Cal (19-11) Faces No. 14 Santa Clara (24-6) In NCAA Volleyball Tournament
Dec. 2, 2002
BERKELEY, CA -
Fri. Dec. 6 vs. Santa Clara, Thunderdome, Santa Barbara, CA 5 p.m.
BEAR NOTES:. The University of California women's volleyball team (19-11) has been selected one of 64 teams invited to the NCAA Volleyball Tournament and will play No. 14 ranked Santa Clara (24-6) Friday, Dec. 6 at 5 p.m. in the NCAA first round at UC Santa Barbara's Thunderdome. If the Bears defeat the Broncos, they will play the following evening at 7 p.m. against the winner of the other first round match between Fresno State (23-6) and nationally No. 7 ranked UC Santa Barbara (28-2). Cal defeated Santa Clara earlier this season, 3-2, Nov. 19 at Santa Clara. The Bears faced the Broncos without their top player, Mia Jerkov, and came back from a 2-0 deficit to upset then-No. 11 ranked Santa Clara. Cal has a 26-6 all-time record against the Broncos, a 12-8 all-time mark against Fresno State and a 3-11 all-time showing against host UC Santa Barbara. The Bears earned their first NCAA berth since 1989 by finishing the 2002 regular season 19-11 overall and 7-11 in the Pac-10, including victories over five teams ranked in the AVCA Top 25 poll. Cal is one of eight Pac-10 teams that made the NCAA postseason this year, the first time in conference history that many conference teams have qualified for the NCAA Tournament. The Bears' 19 wins this season are the most wins for Cal since the '89 team went 19-13 and advanced to the NCAAs. The Bears captured three straight tournaments - the Golden Bear Invitational, the UNLV Gameworks Classic and the SMU DoubleTree Invitational - to begin the 2002 season. Cal also won a school-record 27 straight games and tied a school-record (with the '89 team) by opening the year with nine straight match victories. Since Sept. 16, the Bears have received votes in the AVCA Top 25 poll. Cal has a combined 5-11 record against this year's NCAA field.
CAL'S POSTSEASON HISTORY: Cal volleyball will be competing in the NCAA postseason for the sixth time in school history. In 1989, the Bears defeated Florida State, 3-1, in Tallahassee, Fla. before falling to Texas, 3-0, in Austin, Tex. Prior to this year, Cal participated in the NCAA Volleyball Tournament five times (1982, 1983, 1987, 1988, 1989), finishing tied for ninth in the nation three times (1982 out of 28 teams, 1983 out of 28 teams and 1989 out of 32 teams). The Bears have a 3-5 all-time record in NCAA volleyball postseason play, advancing no further than the second round. Cal also competed in the 1981 AIAW National Championship, placing 10th out of 12 teams, and the 1991 NIVC, tying for fifth place out of 20 teams.
JERKOV - CAL's ALL-AMERICA CANDIDATE: Mia Jerkov (pronounced YAIR-cove), a 6-3 sophomore outside hitter from Split, Croatia, was named the Oct. 21 AVCA/Sports Imports National Player of the Week after breaking the school record with 39 kills Oct. 17 versus Washington and then recording 38 kills Oct. 18 versus Washington State. For her effort against the Washington schools, she also earned Pac-10 Player of the Week honors for the second time this season (Sept. 9 and Oct. 21). It is the first time in school history a Bear volleyball player had earned national player of the week honors and had consecutive matches with 30 or more kills. On Nov. 26, she was named to the 2002 All-Pac-10 team, the first Cal player selected all-conference since Sienna Curci in 1991. Jerkov was also tournament MVP in all three of the Bears' tournament titles this season. Despite missing five matches due to injured left and right ankles, she has a team-leading 535 kills (second most single season kills in Cal history), and a team-best 5.88 kills and 3.41 digs per game. Jerkov leads the Pac-10 in both total kills (535) and points (588.5, combining kills, service aces and blocks). She is in contention to be Cal's first All-America volleyball player since Sylvie Monnet earned the honor in 1983.
HEAD COACH RICH FELLER: Rich Feller (55-59 at Cal, career 354-226, .610) is in his fourth season as Cal's head coach. Feller came to the Bears after a stint as assistant coach for the USA National Team and 14 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 is the first Cal coach to lead the Bears to NCAA postseason since Dave DeGroot in 1989. At Cal, Feller has a 3-1 record against Santa Clara and has not coached the Bears against Fresno State or UC Santa Barbara. He was 4-0 against Santa Clara as the coach of Colorado State for a combined 7-1 record against the Broncos.
BEARS' NCAA TRAVEL PLANS/TICKET INFORMATION: The Bears will be busing to UC Santa Barbara on Wednesday, Dec. 4 at 4 p.m. The team and staff will be staying at the Best Western Southcoast Inn, 5620 Calle Real, Goleta, CA 93117 (805-967-3200). For Cal media requests contact Scott Ball at 510-643-1741. For tickets to the NCAA Regional contact the UC Santa Barbara ticket office at 805-893-8272.
OTHER BEAR NOTABLES: Senior outside hitter Leah Young joined Jerkov as a member of the all-tournament teams for the Golden Bear, UNLV Gameworks and SMU DoubleTree Invitationals and was honorable mention All-Pac-10. Young, the Bears' lone senior, has a .273 hitting percentage, and had her first triple-double Oct. 22 at Saint Mary's. She is currently seventh on the Cal career list in kills (988), eighth in career kill attempts (2,780) and tied for 10th in career total blocks (230). Also against Saint Mary's, junior middle blocker Heather Diers tied a school record with 11 total blocks (one block solo and a career-high 10 block assists). Sophomore middle blocker Camille Leffall has been a member of the Gameworks Classic and the Golden Bear Invitational all-tournament teams, and is leading Cal with a .341 hitting percentage (fifth in the Pac-10). Last season, Leffall was named to the 2001 Pac-10 All-Freshman Team and established a school record with a .381 hitting percentage (163 kills, 44 errors, 312 attempts). Junior setter Caity Noonan returned this season after tearing the ACL in her left knee Sept. 7, 2001. Noonan has tallied 1,340 assists (fifth in the Pac-10, third on the Cal single-season list) and was selected all-tournament at the SMU DoubleTree Invitational. She now has 2,175 career assists, fourth on the Cal all-time assist list. A junior athletically, Noonan is planning to graduate this spring with a degree in political science. Noonan, Young, Diers, Jerkov and junior Jenna Grigsby were all named honorable mention Pac-10 All-Academic this season. Freshman outside hitter Jenna Brown, the Bears' leader in digs (346, 10th in the Pac-10 with 3.09 digs per game) is another Cal athlete to earn accolades as she was named to the Pac-10 All-Freshman team.
CAL AGAINST THE AVCA TOP 25: Cal has upset five teams ranked in the AVCA Top 25 this season (at No. 16 Arizona Oct. 12, No. 11 Washington State Oct. 18, then-No. 23 Arizona State Nov. 9, at then-No. 22 Washington Nov. 16, at No. 14 Santa Clara Nov. 19). The Bears are also 7-4 this season in five-game matches, including losing to No. 1 ranked USC Oct. 5 and No. 3 ranked Stanford Nov. 22 in five games at Haas Pavilion. Against Santa Clara on Nov. 19, Cal was led by senior outside hitter Leah Young with a career-high 29 kills and 18 digs, while junior outside hitter Jessica Zatica came off the bench to record a career-high 14 kills.
BEARS' TALENTED FRESHMEN: A key to the Bears' success has been the play of true freshmen Jenna Brown and Alicia Powers, who have started every match this season. Brown, a 5-11 left-handed outside hitter from Friendswood, Tex., leads Cal in digs (346) and is third on the team in kills (317). She was named to the Pac-10 All-Freshman team, only the ninth Bear freshman to earn the conference honor. Powers, a 6-1 middle blocker from Clayton, Cal., is tied for second on the team in total blocks (77) and is third on the team in service aces (27) and digs (304).
2002 CAL PLAYERS IN THE RECORD BOOKS: Besides the team posting its best record since 1989, several Cal players have notched their names on the school's career and single-season list. Sophomore Mia Jerkov is currently second on the single-season kill list (535) and needs 34 kills in postseason to surpass Tiffany Rochelle's 568 kills set in 1988. Jerkov is also fourth on the single-season kill attempt list (1,283) and established school records for kills in a match (39 Oct. 17 versus Washington) and kill attempts in a match (91 Nov. 22 versus Stanford). Senior Leah Young is currently seventh in career kills (988), eighth in career kill attempts (2,780) and tied for 10th in career total blocks (230). Junior setter Caity Noonan has 1,340 assists this season, which is third on the single-season assist list, and has 2,175 career assists, fourth on the Cal career assist list. Other records of note this season include junior middle blocker Heather Diers tying a school record with 11 total blocks and the Bears establishing a new school record with 40 total team blocks Oct. 22 versus Saint Mary's.
CAL VS. THE OPPONENTS: The Bears have a 26-6 all-time record against No. 14 Santa Clara (24-6), which last week fell 3-1 to No. 3 Stanford Nov. 26 at Stanford. Cal defeated the Broncos in the last meeting between the two schools, 3-2, Nov. 19 at Santa Clara. The Broncos are coached by Jon Wallace (fourth year) and are led by 6-0 junior middle blocker Becky Potter (549 kills), who had 24 kills against the Bears Nov. 19. Cal has a 12-8 all-time record against Fresno State (23-6), which last lost to Nevada, 3-1, Nov. 23 at Nevada. The Bears defeated the Bulldogs in the last meeting between the two schools, 3-2, Oct. 11, 1986 at the UCLA NIVT Tournament. Fresno State is coached by Lindy Vivas (12th year) and is led by 5-11 sophomore outside hitter Kristen Fenton (387 kills). Cal has a 3-11 all-time record against No. 7 UC Santa Barbara (28-2), which last lost to USC, 3-0, Nov. 26 at Santa Barbara. The Bears lost to the Gauchos in the last meeting between the two schools, 3-1, Sept. 5, 1998 at the Long Beach State Tournament. The last time Cal defeated UC Santa Barbara was 3-2, Sept. 9, 1989 at the JMN Premier Invitational in Fullerton, CA. The Gauchos are coached by Kathy Gregory (28th year) and are led by 5-11 senior outside hitter/middle blocker Danielle Bauer (465 kills). UC Santa Barbara also features 6-0 senior outside hitter Courtney Guerra (302 kills), who played her freshman year at Cal in 1999, recording 113 kills for the Bears.
CAL FEATURE IDEAS: Mia Jerkov - Top Cal player, member of the Croatian National Team and potential 2004 Olympian; father, Zeljko, is a seven-foot former Olympic basketball star for Yugoslavia. Caity Noonan - Bear setter, returns from ACL surgery, is top grass doubles player in offseason. Camille Leffall - Was Pac-10 All-Freshman in 2001 - first Cal newcomer to make All-Pac-10 since 1996; is Bear record-holder for single-season hitting percentage. Leah Young - Lone senior on 2002 squad who is three-time all-tournament this season; uncle, Michael, is former football star at UCLA and grandfather, Gene Smith, played basketball for the Los Angeles Lakers; is the writer of the Bear volleyball diary on www.calbears.com.
JENNA BROWN: Is a member of the Pac-10 All-Freshman team...finished with a career-high five total blocks Sept. 19 at Santa Clara...had 17 kills and a career-high 23 digs Nov. 16 at UW...had a team-high 14 kills Nov. 2 at UCLA...recorded 22 kills and 12 digs Oct. 26 vs. UO...had a career-high 24 kills Oct. 17 vs. UW...had 21 kills and 19 digs Oct. 5 vs. USC...tallied 20 kills, 44 attempts and 17 digs Sept. 28 at OSU...had 12 kills Sept. 20 at Stanford...had 15 digs and three block assists Sept. 14 vs. Tulane...leads the team with 346 digs (3.09 dpg, 10th in Pac-10)...had a career-high three service aces Sept. 7 vs. Ball State...has started every match as a true freshman...hails from Friendswood, Texas.
MIA JERKOV: Is a 2002 All-Pac-10 selection...was the Oct. 21 AVCA/Sports Imports National Player of the Week, as well as the Pac-10 Player of the week...broke a school record with 39 kills and had a career-high 26 digs with a .346 hitting percentage Oct. 17 vs. UW...followed with 38 kills and 16 digs Oct. 18 vs. WSU...is the first Cal volleyball player to ever be named national player of the week and to record back-to-back 30 kill matches...recorded 37 kills, 21 digs and a school record 91 kill attempts Nov. 22 vs. Stanford...has had six 30 plus kill matches this season...tallied 34 kills with 24 digs Nov. 16 at UW...had 20 kills with a .472 hitting percentage Nov. 9 vs. ASU...had 26 kills and a .340 hitting percentage Oct. 12 at UA...had 28 kills and 21 digs Oct. 11 at ASU...had 32 kills with 14 digs and a .353 hitting percentage Oct. 5 vs. USC...finished with 21 kills with 20 digs Oct. 4 vs. UCLA...had 32 kills and 26 digs Sept. 27 at UO...followed with a team-high 25 kills and 17 digs Sept. 28 at OSU...was MVP of the Golden Bear Invitational, UNLV Gameworks Classic and SMU DoubleTree Invitational...was named Sept. 9 Pac-10 Player of the Week...despite missing five matches, is first in the Pac-10 in kills (535, second on Cal's single season list) and points (588.5 combining kills, service aces and blocks) and sixth in digs (310)...had 51 kills, 20 digs and two service aces at the DoubleTree Invitational...had 54 kills, 26 digs and seven service aces at the UNLV tournament...tallied 48 kills, 24 digs and 12 service aces at the Golden Bear Invitational...is averaging 5.88 kills per game...had 21 kills Sept. 14 vs. Tulane...had 20 kills Sept. 7 vs. Ball State...had a career-high seven service aces Aug. 30 vs. Northern Arizona...is a member of the Croatian National Team and a potential 2004 Olympian.
CAMILLE LEFFALL: Finished with 10 kills Nov. 16 at UW...had 10 kills and a .533 hitting percentage Nov. 9 vs. ASU...tallied six block assists Nov. 2 at UCLA...had 10 kills and a .476 hitting percentage Oct. 26 vs. UO...recorded eight kills with a .438 hitting percentage and six block assists Oct. 18 vs. WSU...had a .353 hitting percentage Oct. 11 at ASU and five block assist Oct. 12 at UA...had 13 kills with a .520 hitting percentage Oct. 4 vs. UCLA...was a member of both the Gameworks Classic and Golden Bear Invitational all-tournament teams...leads Cal with a .341 hitting percentage, 99 total blocks and .93 blocks per game...is fifth in the Pac-10 in hitting percentage...had 13 kills Sept. 14 at SMU...had a season-high .615 hitting percentage Sept. 7 vs. Ball State...was a member of the Pac-10 All-Freshman Team last season and established a school record with a .381 single-season hitting percentage...is the Cal career leader with a .358 hitting percentage.
CAITY NOONAN: Had 72 assists with 11 digs Nov. 19 at Santa Clara and 66 assists with 16 digs Nov. 22 vs. Stanford...tallied 72 assists with 20 digs Nov. 16 at UW...recorded 71 assists Oct. 17 vs. UW and had 68 assists with a career-high 26 digs Oct. 18 vs. WSU...had 56 assists and 12 digs Oct. 11 at ASU...finished with 68 assists Oct. 5 vs. USC and 51 assists Oct. 4 vs. UCLA...had a career-high 73 assists Sept. 28 at OSU...was named all-tournament at the SMU DoubleTree Invitational, recording 118 assists and six service aces...is fifth in the Pac-10 with 1,340 assists (third on Cal single season list, 12.07 apg)...had a career-high five service aces Sept. 13 vs. UTSA...redshirted last season after tearing her ACL in her left knee...has 2,142 career assists, fourth on the Cal career assist list.
ALICIA POWERS: Had eight kills and a career-high 22 digs Nov. 16 at UW...had 21 digs Oct. 11 at ASU...had a career-high nine kills with a .412 hitting percentage Sept. 28 at OSU...is second on the team with 77 total blocks and third with 304 digs...had 16 digs Sept. 14 at SMU...had a career-high six block assists Sept. 14 vs. Tulane...had a team-high six total blocks Aug. 30 vs. Northern Arizona...had a .400 hitting percentage with eight kills Aug. 30 vs. Tennessee-Martin...has started every match as a true freshman.
LEAH YOUNG: Honorable mention All-Pac-10...had a career-high 29 kills and 18 digs Nov. 19 at Santa Clara...had her first triple-double (career-high 28 kills, 11 digs, 10 total blocks) Oct. 22 at Saint Mary's...tallied 22 kills with a .365 hitting percentage Oct. 26 vs. UO...had 24 kills with a .432 hitting percentage Oct. 11 at ASU...had 18 kills with 11 digs Sept. 28 at OSU...had 15 digs Sept. 27 at UO...was a member of the SMU DoubleTree Invitational, the Gameworks Classic and the Golden Bear Invitational all-tournament teams...is second on the team with 364 kills, 3.22 kills per game and 77 total blocks...had seven block assists Sept. 14 vs. Tulane...had a career-high three service aces Aug. 30 vs. Northern Arizona.
2002 University of California Volleyball Season Highs (as of 12/2)
TEAMKills 91 at Washington,11/16Attempts 240 at Washington, 11/16Hitting Pct. .406 vs. USF, 11/26Assists 83 at Oregon State, 9/28Service Aces 15 vs. N. Arizona, 8/30Digs 108 at Washington, 11/16Block Solos 3 vs. three teamsBlock Assists 38 at Saint Mary's, 10/22Team Blocks 21.0 at Saint Mary's, 10/22
INDIVIDUALKills 39 by Mia Jerkov vs. Washington, 10/17Attempts 91 by Mia Jerkov vs. Stanford, 11/22Hitting Pct. .615 by Young vs. SJS, 8/31, Leffall vs. BSU, 9/7Assists 73 by Caity Noonan at Oregon State, 9/28Service Aces 7 by Mia Jerkov vs. Northern Arizona, 8/31Digs 26 by Jerkov vs. two teams, Noonan vs. WSU, 10/18Block Solos 2 by Camille Leffall vs. UTSA, 9/13Block Assists 10 by Heather Diers at Saint Mary's, 10/22Total Blocks 11 by Heather Diers at Saint Mary's, 10/22
JENNA BROWNKills 24 vs. Washington, 10/17Attempts 59 vs. Washington, 10/17Service Aces 3 vs. Ball State, 9/7Digs 23 at Washington, 11/16Block Solos 1 vs. six teamsBlock Assists 5 at Santa Clara, 11/19Total Blocks 5 at Santa Clara, 11/19
HEATHER DIERSKills 6 at Oregon, 9/27Attempts 14 vs. four teamsService Aces 0Digs 1 vs. NAU, 8/30, at USC, 11/1Block Solos 2 vs. Oregon, 10/26Block Assists 10 at Saint Mary's, 10/22Total Blocks 11 at Saint Mary's, 10/22
MIA JERKOVKills 39 vs. Washington, 10/17Attempts 91 vs. Stanford, 11/22Service Aces 7 vs. Northern Arizona, 8/30Digs 26 at OSU, 9/28, vs. UW, 10/17Block Solos 1 vs. eight teamsBlock Assists 5 at Oregon State, 9/28Total Blocks 5 at Oregon State, 9/28
CAMILLE LEFFALLKills 13 at SMU, 9/14, vs. UCLA, 10/4Attempts 28 at Washington, 11/16Service Aces 1 vs. San Jose State, 8/31Digs 3 vs. San Francisco, 11/26Block Solos 2 vs. UTSA, 9/13Block Assists 7 vs. Tennessee-Martin, 8/30Total Blocks 7 vs. two teams
CAITY NOONANKills 6 vs. BSU, 9/7, vs. SMC, 10/22Attempts 14 at Oregon State, 9/28Assists 73 at Oregon State, 9/28Service Aces 5 vs. UTSA, 9/13Digs 26 vs. Washington State, 10/18Block Solos 1 vs. San Francisco, 11/26Block Assists 5 vs. Northern Arizona, 8/30Total Blocks 5 vs. Northern Arizona, 8/30
ALICIA POWERSKills 9 at Oregon State, 9/28Attempts 20 at Washington, 11/16Service Aces 3 vs. Northern Arizona, 8/30Digs 22 at Washington, 11/16Block Solos 1 vs. six teamsBlock Assists 6 vs. two teamsTotal Blocks 6 vs. two teams
LEAH YOUNGKills 29 at Santa Clara, 11/19Attempts 67 at Saint Mary's, 10/22Service Aces 3 vs. Northern Arizona, 8/30Digs 18 at Santa Clara, 11/19Block Solos 1 vs. three teamsBlock Assists 9 at Saint Mary's, 10/22Total Blocks 10 at Saint Mary's, 10/22