Nov. 29, 2011
Postseason Guide - First Round
Thursday, Dec. 1
5 p.m. PT - Match One: Cal (26-6) vs. North Carolina (23-8)
Firestone Fieldhouse - Malibu, Calif.
NCAA Tournament - First Round
Series Record vs. the Tar Heels: 2-0
Last Meeting: W, 3-0 (12/4/10)
Coverage: GameTracker, Live Chat, Twitter, Video
7:30 p.m. PT - Match Two: No. 15 Pepperdine (22-6) vs. Missouri State (22-8)
Firestone Fieldhouse - Malibu, Calif.
NCAA Tournament - First Round
Series Record vs. the Waves: 4-3
Last Meeting: W, 3-0 (9/9/06)
Coverage: GameTracker, Video
Series Record vs. the MSU Bears: 1-0
Last Meeting: W, 3-1 (9/23/83)
Friday, Dec. 2
7 p.m. PT - Winner Match One vs. Winner Match Two
Firestone Fieldhouse - Malibu, Calif.
NCAA Tournament - Second Round
BERKELEY - The California volleyball team has its ticket booked for the 2011 NCAA Tournament - heading to Malibu, Calif., to take on North Carolina in the first round of the Tournament. The Golden Bears (26-6) seek to defeat the Tar Heels (23-8) on Thursday, Dec. 1 at 5 p.m. PT. The winner of the Cal-UNC match will face the winner of the Pepperdine (22-6) vs. Missouri State (22-8) match on Friday, Dec. 2 at 7 p.m.
Cal Quick Hits
The Bears closed out the regular season with a 26-6 overall record
Cal went 16-6 in the competitive Pac-12 to place third
Earning an at-large bid, the Bears make their 15th trip to the NCAA Tournament
Cal brings a one-match winning streak to Malibu, posting a 5-2 record in its most recent matches
Murrey Leads Cal Contingent on All-Pac-12 Teams
With Tarah Murrey paving the way with placement on the All-Pac-12 team, six members of the California volleyball team earned prestigious conference postseason honors, the Pac-12 announced Tuesday. Murrey earned her second-ever Pac-12 postseason accolade. Kat Brown, Shannon Hawari, Correy Johnson and Robin Rostratter were all lauded as honorable mentions. Christina Higgins, who has played in 81 of Cal's 111 sets and is a two-time Pac-12 Freshman of the Week, made the all-freshman team.
Pac-12 Extols Murrey as Offensive Player of the Week
Senior outside hitter Tarah Murrey led her No. 10 Golden Bears to a 3-1 upset of No. 6 Stanford in enemy territory to complete the season-series sweep - only the third in program history - earning herself Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week honors. Murrey averaged an incredible 6.12 points per set, thanks to 5.75 kills per set and 0.25 blocks per set. Additionally, Murrey chipped in an important 2.25 digs per set. It was the third consecutive match in which Murrey had 23 kills in 67 attempts. The award is Murrey's third weekly conference honor and Cal's 36th of all time.
Last Week's Court Report
On Nov. 25, the Bears notched a 3-1 upending of No. 6 Stanford to complete the series sweep - only the third in program history. Just as it was in the first meeting of the year, the Cardinal took the first set before Cal stormed back to take the next three. Tarah Murrey averaged an incredible 6.12 points per set, thanks to 5.75 kills per set and 0.25 blocks per set. Shannon Hawari averaged 1.25 blocks per set, 0.25 digs per set and 3.75 points per set, hitting .375 with 12 kills in 24 attempts, averaging 3.0 kills per set.
About the NCAA Tournament
Winners of the second round earn a spot at one of the four regional sites - Lexington, Ky., Minneapolis, Minn., Gainesville, Fla., Honolulu. Regional action is slated for Dec. 9 and 10. All the regional semifinal action will be streamed on ESPN3.com and the regional finals will be televised on ESPNU on Dec. 10. The national semifinals and championship matches are being held at the Alamodome in San Antonio on Dec. 15 and 17. All matches from San Antonio will be televised on ESPN2.
In a Nutshell: 2011 Cal Volleyball
The Bears finished 26-6 overall and 16-6 in the Pac-12
Cal posted a 14-4 record in the friendly confines of Haas Pavilion and went 12-2 in matches away from home (including neutral matches)
Tarah Murrey - the squad's lone senior - paces her team with 4.27 kills per set
Elly Barrett has handled the majority of setting, averaging 11.66 assists per set
Kat Brown leads Cal with 1.21 blocks per set with Shannon Hawari right behind her at 1.13
Robin Rostratter averages 5.17 digs per set with Tarah Murrey next in line with 3.24
Overall, Cal is out hitting its opponents, .265-.155, as well as out block them, 307-241
The Bears earned eight Pac-12 player of the week laurels this year, bringing Cal's all-time total to 36
Cal has been ranked in the top 10 in both polls all year, achieving a highest of No. 1 (Weeks 1-4) and being in the top five in 10 of the 13 weeks of polls
Cal in the NCAA Tournament
This is the 15th trip to the tournament in program history
The Bears are 12-2 all-time in first-round matches, winning each of their 10 most recent first-round matches
Overall, the Bears are 25-14 and 22-9 with Rich Feller at the helm
Last year, the Bears made school history by advancing to the first-ever NCAA championship match
Cal has made it to the regional round of competition nine out of its 14 previous trips to the tournament, including five straight from 2006-10
Cal vs. the Pepperdine Field
The Bears defeated North Carolina 3-0 in the second round of the 2010 NCAA Tournament
Cal is 1-0 against UNC in the NCAA Tournament and 2-0 all-time
Cal swept Pepperdine 3-0 in a consolation round of the 1982 AIAW Tournament
The Bears are 1-0 against the Waves in the postseason and 4-3 in program history
The last meeting with Pepperdine came Sept. 9, 2006, when the Bears defeated the Waves 3-0
Pac-12 in the 2011 NCAA Tournament
Seven teams advanced to the tournament, including conference champion USC
It is the 12th-consecutive year the conference has had at least six teams earn NCAA Tournament bids
The seven selections are tied for the second-most in the country, behind the Big Ten's eight
It is also the most for the Pac-12 since receiving eight selections in 2008
The Wildcats and Bruins were placed in the Lexington Regional; the Huskies are the lone team in the Minneapolis Regional; Stanford is the only Pac-12 team in the Gainesville Regional; and USC, Oregon and Cal are in the Honolulu Regional
Last Time Versus North Carolina
The seventh-seeded California volleyball team advanced to the Seattle Regional semifinal of the 2010 NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball Championship as the Golden Bears defeated North Carolina in three sets (25-13, 25-18, 25-18) in the second round at Haas Pavilion on Saturday, Dec. 4. Senior setter Carli Lloyd posted her 11th double-double of the year with 38 assists and 10 digs to go with five blocks. Once again, Lloyd's accuracy had the Cal offense humming to the tune of a .376 hitting percentage (43k, 8e, 93att). Junior outside hitter Tarah Murrey led the way with 16 kills (3e, 34att, .382) and added nine digs and three blocks. Sophomore middle hitter Shannon Hawari added six kills (0e, 8att, .750) as did sophomore opposite hitter Correy Johnson (0e, 14att, .429). Cal out-blocked North Carolina, 11-1, and put up 55 digs, led by sophomore libero Robin Rostratter, who posted a match-high 20 digs. Sophomore middle hitter Kat Brown tied for team-high honors with five blocks and came up with five kills (1e, 13att, .308) and freshman outside Adrienne Gehan put down seven kills (2e, 17att, .294).
Pac-12 Standings Update
With the 3-1 upset win over No. 6 Stanford on Nov. 25, the Bears finished in third place in the competitive Pac-12. USC earned the conference's automatic bid and UCLA finished second. Washington and Stanford tied for fourth place.
Pac-12 Honors Seven Golden Bears for Academics
Seven members of the California volleyball team absolutely epitomize those national rankings by earning themselves placement on the Pac-12 All-Academic Teams. Robin Rostratter paced her Golden Bears with first-team status. Erin Freeman landed on the second team. Rounding out the Cal contingent on the prestigious conference list with honorable mentions are Kat Brown, Adrienne Gehan, Shannon Hawari, Correy Johnson and Tarah Murrey. To be eligible for selection to the academic team, a student-athlete must have a minimum 3.0 overall grade-point average and be either a starter or significant contributor. Last year, Rostratter was named to the second team with four other teammates earning honors. This season, that number not only grew to seven, but Rostratter also moved up the honor ladder to the first team.
Senior outside hitter Kim Hill was just named the West Coast Conference Player of the Year; Hill had the league best 4.05 kills per set
Samantha Cash was dubbed WCC Freshman of the Year; Cash tied for first in WCC blocks per set, averaging 1.40 (per set); her overall season block average of 1.25 ranks 38th in the NCAA
Senior outside hitter Lilla Frederick was named to the All-WCC first team for the second consecutive season. She averaged 3.29 kills, 3.00 digs, and 0.31 service aces during the conference season. She notched her career dig no. 1,000 on Oct. 20 vs BYU, just one match after tallying kill no. 1,000 against USF on Oct. 15
Sophomore setter Kellie Woolever averaged 11.71 assist per set in league play
Senior Libero Stevi Robinson is Pepperdine's all-time digs leader with nearly 1,700 pick-ups, averaging 4.16 digs per set
Pepperdine finished its regular season with a 22-6 overall record and finished first in the WCC
Cal is 4-3 all-time against Pepperdine
Scouting North Carolina
Cameron Van Noy was named All-Atlantic Coast Conference Freshman of the Year
Senior libero Kaylie Gibson was named to the All-ACC team for the second year in a row. Last year she was the 2010 ACC Defensive Player of the Year. She reached a team-high 485 digs this year and ranks fourth in the conference in digs per frame, at 4.62
Junior outside hitter Emily McGee was also named to the All-ACC team for the second year in a row. This year she posted double-digit kills in 27 out of UNC's 30 matches this season, nabbing 14 double-doubles in the last 16 matches. She leads the team with 419 kills and ranks second in the conference in both kills per set (3.99) and points per set (4.41)
Redshirt freshman Chaniel Nelson was the third and final member named to the 18 player All-ACC team. The right-side hitter had eight double-digit kills in Carolina's last 11 matches, including a career-high 20 kills at Miami on Nov. 4, as well as a career-best blocks (10) against Georgia Tech on Nov. 11. She leads the team in blocks with 105 and is third on the team in kills (289)
Carolina ended its regular season with a 23-8 overall record. They finished 15-5 in conference play, putting them in a tie for third in the ACC
This will be North Carolina's 13th appearance to the NCAA Tournament in school history
Cal is 2-0 all-time against North Carolina.
Scouting Missouri State
Senior Calli Norman made the Missouri Valley Conference First Team for the fourth year and led the team with 1.06 blocks per set
Sophomore setter Carly Thomas joined Norman on the MVC First Team after leading the Missouri Valley Conference with 11.38 assists per set and recording 21 double-doubles. She recorded a triple-double in the regular-season finale at Illinois State with 10 kills, 48 assists and 18 digs
Olivia Brand was named MVC Freshman of the Year and ranked sixth in MVC matches only with 3.09 kills per set
Freshman outside hitter Karen Rivatto led the team with 3.05 kills per set
Sophomore libero Ashley Mason was sixth in the MVC with 4.69 digs per set
Missouri State ranked in the top three in the MVC in hitting percentage, opponent hitting percentage, average assists, average kills and average digs
The Bears finished second in the conference with a 15-3 record (22-8 overall), but fell to third-place Wichita State in the semifinals of the MVC Tournament
This will be Missouri State's 10th appearance in the NCAA Tournament in school history
Cal is 1-0 all-time against Missouri State
Pac-12 Players of the Week
Nov. 28 - Tarah Murrey - Offensive Player of the Week: Murrey averaged an incredible 6.12 points per set, thanks to 5.75 kills per set and 0.25 blocks per set. Additionally, Murrey chipped in an important 2.25 digs per set to power the Bears to upset No. 6 Stanford.
Oct. 24 - Shannon Hawari - Defensive Player of the Week: Hawari led her No. 2 Bears to two 3-0 sweeps on the road of Arizona and Arizona State, posting 2.50 blocks per set and 3.00 kills per set en route to 4.42 points per set.
Oct. 24 - Lillian Schonewise - Freshman of the Week: Filling in for injured teammates, Shonewise amassed 17 kills in two matches - 3-0 sweeps of Arizona and ASU - and hitting a team-high .526 against Arizona. Over the six sets of play, she hit .464 and averaged 2.83 kills and 1.17 blocks per set for 3.42 points per set.
Oct. 17 - Christina Higgins - Freshman of the Week: Higgins averaged 2.71 kills per set in wins over Washington and WSU. In the upset of the Huskies, she laced 13 kills and then tallied six kills in the three-set win over WSU.
Oct. 10 - Tarah Murrey - Offensive Player of the Week: Murrey led her Bears to a 3-0 defeat of No. 15 Oregon and a 3-1 win over Oregon State with 5.29 kills per set, 5.00 digs per set and 1.14 blocks per set en route to 6.07 points per set.
Oct. 10 - Kat Brown - Defensive Player of the Week: Brown posted a team-best 2.14 blocks per set and played errorless ball, hitting .562 and averaging 2.57 kills per set. Her 27.5 points across two matches were second on the squad.
Oct. 3: Christina Higgins - Freshman of the Week: Higgins helped her Bears to a 3-0 victory over Arizona and a 3-1 win against ASU with 3.86 kills per match, hitting .345 with 4.07 points per set.
Sept. 19: Robin Rostratter - Defensive Player of the Week: Across three matches, including a 3-1 win over No. 2 Stanford, Rostratter made 69 digs to average an incredible 6.90 per set. She also chipped in five assists.
Lowe's Names Murrey Senior CLASS Award Finalist
In recognition of her volleyball prowess, academic success, strong personal character and involvement in the community, Tarah Murrey is of the10 finalists for the 2011 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence - community, classroom, character and competition. One of the 30 candidates for the awards announced in August, Murrey earned the privilege of being one of the top 10 finalists, who were selected by a media committee.
Barrett's Bear Bites - a Blog
This season, junior setter Elly Barrett will be writing a blog for CalBears.com entitled Barrett's Bear Bites. In the latest edition of Barrett's Bear Bites, junior setter Elly Barrett runs through the last two matches and the awesome trip to Colorado and Utah. Look for Elly's blog on CalBears.com.
Digging in With Rich Feller
Each Monday, Facebook fans of Cal Volleyball are invited to watch a video segment entitled "Digging in With Rich Feller." In the video, Cal head coach Rich Feller gives fans insight into the last week of play and upcoming games. Everyone is invited to ask questions of Coach Feller on Facebook and Twitter that he will answer in the video.
Rich Feller Nets 550th Win
While the Sept. 10 match against Sac State may have been just another home victory to the casual fan, it went down in the record book as head coach Rich Feller's 550th career win. Feller began the 2011 campaign with a 541-297 career record, and tallied that 550th win on Sept. 10 in the 3-0 sweep of the Hornets. His 250th win at Cal came the day before against Nevada on Sept. 9.
Golden Bear Superlatives
In each of the four weeks that the Bears were ranked best in the nation, their number of first-place votes grew with each passing week from 31 (Aug. 29) to 48 (Sept. 5) to 51 (Sept. 12) to last week's 58. The 13-0 start to the 2011 season matched the two best starts in program history - last year's team went 15-0 before losing a match and the best start in the annals came in 2003, when the Bears started 16-0.
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 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.
Texas Two Step
For the ninth consecutive season, the Cal roster features 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.
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
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
Carli Lloyd, Tarah Murrey, and 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
Join the Bears in the Social Media Realm
This season, fans of the prestigious California volleyball team can get even closer to the Golden Bears - through Facebook and Twitter. Social media brings the fans closer to the teams, alerting followers to breaking news, photos and insider information. The Cal Volleyball Facebook page will feature links to CalBears.com stories, polls, unique photos and more. Fans can comment on stories and have conversations with other fans. Cal Volleyball Twitter is the best place to find match results, links to stories as well as photos and other inside information. You can ask questions of the Cal Volleyball Twitter and communicate with others as well.
Like any of the pictures on CalBears.com? They are available for purchase! GoldenBearSports.com, the official photographer of the Cal Athletics Department, has match photos available for purchase on their website at GoldenBearSports.com.