Full Weekly Release
Oct. 2, 2012
Wednesday, Oct. 3
7 p.m. PT- No. 2 Oregon (13-0, 4-0 Pac-12) at Cal (8-6, 2-2)
Haas Pavilion - Berkeley, Calif.
Coverage: Pac-12 Networks, Live Audio, GameTracker, Twitter, Facebook
All-Time Series vs. the Ducks: 50-18
Last Meeting: L, 3-2 (11-19-11)
Friday, Oct. 5
7 p.m. PT- Oregon State (12-4, 2-2) at Cal
Haas Pavilion - Berkeley, Calif.
Coverage: Live Audio, GameTracker, Twitter, Facebook
All-Time Series vs. the Wildcats: 42-18
Last Meeting: L, 3-2 (11-18-11)
BERKELEY - After a challenging start to the season that included a rash of injuries and playing 10 of their first 14 matches on the road, the Bears return home to play their next four matches at home, including their Pac-12 home opener Wednesday against No. 2 Oregon. Cal had to play its first four conference matches away from Haas Pavilion, and went 2-2 during that span. Although the Bears are finally home for awhile, the road ahead remains difficult. Over their next four matches, Cal will play three teams ranked in the top-6 nationally (No. 2 Oregon, No. 5 USC, No. 6 UCLA).
This Week's Promotions
Wednesday is "Team Night" at Haas Pavilion. All teams or groups of 10 or more pay just $3 per ticket. Tickets can be purchased by calling 1-800-GO-BEARS or by walk-up that day. The match against the Ducks is also UC Berkeley Faculty/Staff Night. All faculty and staff receive two free tickets simply by presenting their staff ID card. There will also be a post-match autograph session with the players. Friday's match against Oregon State will feature a pre-match "Chalk Talk" with Cal coach Rich Feller, which will take place in the Haas Pavilion Club Room from 6:10-6:30. Players will be available for post-match autographs Friday night as well.
Last Week at a Glance
After an ego-busting three-set loss at Arizona State on Friday, the Bears bounced back with an impressive four-set victory at Arizona on Sunday. Cal regrouped with an intense, spirited practice in between the matches and it carried over against the Wildcats. The Bears received contributions from several players in the win over Arizona, Cal had three players hit over the .500 mark - Correy Johnson 15 kills, .583 percentage; Christina Higgins 10 kills, .714 percentage; Kat Brown 9 kills, .562 percentage. Shannon Hawari also had nine kills while hitting .368. The Bears hit .364 as a team, their second-highest mark of the season and best since the season-opener against Delaware. Cal also received strong serving from Brown, Hawari, Marlee Davis and Nikki Gombar.
Cal in the Pac-12
The Bears have been one of the best programs in the Pac-12 for the better part of the past decade. Cal has finished in fifth place or higher for nine straight years and has amassed at least 10 conference wins in eight of those seasons. The Bears tied for the Pac-12 championship in 2010, a season in which they advanced to the NCAA title match before falling to Penn State.
Rostratter Candidate For Senior CLASS Award
Senior libero Robin Rostratter is one of 30 candidates for the Senior CLASS Award, given annually to an NCAA Division I senior with notable achievements in community, classroom, character and competition. Rostratter has twice been named to the Pac-12 All-Academic team, and in 2010 won the NCAA Elite 88 Volleyball Award for having the highest grade point average (3.81) of any student-athlete participating in the NCAA championships. Rostratter, who has yet to play this season because of a groin injury, has spearheaded countless charitable and philantrhopic causes. Among them, she has led outreach programs to spread awareness for cancer and physically challenged athletes, and served as a coach at Special Olympics athletic skills clinics and with the Cal Corps to help underprivileged children. It marks the third season in a row a Cal player has been tabbed a candidate for the award. Carli Lloyd was a finalist for the honor in 2010, as was Tarah Murrey last year. This year's finalists will be revealed later this month.
Cal All Over The Airwaves
Three of Cal's first four Pac-12 matches have been televised by the Pac-12 Networks. Wednesday's match against No. 2 Oregon will also be televised. Eleven of Cal's remaining 16 matches will be on TV - 10 by the Pac-12 Networks and one by ESPNU. The Bears will be featured on the Pac-12 Networks 12 times this season.
The Bears have been hit hard by injuries this season. Starting libero Robin Rostratter (groin), potential starting outside hitter Michelle Neumayr (knee) and middle hitter Lillian Schonewise (shoulder) have yet to play. Neumayr injured her anterior cruciate ligament during preseason practices and is out for the season, the second time she has suffered the injury in as many years. Starting opposite Correy Johnson has played in just 29 of Cal's 53 sets because of a stress reaction in her leg, but participated in every set last week as she is getting closer to full health.
The Cal Leader Board
Kills: Adrienne Gehan - 178 (3.36/set)
Hitting Percentage: Shannon Hawari - .357
Assists: Joan Caloiaro - 490 (9.61/set)
Aces: Nikki Gombar - 12 (0.23/set)
Blocks: Kat Brown - 69 (1.30/set)
Digs: Mary McKennon - 187 (3.53/set)
Bears on Pac-12 Leader Board
Hitting Percentage: Shannon Hawari - .357 (Eighth)
Assists per Set: Joan Caloiaro - 9.61 (Seventh)
Blocks per set: Kat Brown - 1.30 (Sixth)
Digs per set: Mary McKennon - 3.53 (Ninth)
Bears Unranked For First Time Since 2002
Cal fell out of the AVCA Coaches Poll on Sept. 3, marking the first time the Bears haven't been ranked since the final poll of the 2002 season. Cal was ranked No. 24 in the 2003 preseason poll and stayed in the rankings every week until the Sept. 3 rankings. There are five Pac-12 teams ranked in the top-7 this week.
Welcome to Cal. ...Now Get on the Court!
Cal's injuries have resulted in a lot of inexperience on the court, and three freshmen are getting a lot of playing time because of it. Libero Mary McKennon and outside hitter Nikki Gombar have played in every set this season, while opposite Lara Vukasovic has started seven matches and played in 30 of the Bears' 53 sets.
Following the Bears From Afar
Live statistics and live audio for Cal's matches are provided via links on the women's volleyball schedule page on CalBears.com. Fans can receive regular in-match updates and a behind-the-scenes look at the Bears by following Cal Volleyball on Twitter and by "Liking" the Cal Volleyball Facebook page.
Brown Adds Offense to Defense
Senior middle hitter Kat Brown has been one of the best blockers in the Pac-12 all season, but Sunday against Arizona she was an offensive force as well. Brown had a season-high nine kills and hit for a .562 percentage. Brown is ranked sixth in the Pac-12 with 1.30 blocks per set. With 69 blocks this season, Brown has moved into fifth place on Cal's all-time list with 424.
Correy Comes On
Senior opposite Correy Johnson has spent most of the season shuttling in and out of the lineup and limited in practice because of a leg injury. But Johnson is healing up and it shows. She put down a team-high 15 kills in the win over Arizona and hit .583. Johnson is averaging 2.89 kills per set with a .289 hitting percentage.
Shannon Hawari is playing as well as any middle hitter in the Pac-12 this season. The fifth-year senior leads the Bears and ranks eighth in the conference with a .357 hitting percentage. She also averages 1.09 blocks per set. Hawari had one of the best matches of her career on Sept. 22 at Colorado with a career-high 17 kills, a .696 hitting percentage and eight blocks. The majority of her production came as the Bears were rallying from a set down to win in five.
Mary Digs College Volleyball
With Robin Rostratter unable to play because of a groin injury, freshman Mary McKennon has taken over the starting libero duties and has sparkled so far. McKennon was in the starting lineup in her first collegiate match and has played every set this season. McKennon enters the week ranked ninth in the Pac-12 at 3.53 digs per game. She also helped Cal stabilize its recent passing woes with consistent serve-receiving against Arizona.
The Ducks are tied for the No. 2 spot with Washington in this week's AVCA Coaches Top 25. Oregon is 13-0, 4-0 in Pac-12 Play. The Ducks have yet to drop a set in conference action and have lost three sets all season.
Oregon is sparked by junior setter Lauren Plum, an All-Pac-12 selection last season who currently leads the nation in assists with 12.88 per set. The Ducks also have the conference leader in hitting percentage (Ariana Williams - .444) and aces (Katherine Fischer - .40/set).
Outside hitter Alaina Bergsma, a third team AVCA All-American last season, ranks seconds in the Pac-12 and eighth nationally with 4.71 kills per set.
About Oregon State
The Beavers are 12-4, 2-2 in the Pac-12. Oregon State handed No. 1 Penn State its only loss of the season, back on Sept. 8 at the Chicago Classic. Oregon State also took No. 14 Kansas State to five sets before losing. The Beavers rank No. 20 in RPI.
The Beavers are led by senior outsidse hitter Camille Saxton, who ranks 10th in the conference with 3.92 kills per set and fifth with 0.34 service aces/set.
Oregon State is on the cusp of the AVCA Coaches Top 25. The Beavers received 63 votes this week, putting them No. 27 nationally.
Next Week on the Court
The Bears will stay home for the second week in a row but the schedule continues to be challenging. On Friday, Oct. 12, Cal welcomes No. 5 USC to Haas Pavilion for an 8 p.m. match. Then on Sunday, Oct. 14, No. 6 UCLA pays a visit to Berkeley at 2 p.m. Both matches will be televised by the Pac-12 Networks.
Cal picked 6th in Pac-12
The Pac-12 Conference coaches picked the Bears to finish sixth in the annual preseason poll.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.
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.
Cal Sports Report
Catch the Cal Sports Report every week on CalBears.com. Todd McKim and Chelsea Brown recap the week in Cal athletics with interviews, features and highlights.