Aug. 22, 2012
Cal Volleyball Weekly Release
Two years removed from an appearance in the NCAA championship match, the No. 17 Cal volleyball team is ready to open the 2012 season. The Golden Bears begin play with a visit to San Diego for the Aztec Invitational. Cal plays a pair of matches Saturday, beginning with a tilt against Delaware at 1 p.m. The Bears then take on host San Diego State at 7 p.m.
Breaking Down the 2012 Bears
Ten letterwinners return, four starters are back
Six talented newcomers join the squad
All four returning starters earned All-Pac-12 honorable mention lat season
Returners include senior middle hitter Shannon Hawari (AVCA Pacific Region honorable mention), senior middle hitter Kat Brown (Pac-12 honorable mention), senior opposite Correy Johnson (three-year starter), senior libero Robin Rostratter (holds Cal's single-season digs record) and junior outside hitter Adrienne Gehan (All-Pac-10 Freshman team in 2010)
Ranked in the preseason by the AVCA for the 10th consecutive year
Pac-12 coaches picked the Bears to finish sixth in the annual preseason poll
Following the Bears From Afar
Live statistics for both of Cal's matches Saturday will be provided via the live stats links on the CalBears.com website. Free live video and audio for the San Diego State match is also available at GoAztecs.com. Fans can also receive set-score updates and a behind-the-scenes look at the Bears by following Cal on Twitter or by "Liking" the Cal Volleyball Facebook page.
About the Blue Hens
Delaware was picked to finish second in the Colonial Athletic Conference (CAA)
Won its second consecutive CAA title last season and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament
Finished 2011 with an overall record of 21-13
Blue Hens have won four of the past five CAA championships
Senior outside hitter Alissa Alker was an All-CAA first team pick last season and middle hitter Chelsea Lawrence made the second team. Both were All-CAA preseason selections this year
About the Aztecs
San Diego State was selected to finish in second place in the Mountain West Conference
Aztecs went 18-10 in 2011 and finished in second place in the MWC (10-4)
Return five starters and a libero, including honorable mention AVCA All-American Andrea Hannasch
Next Week on the Court
The Bears go tropical with a visit to Honolulu for the Hawaiian Airlines Wahine Volleyball Classic. The three-day tournament commences Aug. 31 with a match against Baylor. On Sept. 1, Cal takes on Bay Area foe San Francisco. The Bears wrap up the tourney with a showdown against host Hawaii. All three matches begin at 8 p.m. PT.
Opening The Doors of Haas Pavilion
The Bears will make their home debut on Sept. 6 against Jiangsu, a Chinese club team. The match will begin at 7 p.m. and be televised by the Pac-12 Networks. On Sept. 7-8, Cal hosts the Molten Classic presented by Hilton Garden Inn. The Bears welcome Penn, UC Riverside and Northern Arizona for the weekend tournament.
Conference Coaches Forecast Sixth Place for Cal
The Pac-12 Conference coaches picked the Bears to finish sixth in the annual preseason poll with 77 points. Cal was tabbed to place second in 2010 and ended up sharing the conference title and advancing to the NCAA title match. Defending national champion UCLA was picked to win this year's conference crown, collecting 10 first-place votes and 120 total points. Stanford earned the other two first-place votes and was selected to finish second.
Preseason AVCA Poll Places Cal 17th in the Country
For the 10th straight year, Cal earned a spot in the AVCA Division I Coaches Top 25 Preseason Poll, coming in at No. 17. The Bears began last season at No. 3, their highest preseason ranking ever. UCLA tops this year's preseason poll, earning 54 of the possible 60 first-place votes.
Texas Two Step
Cal continues to feature a strong Texas flavor on its roster. This will mark the 10th consecutive season the Bears will feature at least two players from the Lone Star State. Senior middle hitter Shannon Hawari hails from Plano, Texas while junior outside hitter Adrienne Gehan is from Dallas.
Feller to Appear on Cal Coaches Corner
Cal coach Rich Feller will be a guest on the first Cal Coaches Corner of the 2012-13 season on Aug. 27. Every Monday at 6 p.m. PT, fans can tune in to KNEW 910-AM for the third year of the radio show hosted by Todd McKim. The one-hour program features guest coaches and athletes from all of Cal's 29 intercollegiate athletics teams.
Recapping the 2011 Season
Cal went 26-7, 16-6 in the Pac-12 Conference (third place)
Advanced to 10th straight NCAA Tournament, losing to North Carolina in the first round
Tarah Murrey was named AVCA Second Team All-American
Middle hitters Shannon Hawari and Kat Brown, opposite Correy Johnson and libero Robin Rostratter each were named Pac-12 honorable mention
Cal registered its eighth straight 20-win season
Rostratter Sets Digs Mark
Senior libero Robin Rostratter registered 571 digs in 2011, which is a new Cal record. The previous standard was held by Jillian Davis, who compiled 548 digs in 2008.
Bears Continue to Excel in Classroom
For the second consecutive year, Cal was recognized with the AVCA Team Academic Award. The honor is bestowed on 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.
Senior libero Robin Rostratter was named to the Pac-12 All-Academic first team.
Cal to Host NCAA Regionals
Cal has been selected as one of four sites to host the 2012 NCAA Regionals. The third and fourth rounds will be played at Haas Pavilion on Dec. 7-8. Fans can purchase tickets at the Haas Pavilion Athletic Ticket Office or by calling (800) GO-BEARS. Nebraska, Texas and Purdue are the other regional hosts. The NCAA championships will be held at the University of Louisville.
Season Tickets Still Available
Season and individual match tickets are still available for purchase. Purchasing season tickets offers fans a 50-percent discount per ticket over single-match tickets. Also included in the season-ticket package are two free tickets to the UCLA match, four free tickets to the Stanford match and two "you pick" tickets to any regular-season match. Cal's home schedule includes six teams that advanced to the NCAA Tournament last season.
A Golden Olympics for the Golden Bears
A total of 46 Golden Bear athletes, coaches and staff members represented Cal during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, and together, they brought home a school-record-tying 17 medals (11 gold, 1 silver, 5 bronze). The Bears have won 50 medals over the past three Olympics (16 in 2004, 17 in 2008, 17 in 2012), and they have captured 178 medals all-time (99 gold).
Cal No. 1 Public University in the Country
The University of California is the No. 1-ranked public university in the United States, according to U.S. News and World Report. The faculty has won 22 Nobel Prizes, including nine current members, while 28 alumni have received a Nobel Prize. A National Research Council analysis of U.S. universities concluded that the campus has the largest number of highly ranked graduate programs in the country (48 of 52). Cal also has a long commitment to public service, with more than 4,000 students annually doing volunteer work and more than 3,000 Peace Corps participants all-time.