No. 8 Cal Volleyball Visits No. 4 Washington and Washington State
Sept. 20, 2006
BERKELEY, CALIF. -
Sept. 21 at Washington, Bank of America Arena, Seattle 7 p.m.Sept. 22 at WSU, Bohler Gym, Pullman 7 p.m.
BEAR NOTES: The No. 8-ranked Golden Bears, with a perfect 11-0 record, face a huge challenge this week as they begin Pac-10 play against the defending national champion and No. 4-ranked Washington Huskies in Seattle. Cal then has to travel to Pullman, Wash. to face the 12-1 Washington State Cougars. The Bears enter the 2006 Pac-10 slate having captured three tournaments this fall - the Cal Molten Classic, the Florida International Tournament and the Golden Bear Invitational. 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. The Bears' No. 8 national ranking is their highest ranking since being ranked eighth on Sept. 6, 2004. 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.
2006 QUICK CAL OUTLOOK: Cal is 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 .284 career hitting percentage - second on the school's all-time list. The Bears also have a freshman class, featuring Cutura, that was ranked the nation's third-best by PrepVolleyball.com. Besides being ranked eighth nationally, Cal is 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. 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 943 career kills, which is third among current Pac-10 players. She is also ninth on the Pac-10 active list with 638 career digs. This season, Pressey leads Cal with 168 kills, 4.67 kills per game and a .386 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. For the season, she is second behind Pressey with 161 kills and 4.47 kills per game; and owns a .354 hitting percentage.
HEAD COACH Rich Feller: The most successful volleyball coach in Cal history, Rich Feller (128-90, .587 at Cal; career 427-257, .624) 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 WASHINGTON AND WASHINGTON STATE: The Bears have a 20-25 all-time record against Washington (10-1). Cal fell to the Huskies in last year's meetings, 3-2, Nov. 4, in Seattle; and 3-2, Oct. 7 in Haas Pavilion (Cal was the only team to take UW to five games twice). The Bears' last victory over UW was 3-2, Oct. 24, 2003, in Seattle. Washington is coached by Jim McLaughlin (seventh year at UW) and is led by 6-2 junior outside hitter Christal Morrison (149 kills, 4.52kpg). Cal has a 24-22 all-time record against Washington State (12-2) and has won six-straight in the series. The Bears defeated the Cougars in last year's meetings, 3-2, Nov. 3, in Pullman; and 3-0, Oct. 8 in Haas Pavilion. Washington State is coached by Brian Heffernan (third year at WSU) and is led by 5-9 sophomore outside hitter Brittany Johnson (189 kills, 4.30kpg).
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 4,791 career assists, which is the second-most among current Pac-10 players, trailing only Washington's Courtney Thompson. Carter is also first among active Pac-10 players with 101 career service aces (eighth on the Cal all-time list), sixth with 811 digs and ninth among Pac-10 players with 195 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' 1,428 career digs is now second among current Pac-10 players and second on the Cal all-time list.
CAL'S AVCA RANKING: Proving the strength of the conference, five of the nation's top eight ranked teams are from the Pac-10 (UCLA 3, UW 4, Stanford 6, USC 7, Cal 8). The Bears' 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 85 times since 1982, reaching as high as No. 5 on Oct. 13, 2003. The highest Cal ranking at the end of a season was 10th in 1982.
BECK AND ORCHARD CONTRIBUTIONS: 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 the Golden Bear Invitational, recording 27 kills and a team-high 12 total blocks. She is third on the team with 94 kills and is second with 45 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 is first on the team with 49 total blocks, is second with a .359 hitting percentage and is fourth with 83 kills.
SMART RESPONSES: Taking advantage of the first substantial playing time of her career, senior Natalie Smart is third on the team with 33 total blocks and has tallied 50 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 11 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 Sept. 9. The Bears have won 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. 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.
CAL'S IMPRESSIVE STATS: The Bears are second in the Pac-10 with a .332 team hitting percentage and a .100 opponent hitting percentage. Cal is also third in the league with 1.86 service ace per game. Individually, Pressey is first in kills (168, 4.67pg), second in points (191.5, 5.32pg) and eighth in hitting percentage (.386). Carter is fourth in assists (464, 12.89pg). Cutura is fourth in points (187.0, 5.19pg) and sixth in service aces (14, 0.39pg) and kills (161, 4.47pg). Orchard and Beck are fifth (43, 1.36pg) and ninth (38, 1.25pg) in blocks, while Orchard is eighth in service aces (13, 0.36pg) and ninth in hitting percentage (.359). Finally, Davis is fourth in the Pac-10 in digs (166, 4.61pg).
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 9-19
TEAMKills 71 at Pacific, 9/14Attempts 156 at Pacific, 9/14Hitting Pct. .430 vs. Yale, 9/16Assists 67 at Pacific, 9/14Service Aces 10 vs. Montana, 8/25Digs 62 vs. two teamsBlock Solos 4 vs. two teamsBlock Assists 24 vs. Pepperdine, 9/9Team Blocks 15.0 vs. UC Davis, 8/26
Morgan BeckKills 12 vs. Xavier, 9/1; at Pacific, 9/14Attempts 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 10 at Pacific, 9/14Assists 61 at Pacific, 9/14Service Aces 4 vs. Montana, 8/25Digs 13 vs. Montana, 8/25Block Solos 1 vs. American, 9/9Block Assists 4 at Pacific, 9/14Total Blocks 4 at Pacific, 9/14
Vivian CheungService Aces 0Digs 3 vs. Pepperdine, 9/9
Hana CuturaKills 20 at Pacific, 9/14Attempts 44 at Pacific, 9/14Service 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. eight teamsDigs 24 vs. UC Davis, 8/26; Oral Roberts, 9/2
Kristen KathanKills 0Attempts 0Assists 1 at Fla. Int., 9/2; at Pacific, 9/14Service Aces 2 vs. Xavier, 9/1; at Pacific, 9/14Digs 3 vs. American, 9/9Block Solos 0Block Assists 0Total Blocks 0
Ellen OrchardKills 10 vs. UC Davis, 8/26; at Fla. Int., 9/2Attempts 24 at Pacific, 9/14Service Aces 3 vs. Baylor, 8/26Digs 3 vs. Oral Roberts, 9/2Block Solos 2 vs. Baylor, 8/26Block Assists 7 at Pacific, 9/14Total Blocks 8 at Pacific, 9/14
Angie PresseyKills 23 at Pacific, 9/14Attempts 40 at Pacific, 9/14Service Aces 3 vs. UC Davis, 8/26Digs 17 at Pacific, 9/14Block 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. three teamsBlock Solos 1 vs. Yale, 9/16Block Assists 6 vs. Oral Roberts, 9/2Total Blocks 6 vs. Oral Roberts, 9/2