No. 10 Cal Visits Pacific and Hosts Yale
Sept. 13, 2006
BERKELEY, CALIF. -
Sept. 14 at Pacific, Alex G. Spanos Center, Stockton 7 p.m.Sept. 16 Yale, Haas Pavilion, Berkeley 7 p.m.
BEAR NOTES: The No. 10-ranked Golden Bears (9-0) aim to keep their undefeated non-conference record intact as California travels to Stockton Thursday for a 7 p.m. match versus Pacific (1-8), before hosting Yale (3-1) Saturday for a 7 p.m. match at Haas Pavilion. The Bears have captured three tournaments this fall - the Cal Molten Classic, the Florida International Tournament and the Golden Bear Invitational - and have only lost one game in those nine matches. The last time Cal began conference play undefeated was in 2003 when it started the year off 16-0 and later advanced to the NCAA round of 16. Junior outside hitter Angie Pressey was named MVP of the Golden Bear Invitational, freshman outside hitter Hana Cutura was named MVP of the FIU Tournament, and Pressey and Cutura were Co-Tournament MVPs of the Cal Molten Classic. Pressey was later selected as this season's first Pac-10 Player of the Week recipient on Aug. 28. The Bears return four starters (Samantha Carter, Pressey, Morgan Beck, Ellen Orchard) and their top libero (Jillian 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 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 have won 10 tournaments in the past five years. Pressey and Carter have been named all-tournament in six consecutive tournaments carrying over from last year.
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 .280 career hitting percentage - second on the school's all-time list. Besides being ranked 10th nationally, Cal is also tabbed to finish fourth in the Pac-10 in the preseason coaches poll.
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 on Aug. 28 was the third of her career, finishing the Cal Molten Classic with 47 kills, five aces, 14 digs and a .430 hitting percentage. Last weekend, she was named MVP of the Golden Bear Invitational, finishing the three matches with 38 kills, a .380 hitting percentage (38k, 8e, 79att) and 23 digs; earning all-tournament for the sixth consecutive time. Pressey led the Bears with 446 kills and 517.5 points in 2005 and has already recorded 901 career kills, which is fourth among current Pac-10 players. She is also ninth on the Pac-10 active list with 615 career digs. This season, Pressey leads Cal with 126 kills, 4.50 kills per game and a .375 hitting percentage. 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, 6-3 freshman outside hitter Hana Cutura (Zagreb, Croatia) earned Co-MVP at the Cal Molten Classic, MVP honors at the Florida International Tournament, and all-tournament recognition at the Golden Bear Invitational. During the Cal Molten Classic, Cutura finished with 45 kills, four service aces, 19 digs and a .407 hitting percentage. The following week at Florida International, she recorded 39 kills with a .314 hitting percentage in the three matches, including registering 15 kills with no errors in 26 attempts (.577) in the tournament opener versus Xavier. Last weekend, Cutura had a team-best 41 kills and seven service aces. For the season, she is second behind Pressey with 125 kills and 4.46 kills per game; and owns a .356 hitting percentage.
HEAD COACH Rich Feller: The most successful volleyball coach in Cal history, Rich Feller (126-90, .583 at Cal; career 425-257, .623) 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 PACIFIC AND YALE: The Bears have a 7-26 all-time record against Pacific (1-8). The Bears defeated the Tigers in the last meeting, 3-2, Dec. 2, 2004, in the first round of the 2004 NCAA Tournament at Haas Pavilion. Pacific is coached by Charlie Wade (first year at UOP) and is led by 6-2 junior middle blocker Johanna Hilbers (111 kills, 3.70kpg). Cal will be facing Yale (3-1) for the first time in school history. The Bulldogs are coached by Erin Appleman (fourth year at YU) and are led by 6-0 senior outside hitter Shannon Farrell (58 kills, 4.14kpg).
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 has 4,686 career assists, which is the second-most among current Pac-10 players, trailing only Washington's Courtney Thompson. Carter is also tied for first among active Pac-10 players with 101 career service aces (eighth on the Cal all-time list), sixth with 798 digs and ninth among Pac-10 players with 189 total blocks. 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' 1,395 career digs is now second among current Pac-10 players and third on the Cal all-time list.
CAL'S AVCA RANKING: Cal's No. 17 preseason ranking was only the sixth time in school history the Bears had been preseason ranked, but the fourth time since Rich Feller became head coach in 1999. Cal was ranked 19th at the start of 2005, No. 10 in 2004, No. 24 in 2003, No. 9 in 1989 and No. 12 in 1983. The Bears have been ranked 84 times since 1982, reaching as high as a No. 5 ranking on Oct. 13, 2003. The highest Cal ranking at the end of a season was 10th in 1982.
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. This season, Beck earned all-tournament honors at last weekend's Golden Bear Invitational, recording 27 kills and a team-high 12 total blocks. She is third on the team with 76 kills and is tied with Orchard with 38 total blocks. 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. Orchard has also been a force this season. She is fourth on the team with 66 kills and is hitting .362. Orchard's .280 career hitting percentage is second on the school's all-time list.
SMART RESPONSES: Taking advantage of the first substantial playing time of her career, senior Natalie Smart is third on the team with 29 total blocks and has tallied 44 kills. Smart notched a career-high six total blocks Sept. 2 versus Oral Roberts, and had a career-high last weekend with 12 kills Sept. 8 versus Colorado State. She has started all nine matches for the Bears this year after only seeing action in 31 matches prior to the start of this season.
BEARS' TOURNAMENT SUCCESS: Cal earned its 10th tournament title in the last five years when it won the Golden Bear Invitational. The Bears have captured three tournaments in 2006 with Pressey and Cutura earning Co-MVP honors at the Cal Molten Classic, Cutura being selected MVP of the FIU Tournament, and Pressey earning MVP of the Golden Bear Invitational. Cal senior captains - libero Davis and setter Carter - were also members of the Cal Molten All-Tournament Team, with Davis being tabbed as the classic's Defensive Standout. In Florida, Carter was selected all-tournament along with Cutura and Pressey. Last weekend, Beck joined Pressey, Carter and Cutura on the Golden Bear Invitational All-Tournament team. The Bears had a perfect regular-season tournament record during the 2002 and 2003 seasons, winning 15 consecutive tournament matches and capturing five tournament titles. Former standout Mia Jerkov was tournament MVP during those five tournament championships. Last season, Cal won the CenturyTel/Classic Honda Premier in San Marcos, Texas with Davis earning tournament MVP honors.
CAL'S IMPRESSIVE STATS: Currently the Bears lead the Pac-10 with a .087 opponent hitting percentage, and are second with a .333 team hitting percentage and 1.96 service aces per game. Cal is also third in the league with 3.18 blocks per game, fourth with 16.61 kills per game and fifth with 14.86 assists per game. Individually, Pressey is fourth in kills (126, 4.50pg), fifth in points (147, 5.25pg) and eighth in hitting percentage (.375). Carter is fourth in assists (359, 12.82pg) and eighth in service aces (12, 0.43pg). Cutura is fourth in points (148, 5.29pg), fourth in service aces (13, 0.46pg), sixth in kills (125, 4.46pg) and 10th in hitting percentage (.356). Beck and Orchard are fourth in blocks (38, 1.36pg), while Orchard is ninth in hitting percentage (.362). Finally, Davis is fourth in the Pac-10 in digs (133, 4.75pg).
BEARS ON TELEVISION: Cal volleyball has the distinction of being on television four times this season. The Bears' Sept. 30 match versus Arizona, Nov. 11 match versus USC and Nov. 25 match versus defending national champion Washington will be shown on Comcast SportsNet. Cal's Oct. 6 match at Stanford and Nov. 10 match versus UCLA will be shown on Fox Sports Net.
KEY HAAS PAVILION DATES: Nov. 3 versus Stanford, Cal hosts the Cardinal, the preseason favorite to win the Pac-10 and ranked fourth in the AVCA/CSTV preseason 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).
2006 University of California Volleyball Season Highs 9-11
TEAMKills 58 vs. Colorado State, 9/8Attempts 140 vs. Oral Roberts, 9/2Hitting Pct. .423 vs. Baylor, 8/26Assists 51 vs. Colorado State, 9/8Service Aces 10 vs. Montana, 8/25Digs 62 vs. UC Davis, 8/26Block Solos 4 vs. two teamsBlock Assists 24 vs. Pepperdine, 9/9Team Blocks 15.0 vs. UC Davis, 8/26
Morgan BeckKills 12 vs. Xavier, 9/1Attempts 26 vs. Oral Roberts, 9/2Service Aces 2 vs. Xavier, 9/1Digs 14 vs. UC Davis, 8/26Block Solos 3 vs. UC Davis, 8/26Block Assists 7 vs. Xavier, 9/1; Pepperdine, 9/9Total Blocks 8 vs. UC Davis, 8/26
Samantha CarterKills 5 vs. Colorado State, 9/8Attempts 9 vs. UC Davis, 8/26; Oral Roberts, 9/2Assists 45 vs. Oral Roberts, 9/2Service Aces 4 vs. Montana, 8/25Digs 13 vs. Montana, 8/25Block Solos 1 vs. American, 9/9Block Assists 2 vs. three teamsTotal Blocks 2 vs. four teams
Vivian CheungService Aces 0Digs 3 vs. Pepperdine, 9/9
Hana CuturaKills 18 vs. Baylor, 8/26; Pepperdine, 9/9Attempts 36 vs. Oral Roberts, 9/2Service Aces 3 vs. Montana, 8/25; Colorado State, 9/8Digs 10 vs. Oral Roberts, 9/2Block Solos 1 vs. three teamsBlock Assists 4 vs. UC Davis, 8/26Total Blocks 4 vs. UC Davis, 8/26
Jillian DavisService Aces 1 vs. six teamsDigs 24 vs. UC Davis, 8/26; Oral Roberts, 9/2
Kristen KathanKills 0Attempts 0Assists 1 at Fla. Int., 9/2Service Aces 2 vs. Xavier, 9/1Digs 3 vs. American, 9/9Block Solos 0Block Assists 0Total Blocks 0
Ellen OrchardKills 10 vs. UC Davis, 8/26; at Fla. Int., 9/2Attempts 23 at Florida International, 9/2Service Aces 3 vs. Baylor, 8/26Digs 3 vs. Oral Roberts, 9/2Block Solos 2 vs. Baylor, 8/26Block Assists 6 vs. UC Davis, 8/26; Pepperdine, 9/9Total Blocks 6 vs. four teams
Angie PresseyKills 20 vs. Baylor, 8/26Attempts 35 vs. Baylor, 8/26Service Aces 3 vs. UC Davis, 8/26Digs 9 vs. Oral Roberts, 9/2Block Solos 2 at Florida International, 9/2Block Assists 4 vs. Oral Roberts, at Fla. Int., 9/2Total Blocks 6 at Florida International, 9/2
Natalie SmartKills 12 vs. Colorado State, 9/8Attempts 18 vs. Colorado State, 9/8Service Aces 0Digs 2 vs. Baylor, 8/26; vs. Xavier, 9/1Block Solos 0Block Assists 6 vs. Oral Roberts, 9/2Total Blocks 6 vs. Oral Roberts, 9/2
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