No. 17 Cal Volleyball (3-0) Visits Florida International Invitational

Aug. 29, 2006

BERKELEY, CALIF. -

Fri.-Sat., Sept. 1-2  at Florida International Invitational,Pharmed Arena, Miami, Fla.

Fri., Sept. 1 Xavier vs. Cal 4 p.m. ESTSat., Sept. 2 Oral Roberts vs. Cal 10 a.m. ESTSat., Sept. 2 Cal at Florida International 7 p.m. EST

BEAR NOTES: No. 17-ranked California looks to continue its tournament success when Golden Bears travel across the country to compete at the Florida International Invitational in Miami, Fla. Cal is fresh off of capturing the Cal Molten Classic with 3-0 victories over Montana, UC Davis and Baylor. Junior Angie Pressey and freshman Hana Cutura were tournament Co-MVP as the Bears' outside hitters tallied 47 and 45 kills, respectively, in the three matches. Pressey was later selected as this season's first Pac-10 Player of the Week recipient. Cal senior captains - libero Jillian Davis and setter Samantha Carter - were members of the All-Tournament Team as well, with Davis being tabbed as the classic's Defensive Standout. The Bears are hitting .330 as a team, compared to .016 for their opponents. Cal returns four starters (Carter, Pressey, Morgan Beck, Ellen Orchard) and their top libero (Davis) from the 2005 squad that went 19-11 (10-8 in the Pac-10), advanced to the NCAA second round for the fourth consecutive year and finished ranked No. 20 in the country. Cal also features a freshman class (Cutura, Cat Dailey, Mindi Wiley, Kristen Kathan, Carly Bouza, Jill Brunswick) ranked third nationally by PrepVolleyball.com. The Bears are looking to qualify for the NCAA Tournament for a school-record fifth straight year in 2006 and will attempt to win its ninth tournament in the past five years when they visit the Florida International Invitational.

2006 QUICK CAL OUTLOOK: Cal will be led by a pair of senior team captains - setter Samantha Carter and libero Jillian Davis - who are both school record-holders and honorable mention All-Pac-10 picks last season. Junior outside hitter Angie Pressey is a two-time All-Pac-10 selection and was a member of the Pac-10 All-Freshman Team in 2004. Sophomore outside hitter Morgan Beck was a member of the 2005 Pac-10 All-Freshman Team, while junior middle hitter Ellen Orchard paced the team with 129 blocks last season and owns a .265 career hitting percentage - third on the school's all-time list. Besides being ranked 17th nationally, Cal is also tabbed to finish fourth in the Pac-10.

IMPRESSIVE PRESSEY: Angie Pressey, the dynamic 5-8 junior outside hitter from Heathrow, Fla., is the Bears' most highly decorated player. Pressey is a two-time All-Pac-10 performer and was a member of the 2004 Pac-10 All-Freshman Team. She was the first Cal player in school history to be both an All-Pac-10 selection and a member of the Pac-10 All-Freshman Team. Pressey's Pac-10 Player of the Week distinction was the third of her career, finishing the Cal Molten Classic with 47 kills, five aces, 14 digs and a .430 hitting percentage. She was named all-tournament for the fourth consecutive time, carrying over from last season. Pressey led the Bears with 446 kills and 517.5 points in 2005 and has already recorded 822 kills, which is fourth among current Pac-10 players. She is the daughter of former NBA player and Golden State assistant Paul Pressey.

CUTURA SHINES: In what might be the most spectacular collegiate debut in Cal history, freshman Hana Cutura (Zagreb, Croatia) earned Co-MVP honors at the Cal Molten Classic, finishing with 45 kills, four service aces, 19 digs and a .407 hitting percentage. Cutura led the Bears with 16 kills in the season-opener versus Montana and added 18 kills with only one error in 30 attempts (.567) in the championship match versus Baylor.

HEAD COACH Rich Feller: The most successful volleyball coach in Cal history, Rich Feller (120-90, .571 at Cal; career 419-257, .620) is in his eighth season in Berkeley. Feller won his 400th career match and 100th Cal contest last season while leading the Bears to a school-record fourth consecutive NCAA appearance. In 2003, he was named Pacific Region Co-Coach of the Year and Pac-10 Coach of the Year after leading Cal to the NCAA Round of 16 for the first time in school history. Feller was an assistant for the USA National Team from 1997-98, and head coach at Colorado State for 14 years (1983-96) prior to taking over the Bears' coaching reins in 1999.

CAL VERSUS XAVIER, ORAL ROBERTS AND FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL: The Bears will be facing Xavier, Oral Roberts and Florida International for the first time in school history. Xavier (2-1; defeated Ball State, 3-0; lost to Michigan State, 3-0; defeated IPFW, 3-0 at Ball State Tournament) is coached by Floyd Deaton (18th year at XU) and is led by 5-11 senior Astyn Bjorklund (43 kills, .507 hitting percentage). Oral Roberts (0-3; lost to Oregon State, 3-1; UNLV, 3-1; Cal Poly, 3-1 at UNLV Tournament) is coached by Sheera Sirola (fourth year at ORU) and features 6-3 senior Ori Zuzic (61 kills, 4.69 kpg). Florida International (2-1; lost to BYU, 3-0; defeated Stetson, 3-0; defeated Central Florida, 3-0 at Central Florida) is coached by Danijela Tomic (second year at FIU) and is led by 5-10 freshman Yarimar Rosa (49 kills, .344 hitting percentage).

CAL'S AVCA RANKING: Cal's No. 17 ranking is only the sixth time in school history the Bears have been preseason ranked, but the fourth time since Rich Feller became head coach in 1999. Cal was ranked 19th at the start of last season, ranked No. 10 in 2004, No. 24 in 2003, No. 9 in 1989 and No. 12 in 1983. The Bears finished ranked No. 20 last year after falling to Wisconsin, 3-0, in the NCAA Second Round in Madison, Wis. The Bears have been ranked a total of 82 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.

BEAR RECORD-HOLDERS: Carter and Davis have the distinction of owning two Cal volleyball records apiece. As a freshman in 2003, Carter set the Cal single-season mark of 1,555 assists, helping pace the Bears to the NCAA Round of 16. She became the school's all-time career assist leader last season and now owns 4,439 assists, which is the second-most among current Pac-10 players, trailing only Washington's Courtney Thompson. Carter is also second among active Pac-10 players with 93 service aces. Davis, a starter in 2003 as well, set the Cal record for single-season digs (538) in 2005. On Oct. 1, 2004, her 33 digs at Stanford set a new Cal single-match mark. Davis' 1,301 career digs is now second among current Pac-10 players.

BECK AND ORCHARD RETURN TO THE SCENE: Two more returning stars for the 2006 Bears are 6-3 sophomore outside hitter Morgan Beck and 6-3 junior middle hitter Ellen Orchard. Beck was a member of the 2005 Pac-10 All-Freshman Team after finishing second on the team with 342 kills and 380.0 points. She notched her best match against national champion Washington, tallying a career-high 19 kills against the Huskies on Oct. 7 at Haas Pavilion. Orchard led the Bears with 129 blocks last season while hitting .266 and recording 234 kills. This was after coming off the bench as a freshman to record a career-high 14 kills and lead the Bears in their NCAA first round victory over Pacific in 2004.

TOP SHELF NEWCOMERS: The Bears have a 2006 freshman class ranked third in the nation by PrepVolleyball.com, trailing only Penn State and Texas. Cat Dailey, a 6-3 outside hitter from Sage Hill High School (Newport Beach, Calif.), was the 2005 CIF Southern Section Division IV Player of the Year and was ranked the nation's 17th top recruit. Hana Cutura is a 6-3 outside hitter from Zagreb, Croatia, and is considered one of the top young players from Europe. Cutura is a veteran of Croatia's Youth and Junior National Teams and her father, Zoran, is a former Olympic basketball star for Yugoslavia. Mindi Wiley is a 6-3 middle hitter from Sonoma Valley High School where she was named 2004 Cal-Hi Sports Junior Athlete of the Year after excelling as both a volleyball player and a high jumper. Wiley was selected the nation's 18th top recruit by PrepVolleyball.com. Kristen Kathan, a 5-6 defensive specialist from Campolindo High School (Moraga, Calif.), was the 2005 Contra Costa Times and Cal-Hi Sports Player of the Year. Dailey (broken little finger in left hand) and Wiley (torn ligaments in right thumb) are currently injured, but are expected back this season.

KEY HAAS PAVILION DATES: Sept. 8-9 Golden Bear Invitational, Cal's annual tournament features the No. 17 Bears, No. 19 Pepperdine, Colorado State (4 votes in AVCA preseason poll) and American University. All four teams competed in the 2005 NCAA Tournament. Nov. 3 versus Stanford, Cal hosts the Cardinal, the preseason favorite to win the Pac-10 and ranked fourth in the AVCA/CSTV poll. Nov. 25 versus Washington, the Bears host the 2005 NCAA champion Huskies in the final Pac-10 home game of the season. Cal was the only team to take Washington to five games twice last season. The UW-Cal match will be televised live at 7 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet (local viewing details TBA).

BEARS' TOURNAMENT SUCCESS: Cal will be looking for its ninth tournament title in the last five years when it visits the Florida International Invitational. The Bears had a perfect regular-season tournament record during 2002 and 2003, winning 15 consecutive tournament matches and capturing five tournament titles. Former Cal standout Mia Jerkov was tournament MVP during all five of the Bears' tournament championships. Last season, Cal won the CenturyTel/Classic Honda Premier in San Marcos, Texas and junior libero Jillian Davis earned tournament MVP honors. The Bears competed in three tournaments last season (CenturyTel/Classic Honda Premier, Golden Bear Invitational, Circus Circus/Molten Invitational) with Samantha Carter and Angie Pressey earning all-tournament accolades in all three competitions.

2006 University of California Volleyball Season Highs 8-29

TEAMKills 51 vs. Three teamsAttempts 111 vs. UC Davis, 8/26Hitting Pct. .394 vs. Baylor, 8/26Assists 48 vs. UC Davis, 8/26Service Aces 10 vs. Montana, 8/25Digs 62 vs. UC Davis, 8/26Block Solos 4 vs. UC Davis, 8/26Block Assists 22 vs. UC Davis, 8/26Team Blocks 15.0 vs. UC Davis, 8/26

INDIVIDUAL

Morgan BeckKills 7 vs. Montana, 8/25; UC Davis, 8/26Attempts 21 vs. Montana, 8/25Service Aces 1 vs. Montana, 8/25Digs 14 vs. UC Davis, 8/26Block Solos 3 vs. UC Davis, 8/26Block Assists 5 vs. UC Davis, 8/26Total Blocks 8 vs. UC Davis, 8/26

Samantha CarterKills 4 vs. UC Davis, 8/26Attempts 9 vs. UC Davis, 8/26Assists 39 vs. UC Davis, 8/26Service Aces 4 vs. Montana, 8/25Digs 13 vs. Montana, 8/25Block Solos 0Block Assists 2 vs. Montana, 8/25; Baylor, 8/26Total Blocks 2 vs. Montana, 8/25; Baylor, 8/26

Vivian CheungService Aces 0Digs 2 vs. UC Davis, 8/26

Hana CuturaKills 18 vs. Baylor, 8/26Attempts 31 vs. UC Davis, 8/26Service Aces 3 vs. Montana, 8/25Digs 7 vs. Montana, 8/25; Baylor, 8/26Block Solos 0Block Assists 4 vs. UC Davis, 8/26Total Blocks 4 vs. UC Davis, 8/26

Jillian DavisService Aces 1 vs. UC Davis; Baylor, 8/26Digs 24 vs. UC Davis, 8/26

Kristen KathanKills 0Attempts 0Assists 0Service Aces 0Digs 1 vs. UC Davis, 8/26Block Solos 0Block Assists 0Total Blocks 0

Ellen OrchardKills 10 vs. UC Davis, 8/26Attempts 21 vs. UC Davis, 8/26Service Aces 3 vs. Baylor, 8/26Digs 2 vs. Baylor, 8/26Block Solos 2 vs. Baylor, 8/26Block Assists 6 vs. UC Davis, 8/26Total Blocks 6 vs. UC Davis; Baylor, 8/26

Angie PresseyKills 20 vs. Baylor, 8/26Attempts 35 vs. Baylor, 8/26Service Aces 3 vs. UC Davis, 8/26Digs 5 vs. UC Davis; Baylor, 8/26Block Solos 1 vs. Montana, 8/25; UC Davis, 8/26Block Assists 2 vs. UC Davis, 8/26Total Blocks 3 vs. UC Davis, 8/26

Natalie SmartKills 6 vs. Montana, 8/25Attempts 16 vs. Montana, 8/25Service Aces 0Digs 2 vs. Baylor, 8/26Block Solos 0Block Assists 4 vs. UC Davis, 8/26Total Blocks 4 vs. UC Davis, 8/26

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