No. 7 California Closes Out Regular Season With Showdown At No. 4 Stanford
Nov. 19, 2007
Friday, Nov. 23 - 7 p.m.
at No. 4 Stanford
Maples Pavilion, Stanford, Calif.
Sunday, Nov. 25 - 5 p.m.
NCAA Selection Show
BEAR NOTES: The No. 7 California volleyball team (22-6, 12-5 Pac-10) will play its final regular season match on the road against rival No. 4 Stanford (26-2, 15-2) on Friday, Nov. 23 at Maples Pavilion in Stanford, Calif. The first serve will go up at 7 p.m. A win against the Cardinal could give the Bears their best conference record in program history. Already, the team has matched it's best-ever Pac-10 record (12-6 in 2003) and has kept pace with last years' overall total wins of 22. The Big Spike will be broadcast by Fox Sports Net on a delay with Paul Sunderland calling the action along with Holly McPeak and Karch Kiraly providing color. Please check your local listings for broadcast times.
LAST WEEK: The Golden Bears took out their frustrations from a loss to then-No. 4 Washington by sweeping both Arizona and Arizona State in their final home stand of the year. Cal held Arizona to .085 hitting for the match (-.029 in the third game) and put up 14.5 total team blocks on the Wildcats. Senior outside hitter Angie Pressey registered her 10th double-double of the season leading the Bears with 19 kills and adding 11 digs. The Bears celebrated Senior Night, honoring Pressey and senior middle hitter Ellen Orchard in pre-match ceremonies. The festivities continued with a victory over the Sun Devils; a match in which the Bears hit .348 with 60 kills, led by Pressey's 15 and Orchard's 12. Sophomore Kristen Kathan led the team with 19 digs and pushed her way into eighth on the Pac-10 leader ladder for digs per game, now averaging 3.76 dpg. The win over Arizona State ties the Cal record for most conference victories in a single season and also matches 2006's overall win total of 22.
NO. 4 STANFORD NOTES: The Cardinal is led by freshman phenom Alix Klineman who has 388 kills on the season, averaging 4.17 kpg (fifth in the Pac-10). Klineman was named the Pac-10 Player of the Week in her first week of collegiate play and has also registered 21 service aces on the year. Stanford has been ranked in the national top five for the entire season and has a 14-2 record against other ranked opponents including a win over a then No. 11 Cal team. Senior setter Bryn Kehoe is the Pac-10 leader for assists with 14.18 apg. The last time the two teams met was in each side's Pac-10 opener where the Bears took a one-game lead before losing a close second and forcing Stanford to earn a game three win with 32 points. The Cardinal attack proved to be too much for the Bears in the fourth and deciding game as Cal fell short finishing with 25 points. Four Bears had ten or more kills that night and three earned double-double stat lines, led by sophomore outside Hana Cutura's 21 kill and 11 digs. Stanford holds a 60-6 record all-time against the Bears but the series has become much more competitive in recent years.
HEAD COACH Rich Feller: The most successful volleyball coach in Cal history, Rich Feller (161-106, .602 at Cal; career 460-273, .628) 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 1,604 career kills (Washington's Christal Morrison is first). 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 471 (a school record) behind only Arizona's Dominique Lamb. 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 (1,604). Pressey is also sixth all-time with a .247 career hitting percentage and third with 3,931 attacks, surpassing Alicia Perry (1997-2000) four 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 (.294), behind only former Cal All-American Camille Leffall (.363). 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 Leffall (2001-2004). She currently has 471 with one match 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 attacks 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 .262 in 28 matches (1,586 kills, 614 errors, 3,704 attacks) and are fourth amongst Pac-10 teams. Senior middle hitter Ellen Orchard and redshirt sophomore middle hitter Kat Reilly are each tied for seventh in the conference with a .325 percentage. Orchard has 250 kills on 523 attacks and 80 errors. Reilly has 127 kills on 277 attacks with 37 errors. Reilly's .909 (10k, 0e, 11att) against Santa Clara is tied for seventh best all-time in Pac-10 history.
TOP OF THE BLOCK: Averaging 3.76 blocks per game, the Bears are far and away the best blocking team in the Pac-10. Cal has 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 1.65 blocks per game and redshirt sophomore middle hitter Kat Reilly is third 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' .136 opponent hitting percentage is the best mark in the Pac-10. Cal has surrendered a better-than .250 hitting percentage only twice this season, both losses. The Bears are 20-2 when they hit a better percentage than their opponent. The losses were to UCLA at Haas Pavilion and to Washington at Bank of America Arena.
ACES UP: California leads the Pac-10 with an average of 1.81 service aces per game. Sophomore outside hitter Cat Dailey averages 0.41 sapg with 21 on the year. Three other players average better than 0.26 sapg with sophomore outside hitter Hana Cutura leading the way with 0.29 sapg and 27 total aces, followed by sophomore libero Kristen Kathan who also averages .29 with 26 aces on the year. Freshman libero Caitlyn Murphy averages .26 with 18 on the year and senior Angie Pressey averages 0.24. In all, the Bears have six players with 20 or more aces this season and two with 19 and 18 each. Cal has 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 13.95 per game. Sophomore libero Kristen Kathan has come on strong of late, now in eighth in the conference with 3.76 dpg. She has had 13-straight contests with double digits in digs, reaching 29, 25, 19 and 18 twice during that span.
ON AN HONOR ROLL: Several Golden Bears have received pre-season tournament honors this season. Seniors Angie Pressey and Ellen Orchard were named to the Molten Classic All-Tournament Team along with freshman setter Carli Lloyd who was selected as the tournament's outstanding setter. Pressey was named the tournament MVP for her performance. Pressey joined redshirt sophomore Kat Reilly on the All-Tournament Team at the 2007 Colorado Invitational. Hosting and winning the 2007 Golden Bear Invitational, four different Bears received All-Tournament team honors after defeating then-No. 12 Minnesota in a 3-0 sweep. Pressey, Orchard and Lloyd were joined by junior outside/middle Morgan Beck. Orchard was named the tournament MVP while Lloyd was once again named the outstanding setter. Sophomore outside hitter Hana Cutura and Reilly were named to the All-Tournament team at the Santa Clara Invitational.
BEARS IN TV LAND: The Cal vs. Stanford match at Maples Pavilion in Stanford, Calif. on Nov. 23 will be carried by Fox Sports Net on a delayed airing. Paul Sunderland will be calling the action alongside of volleyball legends Holly McPeak and Karch Kiraly, both of whom will be providing color commentary. 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 Stanford, No. 5 USC, No. 6 Washington, No. 10 UCLA, and No. 13 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 PRESEASON 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 112 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. Cutura leads the team this season with 363 kills and 884 total attacks. Her 0.29 service aces per game is also a team-best and her defensive prowess has netted her five double-double matches this year alone. Aside from two players from Texas (Orchard and Reilly) and one from Florida (Pressey) everyone else on Cal's roster is from California.
CLASS OF 2012: The Golden Bears have received National Letters of Intent from two of the nation's most sought-after volleyball prospects, Tarah Murrey and Shannon Hawari. Standing at 6-3, outside hitter Tarah Murrey is regarded as one of the top two recruits, Murrey hails form a family rich in athletic tradition. A local product, prepping at Saint Mary's HS in Berkeley and starring for the Golden Bear Bolleyball Club, she earned Bay Shore Athletic League MVP honors three consecutive years (2005-07). As a junior, she was named the 2006 Contra Costa Times Player of the Year. Murrey also brings international experience with her as a member of the USA Youth National Team. Hawari prepped at Plano West HS where she also runs track. A 6-2 middle blocker, Hawari starred with one of the top club teams in Texas, the Texas Advantage. She is Prep Volleyball's No. 23 recruit in the nation and was named the Prep Volleyball Classic's Outstanding Hitter this year. Hawari brings National Junior Olympics experience as a 2006 bronze medal winner and led her club squad to back to back Big South Tourney Championships.
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.