Aug. 28, 2000
BERKELEY, CA -
HEAD COACH RICH FELLER: Rich Feller (13-15 at Cal, career 312-182, .632) is beginning his second season as the head coach of Cal's women's volleyball program. Feller took over the Bears coaching reins when he was hired in December 1998. He comes to Cal after a stint as an assistant coach on the USA National Team and 14 successful years as head coach at Colorado State (1983-96) where he led the Rams to eight NCAA Tournament appearances and 12 Top 25 national rankings. Feller earned his 300th career victory when the Bears defeated Denver, 3-1, Sept. 4, 1999.
BEAR NOTES: The Cal volleyball team will begin the 2000 season at the Silver Legacy/Ray Wersching Invitational hosted at the Old Gymnasium on the Nevada campus. The Bears return seven players and a coaching staff that helped establish Cal as the most improved volleyball program in the conference last season, finishing 13-15 overall and 7-11 in the Pac-10 under first-year head coach Rich Feller. The Bears 13 overall wins were the most since 1995 (also 13-15), and Cal's seven conference victories were the most since 1991. The Bears 7-11 league record assured Cal a sixth-place league finish, its highest conference placing since finishing fifth with a 9-9 record in 1991. A top player for the Bears will be 5-9 senior outside hitter/setter Alicia Perry. Perry was spectacular at the end of last season when she had back-to-back triple-doubles against Washington State and Washington and was named Nov. 22 Pac-10 Player of the Week. It was the first time in Cal history a player has had back-to-back triple-doubles. The Bears were using a 6-2 offense and against Washington State, Perry had 21 kills, 31 assists and 19 digs. Against Washington the following night, she had 23 kills, 32 assists and 11 digs. Perry also had a .320 hitting percentage against the Cougars and a .314 hitting percentage against the Huskies. Another multi-talented athlete for Cal is 6-0 junior setter/outside hitter Candace McNamee, who like Perry was named Pac-10 Player of the Week during the '99 season. McNamee earned the honor Oct. 4 and was later featured in Sports Illustrated's Faces in the Crowd when she broke the school record with a .917 hitting percentage (11 kills, no errors, 12 attempts) versus Oregon and recorded a triple-double (14 kills, 14 digs, 36 assists) versus Oregon State. Both McNamee and Perry are members of the Bears all-time career Top 10 list as McNamee is third in career assists (1919) and Perry is 10th in career kills (900). In the Pac-10 Coaches Preseason Poll, the Bears were selected to finish sixth. Cal currently has the conferences' longest win streak with three-straight victories to end the 1999 season.
CAL VS. THE OPPONENTS: Cal has a 7-2 all-time record against Nevada, defeating the Wolf Pack in the final match of the 1999 season, 3-0 (16-14, 15-6, 14-16, 15-8), Nov. 23 in Haas Pavilion. Nevada finished the '99 season 17-11 and will be led by 6-0 junior middle blocker Kellie LaBossiere. The Bears have a 1-1 all-time record against Minnesota, defeating the Gophers in the last match between the two schools, 3-2, Sept. 7, 1989 at the JMN Premier Invitational in Fullerton, CA. Minnesota was 27-9 last season and advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16. The Gophers are led by 6-1 senior outside hitter Nicole Branagh. Cal has never faced Kent State in women's volleyball. The Golden Flashes finished the 1999 season 14-17 and will be led by 5-10 senior middle blocker Shiva Davis.