Sept. 12, 2011
Complete Big Spike Notes
Tuesday, Sept. 13
7 p.m. PT - No. 1 Cal (10-0) vs. No. 2 Stanford (6-0)
Haas Pavilion - Berkeley
Coverage: GameTracker, Twitter, Live Video Streaming
Series Record vs. the Cardinal: 10-62
Last Meeting: W, 3-1 (11/19/10)
Note: Parking is available for purchase for $10 in the RSF lot as well as in Bancroft/Fulton parking lot
Big Spike Promotions
Cal Kids Night - poster making and face painting in the Club Room from 6-7 p.m.
Kids 12th grade and under receive $3 admission
Cal Student Night - Cal student football season ticket holders can pick up their BART tickets and t-shirts from 6-7 p.m. and register to win tickets to the Cal-Presbyterian football game
Fans can receive a buy one adult ticket, get one free for the Colorado match on Friday
All fans can register to win tickets to the Cal-Presbyterian football game
Post-game autograph session with the Golden Bears
Parking is available for purchase for $10 in the RSF lot as well as in Bancroft/Fulton parking lot
BERKELEY - In what is arguably the most exciting match-up in California volleyball, the top-ranked Golden Bears host the 73rd Big Spike versus No. 2 Stanford on Tuesday evening at Haas Pavilion. While the two rivals have met three times prior while ranked in the top five, this is the first time in program history that Cal and Stanford have met as the preeminent and second-best teams in the country.
The Bears (10-0) hold steady at No. 1 in the AVCA poll for the third week running while the Cardinal (6-0) moved into the No. 2 spot after upsetting then-No. 2 Penn State over the weekend. While the history of the Big Spike dates back to 1976, this year's meeting will be especially epic for the Bears swept Stanford last season for the first time since 1979. Cal and the Cardinal split the Pac-10 title last year and both boast undefeated records coming into the first week of Pac-12 play.
Recently With the Bears
Cal concluded its nonconference schedule with four sweeps at its own Hilton Garden Inn Classic over the weekend - defeating UT Arlington, Nevada, Sacramento State and Georgetown
Tarah Murrey racked up her first tourney MVP of the season with Kat Brown and Shannon Hawari also making the all-tourney team
The Bears hold steady at No. 1 in both national polls for a record third week in a row
The Big Spike at a Glance
Tuesday's match will be the 73rd Big Spike in the programs' history
The Bears swept the Cardinal last season for the first time since 1979
Both matches last year went four sets - 21-25, 25-16, 25-22, 25-16 at Stanford on Oct. 22 and 26-28, 25-17, 25-17, 25-20 on Nov. 19 at Haas Pavilion
Overall, Stanford leads the all-time series, 62-10
After the Cardinal owned a 20-year winning streak against the Bears, Cal is 4-2 against Stanford in the past three seasons
Cal and Stanford tied for first place in the Pac-10 Conference last year
This will be the fourth time that the two squads have met while ranked in the top five
In the very first meeting between the two teams, Stanford defeated Cal, 2-1, on Oct. 26, 1976
Senior Tarah Murrey exploded for a 4.58 kills per set, 5.58 points per set and 2.25 digs per set to lead Cal to four three-set sweeps Sept. 9-10 at the Hilton Garden Inn Classic. For her work, she was named the MVP of the tournament. She hit 2011 season highs in kills (21), attacks (45) and total points (24.5) against Sac State, block assists (4) and total blocks (4.0) versus Georgetown. She also made a career high three service aces in the Nevada match. Against Sac State, which took second at the tournament, Murrey had her best attacking performance by hitting .422 (21k, 2e, 45att) to help the Bears hit .312 as a group. Further impressive was the fact that she had five or more digs in each match, with the highest of eight coming against UT Arlington. She also boasted a team-best six service aces across the weekend.
Junior setter Elly Barrett had her best overall outing of the 2011 campaign with 11.50 assists per set and 2.17 digs per set, helping her Bears to four sweeps at the Cal Molten Classic. Against UT Arlington on Friday, Barrett set a new career best of assists with 40. The Austin, Texas, native had two eight-dig performances to start the weekend (UT Arlington) and close things (Georgetown). Additionally, she put up 0.58 blocks per set and 0.96 points per set.
Freshman middle hitter Lillian Schonewise impressed in seven sets of work, helping her Bears to the Hilton Garden Inn Classic title. The freshman paced Cal by averaging 1.71 blocks per set. She was fourth on the squad with 2.14 kills per set. She set new career highs with for kills (7), attacks (17) and points (8.0) against UT Arlington and in block assists and total blocks with 7.0 versus Georgetown.
Later This Week on the Court
The first week of the Pac-12 continues with a two-match series over the weekend. On Friday, Sept. 16, the Bears host Colorado at 7 p.m. Cal's two-week, seven-match homestand comes to an epic close Saturday, Sept. 17, at 7 p.m. against Utah.
Next Week on the Court
The Bears take their second road trip of the season, heading south to La-La Land. On Sept. 23, the Bears take on USC at 7 p.m. in a replay of the semifinal match of the 2010 NCAA Championship. Sept. 24 will see Cal take on its baby sister ursine in UCLA at 7 p.m.
Bears Merit First-Ever No. 1 National Ranking
After sweeping its competition in the first week of play in six straight sets, Cal moved from third in the nation to first, according to the AVCA poll released Aug. 29. This marked the first time the Golden Bears have ever been the preeminent team in the country. Cal received 31 first-place votes, almost more than triple the amount now-No. 2 Penn State garnered (11). USC moved down a notch as well, from second to third with five first-place votes. Texas earned nine first-place votes but stayed steady in fourth place. Last year, Cal earned its then-highest ranking of third on Oct. 25, only to best that later in the season as the No. 2 team in the country. Prior to the 2010 season, Cal's previous highest ranking was No. 4 on several occasions.
Season Starts With Brooms Out
In their very first outing of the 2011 campaign, the Bears swept their first three opponents in six straight sets. Opening up against UC Riverside on Aug. 26, Cal did not let the Highlanders score above 17 in any set en route to the official season beginner. In that match, Adrienne Gehan tallied a match-high 10 kills while Elly Barrett had 28 assists and Tarah Murray made 12 digs. A two-match day on Aug. 27 started with a 3-0 win over Fairfield. This time, Murrey led the Bears with 11 kills and Robin Rostratter made 18 digs. To close out the classic, the Bears faced off against FIU in what was their closest competition for the final from set one was a 25-23 victory, the smallest point differential of the weekend. The Bears are now 11-2 in season openers under head coach Rich Feller.
Jefferson Cup Champions Land on All-Tourney Team
At Virginia's tournament held over Labor Day weekend, three Bears merited placement on the all-tournament team with Adrienne Gehan leading the way as the MVP. In three matches of play, Gehan had a team-high 39 kills and hit .385. Also joining her on the all-tournament team were Tarah Murrey, who had 23 kills and 27 digs, and Correy Johnson, who hit .429 with 23 kills across the weekend. In the 3-0 win over Long Island on Sept. 2, Murrey paced the Bears with 10 kills (5e, 19att, .263) and 11 digs before posting seven digs and eight kills in set one alone versus UVa. Johnson averaged 2.88 kills per set in Charlottesville along with five blocks and four digs.
Cal's Classic Tournament Team
After going 3-0 at the Cal Molten Classic on Aug. 26 and 27, five Golden Bears were named to the all-tourney team. Correy Johnson was the MVP with Elly Barrett, Adrienne Gehan, Shannon Hawari and Tarah Murrey all skyrocketing to honors. Johnson led the Bears (with more than one attempt) with her .500 attacking percentage - hitting .500 or above in all three matches including a weekend-best .583 against Fairfield. Barrett averaged 10.33 sets per set with a grand total of 93 to go along with her 13 digs and nine blocks. Gehan and Murrey both put forth 25-kill performances while Hawari notched a team-high 13 blocks.
New Kids on the Block
Over the course of the season-starting weekend, the Bears had 12 different student-athletes seeing time on the court, including four freshmen. Marlee Davis, Christina Higgins, Lindsey Parrott and Lillian Schonewise all played in their first matches of their Cal careers during the Cal Molten Classic. Over the weekend, Higgins played in five matches, making seven kills (4e, 26ta, .115) with four block assists. In two sets of work, Schonewise contributed two kills in four attempts as well as one block assist. Marlee Davis saw time in six sets, setting two balls and making 11 digs. Lindsey Parrot played in one set, setting the ball twice.
Texas Two Step
For the ninth consecutive season, the Cal roster will feature at least two players from the great state of Texas. This time, the Bears have four players from the Lone Star State. Redshirt junior middle hitter Shannon Hawari (Plano) and junior setter Elly Barrett (Austin), along with sophomore outside hitters Adrienne Gehan (Dallas) and Lauren Loerch (Georgetown), represent the second-biggest state in the Union.
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, and gives purchasers behind the scenes access with the team and coaches. Season-ticket holders receive invitations to exclusive season-ticket holder events, and opportunities to win team gear, ticket vouchers to bring friends to matches and more! For more information about season and individual match tickets, please click here.
Breaking Down the 2011 Bears
Nine letterwinners return, six starters are back
Six talented freshmen join the squad
First-team All-American Tarah Murrey is the lone senior
Also returning are junior libero Robin Rostratter (winner of the NCAA Elite 88 Volleyball Award for top GPA), sophomore outside hitter Adrienne Gehan (Pac-10 All-Freshman Team), junior middle hitter Shannon Hawari (American Volleyball Coaches' Association All-Region and All-Pac-10 honorable mention), junior middle/outside hitter Correy Johnson (AVCA All-America honorable mention, All-Pac-10 team) and junior middle hitter Kat Brown (Pac-10 All-Conference and All-Academic honorable mention)
Pac-12 coaches predicted a second-place finish for the Bears
Ranked third in the country by AVCA, the highest start ever
Murrey Eligible for Lowe's Senior CLASS Award
Senior outside hitter Tarah Murrey's accomplishments on and off the volleyball court merited her selection as one of the 30 candidates for the 2011 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be a Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence - community, classroom, character and competition. In each of the two seasons that she's been eligible, Murrey has earned a Pac-10 All-Academic honorable mention for having a GPA above 3.0 and being a starter. Additionally, Murrey has shown a real interest in giving back to the community, participating in multiple events put on by the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. A starter from her days as a freshman, Murrey has been a key cog in the California volleyball machine with accomplishments too lengthy to list in just one paragraph.
Summer Lovin' Had Me a Blast
The summer break was not too slow for several of the Golden Bears. Senior outside hitter Tarah Murrey led the USA A2 Blue squad as it defeated USA A2 Red, 26-24, in the double final title match of the 2011 USA Volleyball Open National Championships Women's Open Division to complete a comeback through the consolation round on May 31 at the Dallas Convention Center. Murrey took home the tournament's Most Valuable Player as a member of the six-player all-tournament team. Her squad defeated junior middle hitter Correy Johnson's A2 Red team in the title match.
Conference Coaches Forecast Second Place for Cal
The Pac-12 Conference coaches selected the Golden Bears to take second in the inaugural season of the Pac-12 in the preseason poll. That marked the second time that the Bears were slated to finish second, which first occurred in 2009, when they received one first-place vote. This year, the Bears got one first-place vote and 105 total points. USC took top honors with 11 first-place votes and 121 total points while Washington rounded out the medal stand in third with 97 points.
Preseason AVCA Poll Places Cal Third in the Country
After garnering their best end of season ranking in December, the Golden Bears followed that up with the highest preseason ranking in program history with the AVCA Division I Coaches Top 25 Preseason Poll heralding California as the third-best team in all of collegiate volleyball. Cal's previous highest preseason ranking was fifth, which the Bears achieved in 2008. For the fourth consecutive time, the coaches tabbed Penn State as the premier team in the country with USC taking second. Including USC and Cal, which received one-first place vote, five Pac-12 teams were on the preseason favorite list. Cal's ranking marked the 11th time in school history that the Bears were ranked to open a season and the ninth consecutive time since Rich Feller became head coach in 1999. Cal has now achieved a top-10 preseason ranking four times.
Bears Merit AVCA Team Academic Award
As if excelling on the court was not good enough, the California volleyball team shines in the classroom as well. The Golden Bears earned the (AVCA) Team Academic Award for the 2010-11 season. Cal was one of 481 teams, spread across nine different divisions, to receive the accolade, which once again breaks the previous years' total of 450 and sets a new all-time high for this award. The award, which was initiated in the 1992-93 academic year, honors collegiate and high school volleyball teams that displayed excellence in the classroom during the school year. Teams must maintain at least a 3.30 cumulative team grade-point average on a 4.0 scale or a 4.10 cumulative team GPA on a 5.0 scale.
Fans can tune in to KNEW 910 on their AM radio dials each Monday at 6 p.m. PT, for the second year of the Cal Coaches Corner radio show hosted by Todd McKim. The one-hour show will feature guest coaches and athletes from all of Cal's 29 intercollegiate athletics teams. Head coach Rich Feller had the honor of being on the first broadcast of the 2010-11 school year on Aug. 29, 2010.
Remembering the 2010 Season
National runner-up and co-Pac-10 champs
Made it to the national championship match for the first time in program history
Rich Feller named AVCA and Pac-10 Coach of the Year
Carli Lloyd was the AVCA National Player of the Year
Carli Lloyd and Tarah Murrey named AVCA first-team All-Americans - the first single-season pair of first-team AVCA All-Americans in Cal history
Correy Johnson was an AVCA All-American honorable mention
Senior setter Carli Lloyd, junior outside hitter Tarah Murrey, and sophomore opposite hitter Correy Johnson became the first trio of Bears to earn all-conference honors in the same season
2010 Record-Breaking Bears
Carli Lloyd ended the season in second on the school's all-time assists ladder with 5,697, a mark that is also good for sixth all-time in the Pac-10
Tarah Murrey climbed into eighth at Cal for all-time career kills with 1,239, and 10th for attacks with 3,085
Murrey produced the third highest single-season record for kills with 617 and had the second-highest output in a single season for attacks with 1,454
Robin Rostratter had the third highest single-season record for digs with 495; the highest since Jillian Davis had 538 in 2005
Kat Brown put on the highest individual blocking effort since 2007 with 151, which is the fourth most in a single season at Cal
Shannon Hawari put up 131 blocks, which is sixth most in a single season