Oct. 16, 2012
Friday, Oct. 19
7 p.m. PT- Cal (9-9, 3-5 Pac-12) at Washington State (10-10, 0-8)
Bohler Gymnasium - Pullman, Wash.
Coverage: Live Audio, GameTracker, Twitter, Facebook
All-Time Series vs. the Cougars: 36-22
Last Meeting: W, 3-0 (11-11-11)
Sunday, Oct. 21
1 p.m. PT- Cal at No. 5 Washington (16-1, 7-1)
Alaska Airlines Arena - Seattle, Wash.
Coverage: Pac-12 Networks, Live Audio, GameTracker, Twitter, Facebook
All-Time Series vs. the Huskies: 29-29
Last Meeting: W, 3-1 (11-12-11)
THE LAST MEETING
November 11, 2011
No. 5 Cal Nets 3-0 Win, Sweeps Series With WSU
On 11-11-11 in front of 1,111 fans on No. 11 Kat Brown's birthday, the No. 5 California volleyball team kept its winning streak against Washington State intact with a 3-0 victory (26-24, 25-20, 25-22) over the Cougars on Friday evening at Bohler Gym.
BERKELEY - Cal's women's volleyball team will try to rebound from a tough weekend against its Southern California rivals with a trip to the Pacific Northwest to take on Washington State and No. 5 Washington. The Bears have had their way with the Cougars in recent years, having won 18 in a row. The last time Cal lost to Washington St. came on Nov. 15, 2003 in Pullman. The Bears have also won six in a row against the Huskies, including a sweep in Seattle in the 2010 NCAA Regional Final.
Last Week at a Glance
The depleted Bears were swept in both matches last week, falling to No. 6 USC and No. 7 UCLA at Haas Pavilion. Cal was in position to win each of the first two sets against the Trojans but couldn't pull it out. The Bears also played competitively against the Bruins before falling. Already without injured starting outside hitters Adrienne Gehan and Michelle Neumayr as well as libero Robin Rostratter, the Bears also saw starting middle hitter Shannon Hawari and starting opposite hitter Correy Johnson miss practice time with the flu during the week. Hawari bounced back to play well against UCLA, recording 11 kills and four blocks. Sophomore outside hitter Christina Higgins averaged 3.33 kills per set during the two matches while freshman libero Mary McKennon averaged 5.50 digs per set.
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.
Cal All Over The Airwaves
Sunday's match at Washington will mark the seventh time this season Cal has appeared on the Pac-12 Networks. Eight of the Bears' final 12 matches will be televised - seven by the Pac-12 Networks and one by ESPNU.
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.
Cal's Rich Feller has been a head coach for 28 years and he said he's never had a season where so many of his players went down. Before the season even started, projected starting outside hitter Michelle Neumayr tore the anterior cruciate ligament in her knee during preseason practices and was lost for the season. Starting libero Robin Rostratter is also out for the season with a groin injury, and middle hitter Lillian Schonewise (shoulder) has yet to play because of a shoulder ailment. Then against Oregon on Oct. 3, starting outside hitter and leading attacker Adrienne Gehan injured her knee and has been sidelined ever since. Also, starting opposite Correy Johnson missed 24 sets earlier this season because of a stress reaction in her leg.
Cal vs. Ranked Teams
The Bears are 1-4 against ranked teams this season. Cal beat then-No. 6 Hawaii in Honolulu in five sets on Sept. 2. The four losses have all come in Pac-12 play to No. 6 Stanford, No. 2 Oregon, No. 6 USC and No. 7 UCLA.
The Cal Leader Board
Kills: Adrienne Gehan - 181 (3.35/set)
Hitting Percentage: Shannon Hawari - .356
Assists: Joan Caloiaro - 607 (9.48/set)
Aces: Nikki Gombar - 20 (0.30/set)
Blocks: Kat Brown - 88 (1.33/set)
Digs: Mary McKennon - 242 (3.67/set)
Bears on Pac-12 Leader Board
Hitting Percentage: Shannon Hawari - .356 (Sixth)
Assists per set: Joan Caloiaro - 9.48 (Seventh)
Service aces: Nikki Gombar - 0.30 (t-Eighth)
Blocks per set: Kat Brown - 1.33 (Ninth)
Digs per set: Mary McKennon - 3.67 (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.
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 10 matches and played in 43 of the Bears' 66 sets.
Senior middle hitters Kat Brown and Shannon Hawari have spent the season rising up Cal's career blocks leader board. Last week against USC, Brown moved past former All-American Camille Leffall into second place on Cal's all-time list. Brown now has 443 in her career, including 88 this season. Hawari, meanwhile, has 79 blocks this season and now stands in fifth place all-time with 410 in her career. Ellen Orchard is Cal's all-time career leader with 504.
Senior middle hitter 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 sixth in the conference with a .356 hitting percentage. She also is second the Pac-12 with a .381 hitting percentage in conference matches. Hawari is second on the Bears with 1.20 blocks per set.
Lara Shows Versatility
Lara Vukasovic has had an eventful introduction to college volleyball. The freshman from Zagreb, Croatia began the season starting at opposite because of an injury to Correy Johnson. Johnson ultimately returned, but then starting outside hitter Adrienne Gehan went down with a knee injury. Vukasovic replaced her despite not seeing any practice time at outside hitter all season. Vukasovic has averaged 2.62 digs and .38 aces per set in the four matches since taking over at outside hitter.
Nikki Serves Notice
Freshman outside hitter Nikki Gombar has been Cal's best server all season but has taken it to another level recently. She recorded a career-high six aces against Oregon State on Oct. 5, part of a season-high 12 for the Bears. Gombar is tied for eighth in the Pac-12 with 0.30 aces per set.
Mary Digs College Volleyball
Freshman libero Mary McKennon was thrust into the starting lineup Opening Day because of an injury to Robin Rostratter and has performed well. Playing every set this season, McKennon ranks ninth in the Pac-12 with an average of 3.67 digs per set.
About Washington St.
The Cougars have played just five matches at home this season and only twice in Pullman since Sept. 1.
Although Washington St. is 0-8 in Pac-12 play, the Cougars have taken a set on the road at Washington, Arizona State, Utah and Oregon State.
Sophomore outside hitter Jaicee Harris leads the Cougars and ranks seventh in the Pac-12 with 4.16 kills per set.
The Huskies suffered their first loss of the season Saturday at Oregon.
Of Washington's seven conference wins, the Huskies have dropped at least one set in four of them.
Not only do the Huskies have quality wins over UCLA and USC, they knocked off Big Ten power Purdue in the preseason.
Washington leads the Pac-12 in hitting percentage (.309), blocks (3.33 bps), and aces (1.51 aps).
Sophomore outside hitter Krista Vansant is fifth in the Pac-12 with 4.23 kills per set, and her 31 kills in a five-set win over UCLA on Sept. 26 are the most in a match this season in the conference.
Next Week on the Court
The Bears will be back home next weekend to host Arizona and Arizona State. Cal hosts the Wildcats on Friday, Oct. 26 at 6 p.m. and then welcomes the Sun Devils to town Sunday, Oct. 28 for a Noon start. Both matches will be televised by the Pac-12 Networks. Earlier this season on the road, the Bears lost to ASU and beat Arizona.
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 also 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.
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.
Bears 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 Sports Report
Catch the Cal Sports Report every week on CalBears.com. Todd McKim recaps the week in Cal athletics with interviews, features and highlights. Included each week during the season is an interview with Cal coach Rich Feller.
A total of 46 Cal 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).
No. 1 Public University
Cal 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.