No. 7 California Heads To Pacific-Northwest For Clash With No. 4 Washington And Washington State

Nov. 6, 2007

BERKELEY -

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THIS WEEK:
at Washington State
Thursday, Nov. 8 - 7 p.m.
Bohler Gym - Pullman, Wash.

at No. 4 Washington
Friday, Nov. 9 - 7 p.m.
Bank of America Arena - Seattle, Wash.

BEAR NOTES: No. 7 California volleyball (19-5, 9-4 Pac-10) returns to the road for a visit to the Pacific-Northwest in matches against No. 4 Washington (22-1, 11-1) and Washington State (9-17, 0-12). The Golden Bears take on the Cougars at Bohler Gym in Pullman, Wash., on Thursday (Nov. 8) and then the Huskies at Bank of America Arena in Seattle, Wash., on Friday (Nov. 9). Both matches have 7 p.m. start times. Check CalBears.com for updated GameTracker information.

LAST WEEK: The Golden Bears swept through the weekend, defeating Oregon State and then-No. 19 Oregon in six games, running their winning streak to three matches. Cal hit .380 against the Beavers (53 kills, 15 errors, 100 attempts) and followed up that performance with a solid .321 against the Ducks (51 kills, 17 errors, 106 attempts). The Bears were able to play every single player against Oregon State, with back-up setter freshman Maria Zizka entering the match and notching her first stats of the season (three assists). Sophomore outside hitter Hana Cutura led the team in kills against Oregon State with 15. Senior outside hitter Angie Pressey had 15 to lead the Bears against Oregon. The Bears had 11.5 total team blocks against the Ducks and held conference kills leader Gorana Maricic to 10 on 26 attempts (.115) and only allowed 42 Oregon kills for the entire match. Sophomore middle hitter Mindi Wiley also had a strong weekend at the net, spelling senior Ellen Orchard and putting down 11 kills (2e, 17att) for a .529 hitting percentage.

WASHINGTON STATE NOTES: The Cougars have not won a match in Pac-10 play and are 9-17 overall. Last week, the Cougars took Arizona State to four games before being swept the following night by Arizona. Sophomore left-side hitter Jackie Albright posted a double-double against the Sun Devils, leading the team with 19 kills and adding 15 digs to her line. Albright has 273 kills and 890 attempts this season, tops on the squad. Four Cougars had 10 or more kills against Arizona State. Junior middle blocker Tara West leads the team in blocks with 106 this season (1.22 bpg). The last time the teams met at Haas Pavilion the Bears were led by an 11-kill performance by senior middle Ellen Orchard. The Bears held Washington State to .035 (33k, 29e, 115att) hitting for a 3-0 sweep. Washington State is currently on a 15-match losing streak. The Bears hold a 27-22 edge on the Cougars all-time and have prevailed in the last nine meetings.

NO. 4 WASHINGTON NOTES: The Huskies hold the top spot in the Pac-10's conference standings with only one loss on their overall record. That loss was to the Bears, the last time the two teams met at Haas Pavilion. After winning the first game, the Bears went down 2-1 before rallying for a 3-2 victory over the then-No. 8 Huskies behind double-double performances from senior outside hitter Angie Pressey (25 kills, 14 digs) and sophomore outside Hana Cutura (21 kills, 16 digs). Sophomore libero Kristen Kathan contributed a then career-high 22 digs for the match as the Bears hit .533 (10k, 2e, 15att) in game five to seal the victory. The Huskies are led by senior outside hitter Stevie Mussie, who averages 4.42 kpg and hits .231. Freshman setter Jenna Hagglund was last week's Pac-10 Player of the Week and is ninth in the nation, averaging 13.69 assists per game. Washington has more wins in the all-time series, leading Cal 27-21. The Huskies built that six-match advantage over the last three seasons until the Bears broke the streak this year with a 3-2 victory at home.

HEAD COACH Rich Feller: The most successful volleyball coach in Cal history, Rich Feller (158-105, .601 at Cal; career 457-272, .627) is in his ninth season at Berkeley. Feller led the Bears to a school-record fifth consecutive NCAA appearance and their second NCAA regional appearance last season. In 2003, he was named Pacific Region Co-Coach of the Year and Pac-10 Coach of the Year after leading Cal to an NCAA Regional 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.

2007 QUICK CAL OUTLOOK: Cal returns four starters in 2007 (Angie Pressey, Ellen Orchard, Morgan Beck, and Hana Cutura) from a 2006 squad that went 22-10 overall (9-9 in the Pac-10), advanced to the NCAA Round of 16, and finished the season ranked No. 13 in the country. Cal also features six other returnees and an outstanding freshman setter, Carli Lloyd, who was named the 2006 CIF Player of the Year. The Bears are looking to qualify for the NCAA Tournament for a school-record sixth straight time in 2007. Senior team-captains All-American outside hitter Angie Pressey and honorable mention All-Pac-10 middle hitter Ellen Orchard lead a young Golden Bears squad. Pressey is a three-time All-Pac-10 selection and is second among currently active Pac-10 players with 1,558 career kills (Washington's Christal Morrison is first with 1,712). Orchard led the Bears with 163 blocks and a .305 hitting percentage last season. She is also second among active Pac-10 players in total blocks with 453 (a school record) behind only Arizona's Dominique Lamb (501). Orchard was recently named MVP of the 2007 Golden Bear Invitational. Junior outside hitter/middle hitter Beck was an All-Pac-10 honorable mention selection in 2006 and was second on the team in blocks (127) and third in kills (306), while sophomore outside hitter Hana Cutura was a member of the 2006 Pac-10 All-Freshman team after finishing second on the squad with 392 kills.

IN THE RECORD BOOKS: Angie Pressey and Ellen Orchard are in the Cal record books for both single-season and career marks. Pressey, one of four Cal All-American volleyball players in school history, and the only three-time All-Pac-10 selection, is currently third on Cal's all-time kills list (1,558). Pressey is also sixth all-time with a .245 career hitting percentage and third with 3,838 attempts, surpassing Alicia Perry (1997-2000) two weeks ago. Pressey had the fifth-most single-season kills (487) in school history in 2006. Orchard set a new school record for most total blocks in a single match with 13 against UCLA on Sept. 27 this season and has the school's second-highest career hitting percentage (.291). Orchard's 20 total blocks against USC and UCLA on the road this season secured the top career mark for total blocks by a Cal player, surpassing the old record of 438 held by Camille LeFall (2001-2004). She currently has 453 with five matches to go. As a junior, she had the school's second-most single-season blocks (168) and the sixth-best hitting percentage (.305).

PLAYING THE PERCENTAGES: The Golden Bears set a new school record for hitting percentage in a match on Sept. 1 against UNC-Wilmington at the Colorado Invitational. Cal had 43 kills with only three errors in 57 attempts to register a .702 hitting percentage, a Pac-10 record and fifth on the NCAA all-time record for three-game matches. The old school record of .467 was set in 2001 against San Francisco. The Bears also hit for .449 against Eastern Kentucky (Sept. 8) and .446 against Central Florida (Aug. 31) this season. As a team in 2007, the Bears are hitting .261 in 24 matches (1,360 kills, 527 errors, 3,197 attempts) and are fourth amongst Pac-10 teams. Redshirt sophomore middle hitter Kat Reilly is seventh in the conference with a .342 percentage (116 kills, 33 errors, 243 attempts). Reilly's .909 (10k, 0e, 11att) against Santa Clara is tied for seventh best all-time in Pac-10 records. Senior middle hitter Ellen Orchard isn't far behind Reilly, sitting at 10th among conference leaders with a .309 hitting percentage (211k, 72e, 450att).

TOP OF THE BLOCK: The Bears lead the Pac-10 in blocks per game as a team with 3.70 bpg and have two of the top three blockers in the conference on the roster. Senior middle hitter Ellen Orchard leads the conference in blocks individually, putting up 1.64 blocks per game (third in the country) and redshirt sophomore middle hitter Kat Reilly is third (28th nationally) with 1.44 bpg. Orchard registered the highest total block output for a single game amongst Pac-10 players this season with her school record 13 and has had 10 or more blocks five times this season. The 23 total team blocks logged by the Bears against UCLA on Sept. 27 is a Pac-10 Conference best for 2007.

ON THE LOW DOWN: Cal has been beating opponents with strong defense at the net, holding four opponents to negative hitting percentages. The Bears' .138 opponent hitting percentage is second best in the Pac-10. Cal has surrendered a better-than .250 hitting percentage only twice this season, both losses. The Bears are 17-1 when they hit a better percentage than their opponent. The only loss was to UCLA at Haas Pavilion.

ACES UP: California leads the Pac-10 with an average of 1.81 service aces per game. Sophomore outside hitter Cat Dailey averages 0.45 sapg with 18 on the year. Three other players average better than 0.27 sapg with freshman Caitlyn Murphy averaging 0.28 aces per contest, sophomore outside hitter Hana Cutura averaging 0.31 sapg and sophomore libero Kristen Kathan is putting up 0.28 service aces per game. The Bears have also reached the 10-ace mark as a team in three separate matches this season, reaching nine aces on five other occasions. Six different Cal players have had four aces or more in single matches (Murphy, Dailey, Kathan, Pressey, Hana Cutura and Ellen Orchard).

DIGGING DEEP: Cal's defense at the net and conference leading blocking average has shown up on an opposite statistic as the Bears are not high in the Pac-10 ranks in digs, averaging 13.87 per game. Sophomore libero Kristen Kathan has come on strong of late, now in ninth in the conference with 3.56 dpg. She has had nine-straight contests with double digits in digs, reaching 29, 25, 19 and 18 during that span.

BEARS IN TV LAND: The Bears appeared on three live telecasts this season in matches against Minnesota (Sept. 8), Stanford (Sept. 21) and USC (Sept. 28), each time on Comcast SportsNet. The Cal match at Oregon was also shown on television, delayed on Fox Sports Net.

2007 SCHEDULE: Cal once again is competing in what is arguably the most challenging volleyball conference in the nation - the Pac-10. The Bears' 2007 schedule includes eight teams ranked in the CSTV/AVCA Preseason Poll, with five of those opponents coming from the Pac-10. Cal will take on No. 4 Washington, No. 5 Stanford, No. 6 USC, No. 9 UCLA, and No. 20 Oregon twice each in league play. Outside of the conference, the Bears defeated a then-No. 12 Minnesota team and also notched a victory over then-No. 22 Santa Clara.

CAL'S AVCA RANKING: Cal's No. 12 pre-season ranking marks the seventh time in school history that the Bears have been ranked to open a season, the fifth time since Feller became head coach in 1999. Cal was ranked 17th at the start of 2006, 19th in 2005, 10th in 2004, 24th in 2003, ninth in 1989 and 12th in 1983. The Bears finished 13th in 2006 after advancing to the NCAA regional where they fell to No. 2 Stanford, 3-0, in Austin, Texas. Cal has been ranked a total of 100 times since 1982, reaching as high as fifth on Oct. 13, 2003. The highest the Bears have ever been ranked at the end of a season was 10th in 1982.

GOLDEN RENAISSANCE: The Golden Bears are honored to have had the generous support of the Renaissance Fund over the years. The fund was started by Jeremy Wagner, a Cal volleyball supporter who is the main benefactor for the annual Golden Bear Invitational. Working closely with Sports 4 Kids, the Foundation also serves the athletic needs of student athletes in and around the Oakland-Alameda area, providing athletic opportunities, educational enrichment and after-school programs for inner-city youth.

READING IS ACHIEVING: Junior outside hitter/middle hitter Morgan Beck has started an organization as a part of a class project that benefits local Berkeley youth through promoting literacy. The Sandy Martin Foundation rallies Cal student-athletes and sends them out to local elementary schools to do special read-aloud hours in the classroom, providing young students with positive role models and examples of a successful student. Working in conjunction with Malcom X Elementary School, student-athletes will also lead the classroom in the development of a project that encourages youths to write and produce their own books.

BEAR INTEGRITY: Redshirt sophomore middle hitter Kat Reilly is currently the vice-president of the Cal Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and will be ascending to the role of president in the spring of 2008. SAAC is a collaboration of student-athletes representing all intercollegiate teams competing for the University of California, Berkeley. The mission of SAAC is to bring the student-athlete community together; provide feedback to the athletic administration on proposed conference and NCAA legislation; foster student-athlete welfare; create relationships between student-athletes and the community by organizing community service efforts and raising funds for various causes; and to become a sounding board for the athletic administration by generating a student-athlete voice where concerns are addressed.

INTERNATIONAL FLAVOR: Sophomore outside hitter Hana Cutura is the only Bear on the roster hailing from a foreign country. A native of Zagreb, Croatia, Cutura's parents were also athletes. Her father, Zoran, is a former Olympic basketball star for Yugoslavia and her mother, Gordana, is a former member of the Croation National Volleyball Team. Aside from two players from Texas (Orchard and Reilly) and one from Florida (Pressey) everyone else on Cal's roster is from California.

CAL VOLLEYBALL 2006 REVIEW: Cal finished 13th in the AVCA poll after advancing to the round of 16 for the second time in school history with 3-1 victories over then No. 16 LSU, and then No. 14 Cal Poly. Facing No. 2-ranked and eventual national runner-up Stanford on Dec. 8 at Gregory Gymnasium on the campus of the University of Texas in Austin, Cal fell in three close games - 31-29, 30-25, 31-29 - to conclude the year 22-10. The Bears, who received an at-large selection to the postseason for the fifth consecutive year, started the season 11-0. Of Cal's 10 losses last season, nine came against teams ranked higher in the AVCA national poll. The Bears' 22 victories marked only the sixth time in school history that Cal has captured 20 or more matches. Rich Feller is the only Cal coach to lead the Bears to an NCAA Regional, and has now accomplished the feat twice (2003, 2006). Several Bears had standout performances in 2006. Angie Pressey led Cal with 487 kills and 4.39 kills per game, was tournament Co-MVP of the Cal Molten Classic and the Golden Bear Invitational, and was the Aug. 28 Pac-10 Player of the Week. Senior setter Samantha Carter finished her career as Cal's all-time assist leader with 5,777 assists and is only the fifth Pac-10 player to ever reach 5,000 career assists. Senior libero Jilian Davis set the schools all-time digs record with 1,810 career digs. Ellen Orchard hit .305 and led the Bears with 168 total blocks, the second-most single-season blocks in school history. Morgan Beck was second on the team with 127 blocks and third with 306 kills, while as a freshman Hana Cutura was second on the team with 392 kills and was Co-MVP of the Cal Molten Classic, and MVP of the Florida International Invitational.

SENIOR SALUTE: The home match against Arizona State on Saturday, Nov. 17 is Cal volleyball's Senior Night. The team will honor co-captains Angie Pressey and Ellen Orchard with a special pre-match ceremony for their four years of service and dedication to the Golden Bear volleyball program.

HELP PUT THE BLOCK ON HUNGER: The University of California athletic department is holding a food drive during the month of November to benefit the Alameda County Community Food Bank. Barrels will be available at Haas Pavilion entrances for attendees to deposit canned and non-perishable items. The most needed foods include: canned fruits and vegetables; canned meats and fish; pasta and tomato sauce; beans; rice; peanut butter; cereal and oatmeal; powdered milk and other nutritional beverages. There are also age-specific and ethnically specific foods that you can bring listed on the ACCFB website under shopping list. The ACCFB is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that has been serving the surrounding community since 1985. As the county's clearinghouse for donated food, the Food Bank provides food assistance for 40,000 low-income Alameda County residents each week, which includes 14,000 children and 7,000 seniors. Most adults served are among the working poor. For more information on how you can help, visit www.accfb.org

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