Rich Feller Named 2003 Pac-10 Volleyball Coach of the Year

Nov. 25, 2003

WALNUT CREEK, CA - University of California volleyball coach Rich Feller has been named the 2003 Pac-10 Coach of the Year, while junior outside hitter Mia Jerkov earned first team All-Pac-10 honors for the second year in a row and freshman setter Samantha Carter was named a member of the 2003 Pac-10 All-Freshman Team, it was announced today by Pac-10 Commissioner Tom Hansen.

Feller was tabbed conference coach of the year after leading No. 8 ranked Cal to its best Pac-10 showing in school history, as the Bears finished tied for third in the league standings with a 12-6 record. With a current 21-6 overall mark, Cal has posted back-to-back 20-win seasons for the first time since 1981-83. The Bears opened the year with a school record 16-match winning streak, including their first ever Pac-10 victory over Bay Area rival Stanford. Cal began the season ranked No. 24 in the USA Today/AVCA Coaches poll, climbed to a No. 5 ranking (Oct. 13) and remained in the Top 10 throughout the remainder of the year. Feller has a career record of 376-233 (.617) in 19 seasons, including a record of 77-66 (.538) in five years with the Bears.

Feller is the first Cal volleyball coach to be named league coach of the year since Chris Stanley was NorPac Conference Coach of the Year in 1982. His coaching staff includes Chris Bigelow, Lee Maes and volunteer assistant Ernesto Cazares. Feller joins a long list of Cal coaches who have recently earned conference coach of the year accolades, as the Bears had six coaches receive the honor in their respective sports last season.

Jerkov, a 6-3 outside hitter from Split, Croatia, was again selected All-Pac-10. She has been named Pac-10 Player of the Week four times and was the Oct. 13 Sports Imports/AVCA Division I National Player of the Week. Jerkov has had 30 or more kills in five matches this year and is among the top players in the conference in points (6.40) and kills per game (5.67). Jerkov was also the MVP of the Colorado State Coors Classic and the Golden Bear Invitational and was featured in the Oct. 27 edition of Sports Illustrated's Faces in the Crowd. She is the first Bear to earn back-to-back all-conference honors since Lisa Arce in 1989-90.

Carter, a 5-11 freshman setter from Apopka, Fla., has tallied 1,297 assists and is second in the Pac-10 with 13.10 assists per game. Her 1,297 assists are already sixth on the Cal single-season list and her 70 assists Oct. 11 versus Stanford were the most single match assists in the conference this season. Carter also has 19 service aces and 204 digs in 27 matches, and was named to Golden Bear Invitational All-Tournament team.

The Bears had three other players earn conference recognition, as well. Junior middle hitter Camille Leffall was Pac-10 honorable mention, and freshman libero Jillian Davis and freshman outside hitter Amanda Fox were honorable mention Pac-10 All-Freshman. Earlier, sophomore middle hitter Alicia Powers was named honorable mention Pac-10 All-Academic.

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