No. 12 Cal Volleyball Visits Oregon and Oregon State to begin Pac-10 Slate

Sept. 15, 2003

BERKELEY, CA -

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Sept. 18 at Oregon, McArthur Court, Eugene, OR 7 p.m.Sept. 19 at Oregon State, Gill Coliseum, Corvallis, OR 7 p.m.

BEAR NOTES: No. 12 ranked California (8-0) brings an undefeated record into Pac-10 play for the second year in a row and will start its conference slate Sept. 18 at Oregon (3-5) and Sept. 19 at Oregon State (9-2). Cal also will be looking to establish a new school record by winning its first 10 matches to start the 2003 season. After capturing the Golden Bear Invitational last weekend at Haas Pavilion with 3-0 victories over New Hampshire, Nevada and Cal Poly, the Bears now have a streak of 17 straight regular season tournament victories, and five consecutive tournament titles, carrying over from 2002. In addition, Cal's junior All-American Mia Jerkov (pronounced YAIR-cove), the Sept. 8 Pac-10 Player of the Week, has been named tournament MVP in all five of the Bears' tournament championships.

CAL'S TOURNAMENT SUCCESS: Besides Cal winning 17 straight tournament matches, capturing its fifth tournament title in a row, and Jerkov earning her fifth consecutive tournament MVP honor, the Bears also have won an impressive 51-of-53 games in their last six tournaments - 2002 Golden Bear Invitational, 2002 UNLV Gameswork Classic, 2002 SMU DoubleTree Invitational, the 2003 UC Irvine Tournament (which had no tournament champion), the 2003 Colorado State Coors Classic and the 2003 Golden Bear Invitational. Jerkov paced Cal at the Golden Bear Invitational with a combined 51 kills and 32 digs in the three matches. She has led the Bears in kills in seven of the team's eight tournament matches this season. Junior outside hitter Gabrielle Abernathy and freshman setter Samantha Carter joined Jerkov as members of the Golden Bear Invitational All-Tournament Team. Abernathy had a team-high 17 kills with a .424 hitting percentage (17 kills, three errors, 33 attempts) against Nevada, and had a career-high seven service aces against New Hampshire. It was Abernathy's third all-tournament honor of her college career. She was a member of the 2000 Silver Legacy Tournament in Reno, Nev. as a freshman and the 2001 IKON Husky Classic All-Tournament in Storrs, Con., as a sophomore. Carter tallied 110 assists in the three Golden Bear Invitational matches, playing in her first home competition at Haas Pavilion. Junior middle hitter Camille Leffall, who had recorded 29 kills, 14 block assists and had a .412 hitting percentage Sept. 5-6 at Colorado State, joined Jerkov as a member of the Coors Classic All-Tournament Team. It was the third all-tournament honor for Leffall, as she was a member of all-tournament teams at the Golden Bear Invitational and UNLV Gameworks Classic in 2002.

CAL'S NO. 12 AVCA RANKING: The Bears have steadily moved up in the USA Today/AVCA Top 25 Poll, going from a No. 24 preseason ranking to their current No. 12 spot. Cal's No. 12 ranking is the third highest ranking in school history. The Bears ranked as high as eighth in the Sept. 26, 1989 poll, and ranked 10th in the final 1982 poll. Cal has been ranked a total of 37 times in the AVCA Top 25 poll. The Bears No. 24 preseason ranking was only the third time in school history Cal had been preseason ranked in women's volleyball. The Bears were ranked No. 12 in the 1983 preseason poll and No. 9 in the 1989 preseason poll.

HEAD COACH Rich Feller: Rich Feller (61-60, .516 at Cal; career 360-227, .615) is in his fifth season as Cal's head coach. Feller came to the Bears after a stint as assistant coach for the USA National Team (1997-98) 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. He is the first Cal volleyball coach to lead the Bears to NCAA postseason and an AVCA national ranking since Dave DeGroot in 1989.

CAL VERSUS OREGON AND OREGON STATE: The Bears have a 36-12 all-time record against Oregon (3-5 overall, last defeated Villanova, 3-0, Sept. 13 at Colorado Tournament). The Bears have an eight match winning streak over the Ducks and defeated Oregon in the last meeting, 3-2, Oct. 26, 2002 at Haas Pavilion. The Ducks, coached by Carl Ferreira (fourth year at UO), are led by 6-1 sophomore middle blocker Kelly Russell (95 kills, .386 hitting percentage). Cal has a 26-16 all-time record against Oregon State (9-2 overall, last defeated Charlotte, 3-1, Sept. 13 at Charlotte). The Bears lost to the Beavers in the last meeting, 3-0, Oct. 25, 2002 at Haas Pavilion. Oregon State, coached by Nancy Somera (fifth year at OSU), is led by 5-11 junior outside hitter Allison Lawrence (159 kills, 146 digs).

CAL AGAINST THE AVCA TOP 25: Competing in what is arguably the toughest volleyball conference in the nation - the Pac-10 - the Bears' 2003 schedule includes seven teams currently ranked in the USA Today/AVCA Poll. Cal will take on No. 1 USC, No. 4 Stanford, No. 9 UCLA, No. 14 Washington, No. 16 Arizona, No. 17 Santa Clara and No. 23 Long Beach State. Cal competes against a total of 13 teams that qualified for the NCAA Tournament last season, including Cal Poly, New Hampshire and Nevada, the three teams that competed at Cal for the 2003 Golden Bear Invitational. The Bears upset five teams ranked in the AVCA Top 25 last 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 were 7-4 last year 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. Cal upset No. 14 ranked Santa Clara twice last season, 3-2 Nov. 19 at Santa Clara, and 3-1 Dec. 6 in the first round of the NCAA Regional at UC Santa Barbara.

ALL-AMERICAN Mia Jerkov: Cal returns four starters, five seniors and a total of 11 players from the last year's 20-12 NCAA Regional squad, including 6-3 outside hitter Jerkov, the Bears' first All-American volleyball player since Sylvie Monnet in 1983. Jerkov was also first team All-Pacific Region and first team All-Pac-10. She was voted the MVP in all three of the Bears' 2002 tournament titles and was twice named Pac-10 Player of the Week, including becoming the school's first-ever AVCA National Player of the Week on Oct. 21. In 2002, Jerkov recorded 30 or more kills in six matches, was the Pac-10 leader in points (635.0, combining kills, blocks and service aces) and kills (578), and established school records for single-season kills (578), single-match kills (39) and kill attempts (91).

Jenna Brown ACCOLADES: Sophomore outside hitter Jenna Brown, the Bears' 2002 leader in digs (365, 10th in the Pac-10 with 3.07 digs per game), is another Cal athlete to earn postseason accolades as she was named to the 2002 Pac-10 All-Freshman team. Brown is the 14th Bear freshman in school history to have earned conference all-freshman honors. In 2000, Abernathy was honorable mention Pac-10 All-Freshman and in 2001, Leffall was named Pac-10 All-Freshman. Brown also trained with the USA National A2 squad this summer in Colorado Springs.

BEARS AMONG PAC-10 STAT LEADERS: The Bears feature four players - Jerkov, Leffall, Abernathy and Carter - who are among the stat leaders in the Pac-10. Jerkov is second in the conference in points (6.50 ppg) and kills (5.81 kpg), and seventh in digs (3.27 dpg). Leffall is second in the Pac-10 in blocks (1.62 bpg) and fourth in hitting percentage (.417), while Abernathy is third in service aces (0.62 pg), eighth in kills (3.75 kpg) and ninth in points (4.54 ppg). Cal's freshman setter Carter is second in the Pac-10 in assists per game (12.42). As a team, the Bears lead the Pac-10 in digs with 16.62 digs per game.

CAL PLAYERS IN THE RECORD BOOKS: Besides the 2002 team posting its best record since 1989 with a 20-12 mark, several current Cal players notched their names on the school's career and single-season list. Jerkov established a single-season kill record (578), surpassing Tiffany Rochelle's 568 kills set in 1988. Jerkov was also third on the single-season kill attempt list (1,400) 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). Middle hitter Heather Diers tied a school record with 11 total blocks and the Bears established a new school record with 40 total team blocks Oct. 22 versus Saint Mary's. Leffall (2001- ) is currently the school record-holder with a .366 career hitting percentage and set a school mark for single-season hitting percentage (.381) as a freshman in 2001. Leffall also had 11 total blocks in a match, accomplishing the feat as a freshman, Oct. 23, 2001 versus Santa Clara.

KEY NEWCOMERS: Samantha Carter, 5-11 setter, FR - Bishop Moore HS (Apopka, FL) - Six-time AAU All-American; named nation's 28th top recruit by Student Sports magazine; two-time all-state selection...Natalie Smart, 6-2 middle hitter, FR - Durango HS (Las Vegas, NV) - Member of USA Junior National Team; named nation's 50th top recruit by Student Sports magazine; 2002 all-conference and Sunset Region MVP...Amanda Fox, 6-3 outside hitter, FR - El Molino HS (Forestville, CA) - Member of USA National Youth Team; nation's 53rd top recruit by Student Sports magazine; 2001 and 2002 league MVP.

IMPORTANT HOME DATE: Oct. 11 vs. Stanford. The Bears host Bay Area rival and 2002 national runner-up Stanford Cardinal at 3 p.m. at Haas Pavilion. Oct. 17 vs. UCLA. Cal has never defeated the Bruins in women's volleyball and will be trying to break a 0-44 mark.

2002 REVIEW: The 2002 Cal volleyball team had one of the best seasons in school history, finishing 20-12, qualifying for the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1989 and defeating six opponents ranked in the AVCA Top 25. The Bears defeated No. 14 Santa Clara, 3-1, in the NCAA first round match before falling to No. 7 ranked UC Santa Barbara, 3-0. Cal's 20 victories in 2002 was only the fourth time in school history the Bears had won 20 or more matches in a season (20-21 in 1981, 28-12 in 1982 and 22-20 in 1983). Last year, Cal made its eighth postseason appearance and sixth NCAA appearance.

DID YOU KNOW? The Golden Bears featured Holly McPeak, the 1987 National Freshman of the Year, and Lisa Arce, Cal teammates from 1987-89. Both have gone on to be standout Olympic beach volleyball players. Mia Jerkov's father, Zeljko, is a seven-foot former Olympic basketball star for Yugoslavia, helping his country to a silver medal in the 1976 Montreal Olympics (losing to the United States) and a gold medal at the 1980 Moscow Olympics.

2003 University of California Volleyball Season HighsCareer highs in italics

TEAM

Kills 66 vs. CS Northridge, 9/6Attempts 162 vs. CS Northridge, 9/6Hitting Pct. .433 vs. Seton Hall, 9/5Assists 57 at Colorado State, 9/6Service Aces 15 at UC Irvine, 8/31Digs 80 vs. CS Northridge, 9/6Block Solos 5 vs. CS Northridge, 9/6Block Assists 26 vs. Hofstra, 8/30Team Blocks 13.0 vs. Hofstra, 8/30

INDIVIDUAL

Gabrielle AbernathyKills 17 vs. Hofstra, 8/30, vs. Nevada, 9/12Attempts 33 vs. Nevada, 9/12Service Aces 7 vs. New Hampshire, 9/11Digs 8 vs. Cal Poly, 9/13Block Solos 1 vs. Cal Poly, 9/13Block Assists 2 vs. two teamsTotal Blocks 2 vs. two teams

Jenna BrownKills 11 at UC Irvine, 8/31Attempts 21 vs. Colorado State, 9/6Service Aces 3 at Colorado State, 9/6Digs 15 vs. CS Northridge, 9/6Block Solos 1 vs. two teamsBlock Assists 7 vs. Hofstra, 8/30Total Blocks 7 vs. Hofstra, 8/30

Samantha CarterKills 4 vs. Cal Poly, 9/13Attempts 7 vs. two teamsAssists 47 at Colorado State, 9/6Service Aces 5 at UC Irvine, 8/31Digs 8 at UC Irvine, 8/31Block Solos 1 vs. three teamsBlock Assists 4 at UC Irvine, 8/31Total Blocks 4 at UC Irvine, 8/31

Amanda FoxKills 6 vs. two teamsAttempts 17 vs. CS Northridge, 9/6Service Aces 0Digs 9 vs. New Hampshire, 9/11Block Solos 1 vs. Cal Poly, 9/13Block Assists 2 vs. Hofstra, 8/30Total Blocks 2 vs. Hofstra, 8/30

Mia JerkovKills 30 vs. CS Northridge, 9/6Attempts 65 vs. CS Northridge, 9/6Service Aces 4 at UC Irvine, 8/31Digs 18 vs. CS Northridge, 9/6Block Solos 2 vs.Nevada, 9/12Block Assists 3 vs. CS Northridge, 9/6Total Blocks 3 vs. CS Northridge, 9/6

Camille LeffallKills 10 vs. two teamsAttempts 19 vs. two teamsService Aces 3 at UC Irvine, 8/31Digs 3 vs. CS Northridge, 9/6Block Solos 2 vs. New Hampshire, 9/11Block Assists 10 vs. Hofstra, 8/30Total Blocks 10 vs. Hofstra, 8/30

Alicia PowersKills 9 at UCI, 8/31; vs. Cal Poly, 9/13Attempts 12 vs. two teamsService Aces 2 vs. three teamsDigs 13 vs. Hofstra, 8/30Block Solos 1 vs. New Hamsphire, 9/11Block Assists 3 vs. three teamsTotal Blocks 3 vs. three teams

CAL TEAM RANKINGS: In the national rankings, the Bears are ninth in team hitting percentage (.302), 14th in team assists per game (15.38) and 21st in kills per game (16.65). In Pac-10 team rankings, Cal is first in team digs per game (16.62), second in opponent hitting percentage (.132) and third in service aces per game (2.15), assists per game (15.38) and blocks per game (2.71).

Gabrielle Abernathy: Leads the team with 15 service aces and is second on the squad with 90 kills and 109.0 points...is third in the Pac-10 in service aces (0.62), eighth in kills (3.75) and ninth in points (4.54)...was named to the Golden Bear Invitational all-tournament team after tallying 34 kills in three matches...had 10 kills and eight digs Sept. 13 vs. Cal Poly...had a team-high 17 kills and a .424 hitting percentage Sept. 12 vs. Nevada...had a career-high seven service aces Sept. 11 vs. New Hampshire...recorded 17 kills Aug. 30 vs. Hofstra in season-opener.

Jenna Brown: Is second on the team with 60 digs and 26 total blocks, and fourth with 51 kills...had a career-high three service aces Sept. 6 at Colorado State...recorded a season-high 15 digs Sept. 6 vs. CS Northridge...had a season-high 11 kills Aug. 31 at UC Irvine.

Samantha Carter: Has been the Bears' starting setter in every match as a true freshman...has tallied 323 assists, 48 digs and eight service aces...is second in the Pac-10 in assists per game (12.42)...was a member of the Golden Bear Invitational all-tournament team after recording 110 assists in the three matches...had a career-high 47 assists Sept. 6 at Colorado State...had a career-high five service aces and four total blocks Aug. 31 at UC Irvine.

Jillian Davis: As a true freshman has started every match as the Bears' libero and is second on the team with 65 digs...had nine digs Sept. 12 against Nevada and 10 digs Sept. 13 vs. Cal Poly during the Golden Bear Invitational...had a career-high 11 digs against both CS Northridge and Colorado State Sept. 6 at the Colorado State Coors Classic...tallied 10 digs Sept. 5 vs. Seton Hall at the Colorado State tournament.

Amanda Fox: As a true freshman has seen action in 23 of the Bears' 26 games, recording 16 kills and 36 digs... had a career-high nine digs Sept. 11 vs. New Hampshire...played well Sept. 6 vs. CS Northridge and Colorado State at the Colorado State Coors Classic...tallied six digs and six kills with only error in 17 attempts vs. CS Northridge...had six kills with no errors in eight attempts and six digs at Colorado State.

Mia Jerkov: Was MVP of both the Colorado State Coors Classic and Golden Bear Invitational - her fifth consecutive tournament MVP honor, carrying over from 2002...is hitting .338 and leads the team with 151 kills, 85 digs and 169.0 points...is second in the Pac-10 in points per game (6.50) and kills per game (5.81, seventh nationally), and seventh in digs per game (3.27)...has led the Bears in kills in seven of eight matches...was the Sept. 8 Pac-10 Player of the Week...tallied 51 kills and 32 digs during the Golden Bear Invitational...led the Bears with 68 kills and 30 digs at the Coors Classic, hitting .384 for the tournament...had 30 kills and a team-high 18 digs Sept. 6 vs. CS Northridge - the seventh time in her career she has recorded 30 or more kills in a match...had four service aces Aug. 31 at UC Irvine...Cal school record holder for single season kills (578) and kills in a match (39, Oct. 17 vs. Washington), set in 2002...is a member of the Croatian National Team and Cal's first All-American volleyball player since 1983.

Camille Leffall: Is leading the Bears in hitting percentage (.417, fourth in the Pac-10, 14th in the nation) and total blocks (42), and is second in points (85.0)...is second in the conference and 11th in the nation in blocks per game (1.62)...hit .818 (nine kills, no errors, 11 attempts) Sept. 13 vs. Cal Poly...finished the Golden Bear Invitational with a .563 hitting percentage (19 kills, one error, 32 attempts)...was a member of the Sept. 5-6 Colorado State Coors Classic all-tournament team after recording 29 kills, 14 block assists and hitting .412 for the three matches...had a career-high three service aces Aug. 31 at UC Irvine...had a career-high 10 block assists Aug. 30 vs. Hofstra...was a member of the 2001 Pac-10 All-Freshman Team and established a school record with a .381 single-season hitting percentage...is the school record-holder with a .366 career hitting percentage.

Alicia Powers: Has a .343 hitting percentage with seven service aces, 44 digs and 16 total blocks...had a .800 hitting percentage with a career-high nine kills with one error in 10 attempts Sept. 13 vs. Cal Poly...had a career-high nine kills Aug. 31 at UC Irvine...had a season-high 13 digs Aug. 30 vs. Hofstra...has started every match of her Cal career.

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