No. 6 California Faces Defending NCAA Champion No. 2 Nebraska In NCAA Regional Final

Dec. 7, 2007

MADISON, Wis. -

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NCAA Regional Final
Saturday, Dec. 8 - 8 p.m. CST (6 p.m. PST) LIVE on ESPNU
Wisconsin Field House
Madison, Wis.
vs. No. 2 Nebraska

BEAR NOTES: The No. 6 California volleyball team (25-7, 12-6 Pac-10) will meet defending NCAA Champion No. 2 Nebraska (30-1, 19-1 Big 12) in the Wisconsin Regional final of the 2007 NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball Tournament at the Wisconsin Field House in Madison, Wis. at 8 p.m. CST (6 p.m. PST) on Saturday, Dec. 8 in a live television match. ESPNU will carry the match with Maggie Gray providing play-by-play and Mike Dodd on color commentary. The Bears are in the regional final for the first time in school history after defeating No. 18 Iowa State (19-14, 11-9 Big 12) in the regional semifinal.

CAL IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT: With this season's selection, California made its sixth consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament, a program record. The Bears have now made postseason NCAA play eleven times. Prior to the current six-season run, Cal made the NCAA Tournament in 1982-83 and 1987-89 emerging from that era with a 3-5 record. Under the direction of head coach Rich Feller, the Bears have won each of the six first-round matches that they have been in, advancing to the regional semifinal three times, and to the regional final for the first time this year. California holds a 10-5 NCAA postseason record with coach Feller.

LAST MATCH: Facing No. 18 Iowa State in the Wisconsin Regional semifinal, the Bears put together a solid all-around match to defeat the Cyclones in a 3-0 sweep (30-27, 30-27, 30-24). Cal was led by a pair of strong outside hitters in senior Angie Pressey and sophomore Hana Cutura, each nabbing 16 kills for the match. The two combined for 32 kills and just nine errors on 71 attacks (.324). Senior middle hitter Ellen Orchard led the Bears with five total blocks including two solo and had nine kills (1e, 17att, .471). After enduing a tight first game, the Bears ran off an 8-0 run in game two to open up a 15-5 lead and eventually took a two-games-to-none lead. Coming out of the break, the Bears seized game point at 29-21 but Iowa State pushed back with a short run. A serve into the net ended any hopes of a Cyclone comeback, giving Cal the game and the match.

NO. 2 NEBRASKA NOTES: The Cornhuskers returned from a 2-0 deficit to defeat No. 24 Michigan State in five games in the other semifinal. Nebraska pushed its record in five-game matches to a perfect 3-0 this season with the win and like the Bears this season, have rallied from two-games down to win two of those matches. Led by junior outside hitter Jordan Larson, the Huskers mounted a furious comeback on the coattails of her 20 kills (7e, 41att, .317) and 16 digs. Husker freshman libero Kayla Banwarth recorded a team and season-high 21 digs while the front-line held the Spartans to .202 hitting (72k, 34e, 188att). On the season, the Huskers are led by redshirt senior outside hitter Sarah Pavan, who now has 482 kills (4.82 kpg) and 50 service aces.

EXTRA BEAR NOTES:
• With 12 blocks against the Cyclones, the Bears have tallied 440 for the year and broke a 24-year old record for total team blocks in a season (429.0, 1983). That total is also good for seventh all-time in the Pac-10.
• Freshman setter Carli Lloyd moved into second all-time for assists in a season, now with 1,469 assists in her young career after putting up 45 against Iowa State.
• Sophomore libero Kristen Kathan led the Bears with 15 digs against Iowa State and moves into a ninth-place tie with Cal-great Jillian Davis for digs in a season with 398.
• Senior middle hitter Ellen Orchard has 184 blocks this season, a personal best and second best all-time in the Cal record books. Orchard held the second highest total prior to this with 168 as a junior in 2006.
• Orchard's current hitting percentage of .337 (293k, 88e, 609att) would be fifth best all-time at Cal. Orchard's .305 as a junior in 2006 is currently sixth-best for a completed season.
• Senior outside hitter Angie Pressey has 12 double-double matches this season.
• Cal's current .268 (1858k, 700e, 4322att) hitting percentage would break a school record set in 2003 (.265, 1926k, 705e, 4614att).

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