich Feller (right) looks on while Correy Johnson prepares for the next serve.
The team huddles around coach Feller after their morning practice.
Lauren Loerch, Correy Johnson and Kat Brown (left to right) change out of their practice attire to begin their weight room session.
This morning, the Bear Blog will be tagging along the Cal volleyball team as they conduct an off season workout routine, complete with practice earlier (it started at 8:45 a.m.) and a weight lifting session immediately after. Stick around throughout the day to catch interviews and photos of the 2010 national runner-ups.
The Cal track and field team will leave tomorrow morning for Seattle to compete in the MPSF Indoor Championships at the University of Washington. This meet will conclude the indoor regular season for the Bears.
I was on hand for Cal's practice this afternoon and learned something new. With over 100 athletes on the roster, it is impossible for everyone to practice at the same time. While I suppose that this should have been common sense, it was news to me.
So when I arrived at Edwards Stadium this afternoon I wasn't greeted by a bustling crowd of athletes fighting for lanes on the track, but instead a quiet and subdued group enjoying an absolutely beautiful afternoon.
Regardless, I took a few pictures to give Bear Blog readers a glimpse of the Cal track and field team before they head to Seattle. Check those photos out below.
A few Cal athletes make use of the beautiful weather at Edwards Stadium.
Goldman Field and Edwards Stadium soak in today's sunshine.
Junior Kendall Morris warms up while coach Ed Miller looks on.
Two of Cal's distance runners work out on the track.
One of my favorite things about the athletes who go to Cal is that they do so much more than perform admirably on the field. Each student-athlete specifically selected to attend such a challenging university because of the numerous opportunities available after graduation.
Here's a great example of one such athlete. Sophomore low attacker Gina Holslag of the Cal women's lacrosse team (you may remember her from this post last week) has aspirations to work on television after college. The Cal Sports Report heard about this dream and featured her this week, which you can watch right here.
Here is the Bear Blog's on camera from this week's episode of This Week in Cal Athletics. I'd say it's a decent effort for the first time out, but feel free to criticize away below. What else is the "comment" option for, anyway?
While I may be somewhat savvy with my words, I am helpless when it comes to technology. So, until I'm taught how to embed a video not from YouTube onto the Bear Blog, I'm left to simply provide you with the link. Enjoy.
Since I know that all of you were holding your breaths waiting to hear how my on-camera debut went, I thought I'd give you a quick update. The answer? I have no idea - you'll see it right along with me later today.
As soon as the editing process is finished, the video will be uploaded to the CalBears.com homepage and I'll embed it right here on the Bear Blog, so stay tuned. To whet your appetite, check out this tweet which includes a picture of This Week in Cal Athletics host Chelsea Brown in action.
One of the most exciting things about the blog format is its versatility - a single post can provide a written account, photographs and video of a certain event. If you're new to the blog, scroll through the last week's worth of content and you'll see exactly what I mean.
The versatility of the format also requires the versatility of those behind the Bear Blog. While I have plenty of experience as a writer, my career as a photographer is about a week old - after all, the blog only launched last week - and I am yet to make my on-camera debut.
Well, today is that day. I will be featured in this week's edition of This Week in Cal Athletics on the CalBears.com home page to discuss the new and improved Bear Blog.
In a few moments I'll be leaving my mobile office (aka my laptop in my apartment) to head to Haas Pavilion to set sail on this new experience.
Filming starts in about an hour and, if I'm completely honest, I still have no idea what I'm going to say. Regardless, it should be a fun ride and, if I'm good enough, I just might secure a weekly spot in the video for the remainder of the spring semester.
So be sure to check back later today for when This Week in Cal Athletics goes up. I'll be sure to provide a link both on the blog and on Twitter for you to see what's coming up in the world of Cal sports and the Bear Blog.
I hope all of you had a pleasant holiday weekend, whether you are in our out of work today. The Presidents Day holiday gave Cal students the day off from class today, time which I'll be using to be holed up in the depths of the main stacks as I conduct research for my honors thesis.
The Bear Blog will be back in full force tomorrow with recaps from this weekends events - there was quite a bit going on in Berkeley - and continued inside-access coverage of all things Cal sports.
After a closely fought loss - much like the one suffered by Cal last night to USC by the score of 78-75 - the last thing a player or coach wants to do is discuss the ins and outs of that loss to a room full of inquiring minds.
While you may take the postgame news coverage of your favorite teams for granted, it is the compliance of the athletes and coaches to speak to the media that make such stories possible.
Last night, I was on hand during the postgame press conference at Haas Pavilion, not to jot down quotes or ask prying questions, but to capture the mood of the Bears while having to face the media immediately after a difficult defeat.
Here are a few photos from when media spoke with senior Markhuri Sanders-Frison and head coach Mike Montgomery following last night's game.
Senior Markhuri Sanders-Frison awaits questions during the postgame press conference.
Cal head coach Mike Montgomery speaks to the press after losing to USC 78-75.
Montgomery looks down while listening to the questions of the assembled media members.
Once the Cal basketball players are properly taped and stretched, they head out on to the floor of Haas Pavilion for a pregame shoot around.
As before, I was on hand with Bear Blog photographer James Besser to see the Bears throughout every step of their game day experience.
The pregame shoot around begins as a free-for-all - each player shoots from all over the floor and continues to loosen up. Cal then heads briefly to the locker room before reemerging as a unit for a more coordinated, unified warm up as a team.
The Bears then stretch some more before going back to the locker room for the last time before tip off. We were there for all of it, and the best of the photos taken are waiting for you right here.
Guard Jorge Gutierrez warms up his jump shot.
Sophomore Robert Thurman works on his jump-hook.
Robert Thurman (right) and Bak Bak work under the basket during warm ups.
Sophomore Bak Bak works on his stroke before the evening's match up with USC.
Freshman Richard Solomon takes the floor with the rest of his team.
Junior Nigel Carter looks on as starting guards Jorge Gutierrez and Brandon Smith stretch out.
Preparation for a basketball game begins hours before tip off with a game day walk through, meeting, and team meal. While these preparations are largely mental, physical preparations also have to be made.
About two hours before tip off, Cal basketball players begin to trickle into the training room on the first floor of Haas Pavilion to get taped and stretched before hitting the court for their pregame warm up.
I was on hand with Bear Blog photographer James Besser to capture the action in the training room before last night's game against USC. You can only see these exclusive photos here.
A pair of Cal basketball shoes rest on a table in the training room of Haas Pavilion.
Sophomore guard Brandon Smith ties up his shoes before heading out onto the court.
Junior Jorge Gutierrez gets his ankle taped while listening to music.
Sophomore forward Bak Bak looks on as his ankle gets taped.
Freshman Richard Solomon waits to get taped while sitting on a table in the training room.
Senior Markhuri Sanders-Frison serves as the backdrop to his Air Jordan Nikes.
Markhuri Sanders-Frison listens to music while his ankles are taped by the Cal basketball trainer.
Earlier this year, Cal beat USC by a bucket, 68-66. The opposite true tonight following the Bears' second match up with the Trojans this season, with USC topping Cal 78-75.
The Bears played without star freshman Allen Crabbe for the second game straight. Crabbe has more time to recover from a concussion suffered against Washington on February 10 before Cal hosts UCLA on Sunday evening.
Despite the disappointing result for the Bears, I enjoyed much of the evening as I got to meet some of the ticket giveaway winners throughout the second half. As I continue to have giveaways - which, I assure you, I will - I hope to meet many more Bear Blog readers.
I will be back tomorrow with an exclusive look at the Bears' pregame routine that you won't see anywhere else, so be sure to check back in then. As always, you can follow the blog Twitter for all of your up-to-the-minute Cal news.
Much of the night is focused on Cal's game against USC at 7:30 p.m, and justifiably so - but that's not all that's happening tonight at Haas Pavilion.
As I write, the women's basketball team is on the floor for its final practice before flying to Los Angeles for its own set of games against USC and UCLA this weekend.
The No. 4 women's water polo team is practicing nearby at Spieker Pool,
preparing further for its match up at No. 10 San Jose State on Saturday
Meanwhile, the Utah baseball team is out testing the conditions of Evans Diamond before its three game series against No. 17 Cal kicks off tomorrow, weather permitting. As an aside, a very special guest will be on hand for Sunday's series finale between the Bears and the Utes.
The men's basketball team has already concluded its game day shoot around and has finished its pregame meal. Soon, the Bears will report to the locker room and begin their normal pregame routine.
Similarly, numerous staff members are also performing their normal pregame duties. Two UCPD squad cars are parked outside the main entrance of Haas, other workers are opening concession stands and stocking them with food and the athletic department employees not scheduled to work tonight's games are locking their offices and heading home for the evening.
Very shortly I'll be leaving the desk I work at - it's simply an extra computer, I can't call it "mine" - to shadow the Bears before taking in all the action from press row.
As I mentioned earlier, take to Twitter to let me know if you're going to be at Haas tonight. I'd love to stop by and talk Cal sports with you at some point during the game. And if you couldn't make it tonight, you don't have to worry - I'll be publishing exclusive men's basketball content to the Bear Blog tomorrow.
I am pleased to announce that I gave away 10 pairs of seats to tonight's game against USC at Haas Pavilion. That's right - 20 tickets were awarded to readers and followers of the Bear Blog.
Again, thank you to all who participated and to those who responded to my messages regarding tonight's game. If you keep reading the Bear Blog, you'll certainly have more opportunities to win tickets to Cal events.
For those who won, your tickets will be waiting at the white will call booth - which will open at 5:30 p.m. - in front of Haas Pavilion under the name you provided me.
Meanwhile, this photo should give you an idea where I'll be tonight.
The game will tip off at 7:30 p.m. tonight. If you can't make it, listen or watch live online here.
If you are going to be at Haas tonight, tweet at me and I just might come say hello and talk Cal sports with you.
Thanks to everyone who participated in the Bear Blog'sfirst ever ticket giveaway. You all played an integral role in spreading the word about this new facet of CalBears.com.
If you participated in the giveaway, please check your message inbox on Twitter or the email you provided when commenting on the original post. You will be asked to respond with your full name. If I do not hear back from you by 11:30 a.m., I will offer your tickets to another participant.
If you did win, your tickets will be waiting at the white will call booth in front of Haas Pavilion before the game tonight.
If you didn't win, don't worry - there will be plenty more giveaways to come, so stick around and keep reading the Bear Blog.
Earlier this afternoon I gave you an exclusive look at the work the No. 1 Cal swimming and diving team does in the weight room. That workout was simply a precursor to the work they do in the pool, which immediately followed their afternoon lift.
Bear Blog photographer James Besser was on hand at Spieker Pool to catch all of the action. Be sure to check out those photos below.
Cal, complete with 12 returning All-American selections, will host No. 2 Stanford at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday afternoon for the final dual meet of the 2011 season. This will be your last chance to see the Bears in action before the Pac-10 and NCAA Championships take place away from Berkeley.
A Cal swimmer jumps into the pool at the start of today's workout.
Coach Dave Durden (left) waits for his team on the deck of Spieker Pool.
Sophomore Tom Shields (left) takes a quick breather during this afternoon's pool workout.
A Cal freestyler works on his stroke in Spieker Pool.
A Cal swimmer is caught mid-turn by photographer James Besser.
Cal athletes get plenty of recognition for the way they perform during competition, yet their work throughout the week generally goes unnoticed. Not any more.
As I mentioned earlier, today I am shadowing the men's swimming and diving team throughout their second workout of the day, which began at 1:00 p.m. in the weight room on the first floor of Haas Pavilion.
I brought along Bear Blog photographer James Besser (who also happens to be a rugby all-American) to capture all the action that you can't see anywhere else.
The No. 1 Bears have numerous athletes who have achieved success at the international and NCAA levels. Here's an exclusive look at the work they do to stay on top (with another post from their water workout to come).
Sophomore Tom Shields warms up while coach Dave Durden (above) looks on.
Olympian Nathan Adrian (left) warms up with a teammate in the Haas weight room.
Junior Isaac Howell works out on a slide board.
Sophomore Nick Trowbridge in the middle of a clean-pull lift.
A Cal swimmer elevates off the platform during his lifting regimen.
The header that you see above boldly states that the Bear Blog will be "bringing Cal sports to the fans."
In most cases, this will mean bringing you an inside look at the day-to-day activities of the Cal athletic department (as you can see below). In this special case, however, "bringing Cal sports to the fans" takes a twist: I'll be bringing Cal fans to the sports.
More specifically, I am offering you the easiest ticket giveaway ever. Really, I mean it. All you have to do is follow the Bear Blog on Twitter and retweet this post and you will have a chance to win two tickets to see men's basketball play USC at 7:30 tomorrow evening at Haas Pavilion.
If you aren't currently on Twitter (which, well, you should be), comment on this post you will still be in the running to win a pair of tickets to the game. I have plenty of tickets to give away, meaning I will pick numerous winners by tomorrow morning.
See? I told you this is the easiest ticket giveaway ever. Follow these instructions and I just might be seeing you on Thursday night.
There's always something going on in the world of Cal atheltics, and I'm here to offer you proof. Here are four pictures of what is happening right now at Haas Pavilion taken by my cell phone only moments ago.
The Cal men's basketball team conducts ball drills to open up practice.
The Cal baseball team removes the protective tarp from Evans Diamond following a day of rain in Berkeley.
Women's swimming and diving takes to the land to work out in the Haas weight room.
The men's swimming team finishes its practice, as seen from a third story window of Haas Pavilion overlooking Spieker Pool.
I may not have posted since yesterday afternoon, but this morning was a busy one for the Bear Blog.
Just as I am introducing myself to the fans this week as the eye within the athletic department on your behalf, so too must I be introduced to the department as a whole.
This morning I presented the concept of the Bear Blog to about 40 of Cal's coaches and fielded their questions regarding this new element of CalBears.com. Thankfully, these coaches were receptive to the blog's mission and are as excited as I am about the new exposure it will provide for all of the varsity sports here in Berkeley.
So why am I telling you this? Because this was a big step toward bringing fans the all-access look at the Bears that has become my personal mission.
And without making any direct promises, stay tuned for the rest of the day and week regarding other opportunities for you to contribute to the launch of the Bear Blog. Don't worry, you will be compensated for your efforts.
The Cal men's basketball team shooting around before today's practice.
Even though the seats are empty in this picture of Haas Pavilion, they certainly won't be this weekend. Cal hosts USC (13-12, 6-7 Pac-10) on Thursday night at 7:30 p.m. and second place UCLA (18-7, 9-3 Pac-10) at 7:00 p.m. on Sunday evening.
Last month, the Bears beat the Trojans by a bucket but fell to the Bruins 86-84 in Los Angeles. With both squads visiting Berkeley this time around, Cal is on the prowl to beat itsrivals from the south.
Tickets are still available for these two games as well as the season finale against Stanford on March 5 - grab them while they're still available. And for all of those living outside of the Bay Area, fear not - the Bear Blog will be on hand to bring you an inside look into all of the action.
After a weekend of absolutely beautiful weather (see the swimming and lacrosse posts below), it suddenly feels like February. Here's a photo taken just moments ago from the second floor of the west side of Haas Pavilion looking over Evans Diamond, Edwards Stadium and beyond. Here's to hoping the the sun comes back soon, but from the looks of this forecast, it might be awhile.
Cal fans can agree - perhaps the only thing that can sweeten a beautiful, 75 degree mid-February Saturday in Berkeley is beating Stanford in just about anything.
When the Stanford team knocked off by Cal also happens to be the top ranked team in the country, well, it's that much better.
That's exactly what went down on Saturday afternoon at Spieker Pool as the Golden Bears hosted the Cardinal for the final dual meet of the 2011 women's swimming and diving season and sent them back to Palo Alto defeated 155-145.
"Today was an absolutely beautiful day and we had more people than I think I've ever seen at a swim meet," said sophomore Caitlin Leverenz, who won three individual events and set two pool records, including one held previously by Cal swimming legend Natalie Coughlin. "We've only beaten them a few times, so that just makes this that much more special."
More specifically, it was only the fifth time that the Bears had beaten the Cardinal in a dual meet, and Leverenz believes it was the first time Cal had ever been successful doing so at Spieker Pool.
Despite the individual efforts of Leverenz, senior Amanda Sims (winner of the 100 and 200 butterfly) and junior Liv Jensen (winner of the 50 and 100 freestyle), it took a come-from-behind effort in the 400 freestyle relay for the Bears to capture their first Big Meet win since 2006.
Fortunately for you, you can see footage of that race and pictures from the meet here and nobody else. Check it out below and, while you're at it, subscribe to the Bear Blog's YouTube page to stay up to date on all your inside-access videos.
The Cal band plays pre-meet for the fans at Spieker Pool.
The Cal swimming and diving
roster is introduced before the
Sophomore Caitlin Leverenz (right) enters Spieker Pool for the 200 IM.She won the event as well as two others on the day.
Head coach Teri McKeever looks on as her team celebrates knocking off No. 1 Stanford.
Cal thanks the fans for attending the Big Meet on Saturday, February 12.
In what sophomore low attacker Gina Holslag aptly described as an "emotional roller coaster," the Cal women's lacrosse team had about as eventful a weekend as they come.
It all began on Friday morning when the team learned that they were to be preserved as a varsity sport at Cal. With each player fulfilling their normal Friday morning requirements of class, discussion section or down time - it was, after all, a game day - news spread quickly as the team celebrated with one another via text messages and phone calls.
Despite the excitement, the Bears had to regain focus to face No. 10 Notre Dame at Witter Rugby Field on Friday afternoon to kick off their 2011 campaign. Although Cal lost that game, it came back strong on Sunday with a commanding 15-11 win over UC Davis in its MPSF conference opener.
So, what is to be made of all of this? Following the win over UC Davis, I caught up with Holslag to discuss the weekend. Check out that interview plus some pictures from the weekend below.
David Seawright:What is your immediate reaction to being reinstated after thinking for months that this would be your last lacrosse season ever?
Gina Holslag: I'm stoked. I'm ready to bring it back. I'm ready to dominate, sort of like we did today, and that's about it."
DS: And what about after notching your first win of the 2011 season?
GH: It feels amazing - it feels awesome. We lost to this team last year and they're in the MPSF conference, so winning now looks pretty good for the MPSF championship, which we also plan on winning.
DS: After scoring three goals on the weekend, including two in today's victory, is it safe to call you a goal scoring machine?
GH: Maybe we should wait for me to get a couple more games under my belt before we go with that, but I'm planning on becoming one.
DS:What is most exciting to you: tyour team being preserved, scoring two goals in the first win of the season, or being featured on the first day of the all new Bear Blog on CalBears.com?
GH: I guess I would pretty much call it a three-way tie, just because I'm stoked that we just won, I'm really happy for our future plans now that we've been reinstated and I can't even fathom how awesome it is that I'll be on the first day of the Bear Blog. So yeah, it's a three-way tie.
My name is David Seawright, and the Bear Blog is my new home. After three years of college football, including a stint as Cal's starting placekicker before suffering a career-altering injury in 2008, I will combine my passion for Cal sports and my off-the-field abilities to bring news of the Bears to you, the fans.
I have plenty of experience that will be applied when doing this job, like the aforementioned writing gigs, plus writing for Cal Game Day programs and the Pac-10 website, as well as an internship with KGO Television. But my true value will come with my experience as a student athlete at the world's greatest institution of higher learning.
This spring, I will graduate with a bachelor's degree in Media Studies after only three years of undergraduate study. This semester I am completing an honors thesis that will analyze the effect the polarized cable news networks have on policy-making decisions by those who hold public office. Most importantly, I accomplished all of this while devoting countless hours a week to the game of football.
It is that experience that I hope to deliver to each of you every day. I am fortunate enough to be friends with some of the greatest people in the world who just happen to be some of the greatest athletes in the world as well. I'll be giving you an inside look at the every day life of a Cal athlete, their workout regimens and competitions. Consider this your all-access pass inside the world of the Golden Bears.
This certainly will be a fun ride. I can guarantee that what you find here you will not find anywhere else, as the athletic department has granted me previously unfathomable access to every Cal sport.
So come inside and feel free to stick around. Follow the Bear Blog on Twitter. Make my new home your homepage and get your personal look inside Cal athletics.