No. 21 Cal Volleyball Hosts Sixth Annual Golden Bear Invitational
Sept. 6, 2005
BERKELEY, CALIF. -
Thu.-Sat., Sept. 8-10 Golden Bear Invitational,Haas Pavilion, Berkeley, Calif.Thu., Sept. 8 Florida A&M at California 7 p.m.Fri., Sept. 9 Univ. of San Diego vs. Florida A&M 7 p.m.Sat., Sept. 10 Univ. of San Diego at California 7 p.m.
BEAR NOTES: No. 21-ranked California, a perfect 4-0 with 3-0 victories in all four matches this season, host the sixth annual Golden Bear Invitational, Sept. 8-10 at Haas Pavilion. The 2005 Golden Bear Invitational features some of the nation's top teams - Cal, No. 20 University of San Diego (4-1) and Florida A&M (1-0, 16 votes in the Sept. 5 CSTV/AVCA poll). The Bears are looking to win their eighth regular-season tournament since 2002. Last weekend, Cal captured the CenturyTel/Classic Honda Premier in San Marcos, Texas with 3-0 wins over host Texas State, Morgan State and Albany.
CAL SHINES IN TEXAS: The Bears were dominating during the CenturyTel/Classic Honda Premier, outscoring and out-hitting their opponents, 304 to 169, and .322 to .060. Junior libero Jillian Davis was named tournament MVP after finishing with 44 digs, including 17 digs in the final match against Albany. Last season, Davis set a school record with 33 digs against eventual national champion Stanford before suffering a season-ending ACL tear to her left knee in practice on Oct. 28. Sophomore outside hitter Angie Pressey and junior setter Samantha Carter were also named to the all-tournament team. Pressey had a team-high 32 kills in the three matches, and was second to Davis with 29 digs. Carter had 131 assists during the weekend and also tied a Cal record with nine service aces in the Bears' victory over Morgan State Sept. 3. She accomplished her nine service aces in a three-game match, where as Brook Coulter's nine aces in 1999 at Oregon were in a five-game match, and Gabrielle Abernathy's nine aces against Arizona State last season were in a four-game match. Several other Bears performed well. Senior middle hitter Alicia Powers hit .472 for the tournament with 31 kills; sophomore middle hitter Ellen Orchard, who hails from Houston, hit .457 with 26 kills and 12 total blocks; and freshman outside hitter Morgan Beck tied Pressey with a team-high 32 kills. Senior outside hitter Jenna Brown, another Texas native (Friendswood), had 18 kills and a team-best 13 total blocks, while freshman middle hitter Kat Reilly, also from Houston, hit .778 (7k, 0e, 9att) versus Morgan State.
BEARS' TOURNY CHALLENGE: As a result of winning the CenturyTel/Classic Honda Premier, the Bears have now won seven of their last nine tournaments. However, Cal will be looking to recapture its own Invitational after falling 3-0 to UC Santa Barbara and Texas A&M last year. The Bears will face a challenge hosting two teams that advanced deep into last year's NCAA tournament. Florida A&M (1-0), a squad with only has one player from the United States, was 28-3 in 2004 and lost in the NCAA Regional to Florida (3-0). The University of San Diego was 24-5 overall last year and lost in the NCAA Round of 16 to USC (3-1). San Diego's only loss this season was a 3-1 defeat to No. 10 UCLA.
IMPORTANT HOME DATES: Sept. 23 vs. UCLA, Cal hosts the Bruins in the Bears' 2005 Pac-10 season-opener, looking to defeat UCLA for the first time in school history (0-47). Oct. 21 vs. Stanford, the Bears host Bay Area rival and 2004 NCAA champion Stanford Cardinal in 'The Big Spike.' Cal has defeated the Cardinal in each of the past two years at Haas Pavilion. The 'Big Spike' with be televised on Comcast SportsNet (viewing details TBA).
HEAD COACH Rich Feller: Rich Feller (102-79, .564 at Cal; career 401-246, .620) is in his seventh season at Cal. Feller won his 100th game as the Bears' coach Sept. 2 at Texas State, and earned his 400th career victory Sept. 3 versus Morgan State. He was named both the 2003 Pacific Region and 2003 Pac-10 Coach of the Year after leading the Bears to the NCAA Round of 16 for the first time in school history. Feller came to Cal after a stint as assistant coach for the USA National Team (1997-98) and 14 years as head coach at Colorado State (1983-96, eight NCAA Tournaments, 12 Top 25 national rankings).
CAL VERSUS FLORIDA A&M AND UNIVERSITY OF SAN DIEGO: Cal will be facing Florida A&M (1-0 with 3-2 victory at Central Florida Aug. 26) for the first time in school history. The Lady Rattlers are coached by Tanio Trifanov (ninth year at FAM) and feature 6-3 senior outside hitter Adriana Kostadinova (2004 honorable mention All-American). The Bears have a 6-1 all-time record against No. 20-ranked University of San Diego (4-1 with victories over UC Irvine, Sacramento State, Nevada and Eastern Kentucky), defeating the Toreros in the last meeting, 3-0, Sept. 11, 1993 at the Cal Invitational in Berkeley. San Diego is coached by Jennifer Petrie (seventh year at USD) and is led by 6-2 junior outside hitter Kristen Carlson (95 kills, 5.59 kpg).
BEARS' 2005 STANDOUTS: Cal will be paced this season by the 5-8 Pressey, a 2004 first team All-Pac-10 selection and a member of the Pac-10 All-Freshman team, plus upperclassmen Powers, Brown, Carter and Davis. Powers, a 6-2 middle hitter, was a 2004 Pac-10 honorable mention selection and is seventh on the Bears' all-time career block list (320). Brown, a 5-11 senior outside hitter, has 915 career digs, third most among active Pac-10 players. Carter, a 6-0 junior setter, was a 2004 Pac-10 honorable mention selection and is second among current Pac-10 players and fourth on Cal's all-time list with 3,074 career assists. Davis is a 5-9 junior libero, who sat out the majority of last season with an injury (ACL) to her left knee, but still set a school record with 33 digs versus national champion Stanford in 2004 and has 774 career digs in 54 matches.
CHANCE TO MAKE HISTORY: The Bears' senior class of Alicia Powers, Jenna Brown and Alexis Kollias has a chance to be the first group in school history to make NCAA appearances in all four years of their eligibility. Powers has started every match of her Cal career (97), while Brown has started the majority of the team's matches and has played in all 97 contests. Kollias replaced an injured Davis last season and shined, recording a career-high 31 digs against Saint Mary's in the NCAA Second Round. The three seniors have led the Bears to a three-year mark of 66-31(.680).
KEY NEWCOMERS: The Bears bring in a 2005 freshman class ranked fifth in the nation by PrepVolleyball.com. Morgan Beck, a 6-3 outside hitter from San Clemente High School (Coto De Caza, Calif.), was a member of the 2005 USA Junior National Team that competed at the Under-20 World Championships this past July 23-31 in Ankara, Istanbul, Turkey. Beck was selected the nation's 26th top recruit by PrepVolleyball.com and was first team All-CIF Southern Section as a senior. Bryte Nielson is a 5-11 left-handed setter/outside hitter from Los Gatos High School (Saratoga, Calif.) Nielson was a four-time first team all-league selection, a second team All-Central Coast Section as a senior, and was selected the nation's 97th top recruit by PrepVolleyball.com. Kat Reilly, a 6-2 middle hitter from Plano East Senior High School (Plano, Texas), was the 2004 District 8-5A Most Valuable Player and was rated the nation's 13th top high school recruit by PrepVolleyball.com.
CAL'S AVCA RANKING: Cal's No. 19 preseason ranking is only the fifth time in school history the Bears have been preseason ranked. Cal was ranked No. 10 at the start of last season, No. 24 in 2003, No. 9 in 1989 and No. 12 in 1983. The Bears finished with a No. 19 national ranking last year after falling to Saint Mary's, 3-2, in the NCAA Second Round in Haas Pavilion. The Bears have been ranked a total of 66 times since 1982, reaching as high as a No. 5 ranking on Oct. 13, 2003. The highest Cal has ever been ranked at the end of a season was 10th in 1982.
BEARS HAVE TOUGH 2005 SCHEDULE: Competing in arguably the toughest volleyball conference in the nation - the Pac-10, the Bears' 2005 schedule includes seven teams ranked in the CSTV/AVCA Poll, with five of those opponents coming from the Pac-10. Cal will take on No. 2 Washington, No. 3 Stanford, No. 8 USC, No. 10 UCLA and No. 15 Arizona in league play. The Bears will also face some extremely talented foes in non-conference action. Cal hosts Florida A&M Sept. 8 and No. 20 University of San Diego Sept. 10 at the Golden Bear Invitational in Haas Pavilion, and No. 25 Santa Clara Nov. 15 at Haas Pavilion.
CAL SOLID IN 2004: The 2004 Cal volleyball team had a solid season, finishing 17-12 overall and tying for fourth in the Pac-10 with an 11-7 mark. Highlights for the Bears included upending two-time defending national champion USC in Los Angeles, and topping 2004 NCAA champs Stanford at Haas Pavilion. Cal also hosted the NCAA first and second rounds in Haas Pavilion for the second year in-a-row, defeating Pacific, 3-2, in the first round. Senior middle hitter Camille Leffall earned second team All-America, first team All-Pacific Region and first team All-Pac-10, while freshman Angie Pressey was first team All-Pac-10 and a member of the Pac-10 All-Freshman Team.
DID YOU KNOW? The Golden Bears featured Holly McPeak, the 1987 National Freshman of the Year, who has played beach volleyball in the last three summer Olympics and won a bronze medal with partner Elaine Youngs at the 2004 Athens Games.