No. 13 Bears Face No. 24 Cougars and No. 4 Huskies in Pacific Northwest

Nov. 4, 2009

BERKELEY - at No. 24 Washington StateFriday, Nov. 6 7 p.m. PTBohler Gymnasium | Pullman, Wash. | www.wsucougars.com

at No. 4 WashingtonSaturday, Nov. 7 7 p.m. PTBank of America Arena | Seattle, Wash. | www. gohuskies.com

The Golden Bears return to the road for matches in the Pacific Northwest this weekend as they jockey for Pac-10 positioning with the Cougars and the Huskies. No. 4-ranked Washington continues to hold the top spot in the conference standings among the eight Pac-10 teams that appear in this week's AVCA Top 25 poll. Cal won its eighth and ninth matches of a 13-match winning streak when it took this trip a year ago. The Bears were on their way to setting a new school record of 29 straight sets won as they blanked both the Huskies and the Cougars on consecutive nights. This time, Cal looks to extend its winning streak over Washington State to 14 and has a chance to avenge an earlier loss to the Huskies to earn a season split for the third straight year. Senior outside hitter Hana Cutura continues to be an offensive force for the Bears as she ranks third in the country in kills (5.03 kps) and fourth in points (5.52 pps).

THE FACTS: The No. 13-ranked California volleyball team (13-8, 6-5 Pac-10) faces two ranked Pac-10 opponents on the road this weekend as the Golden Bears take on No. 24 Washington State (16-6, 5-6 Pac-10) and No. 4 Washington (19-2, 9-2 Pac-10). Cal heads to Pullman, Wash. first for a 7 p.m. PT bout against the Cougars at Bohler Gymnasium on Friday, Nov. 6, before it heads to Seattle for a 7 p.m. PT match against the Huskies on Saturday, Nov. 7, at the Bank of America Arena at Hec Edmundson Pavilion.

SIGHTS AND SOUNDS: Live stats and streaming video are available for both matches via links at www.wsucougars.com and www.gohuskies.com. Monthly fees apply for some streaming video subscriptions.

UPCOMING PROMOTIONS: The Golden Bears will put on an exhibition at halftime of the Cal men's basketball game against Murray State in the 2K Sports Classic on Monday, Nov. 9, at Haas Pavilion. The game is set to tip off at 8 p.m. PT and ticket proceeds will go towards cancer research as part of the Coaches vs. Cancer initiative. Fans with ticket stubs from the Cal vs. Arizona football game will receive free admission when the Bears take on Oregon at 12:30 p.m. PT on Nov. 15 for Senior Day.

LAST WEEK: The Bears played eight sets and split matches against the visiting Bruins and Trojans. In its second match against UCLA, Cal fell by four sets for the second time. The Bruins used a balanced attack and capitalized on errors by the Bears to capture the win. Senior outside hitter Hana Cutura led the team with 15 kills (9e, 40att, .150) and added six digs and four blocks. Cal also went four sets with USC but came out on the winning end as Cutura posted 22 kills (6e, 45att, .356) to lead the way once more. Junior setter Carli Lloyd moved into third place (3,829 assists) as she passed Holly McPeak (1987-89) for all time career assists at Cal with her 46 against the Trojans. Lloyd also posted her sixth double-double of the season as she added 10 digs to go with four kills and five blocks. With the win, the Bears split the season series with USC.

NO. 24 WASHINGTON STATE NOTES: The Cougars (16-6, 5-6 Pac-10) hold a 10-1 record in matches played at Bohler Gymnasium. Washington State opened the season with 12 straight victories and was 14-1 before a visit to the Bay Area. Since falling in four to Stanford and in a three-set sweep to the Bears, the Cougars have gone on to lose three of their next five matches to make them 2-5 in their last seven outings. Freshman libero Oceana Bush leads the team and ranks third in the Pac-10 in digs with 4.74 dps. Senior defensive specialist Kelly Hyder also provides the defense with 3.13 dps (ninth in the Pac-10) as the Cougars rank second in the Pac-10 in digs (15.65 dps). Hyder leads the Cougars with 13 service aces on the year but is just one ahead of senior setter Renee Bordelon, who is third in the Pac-10 for assists with 11.40 aps. Senior middle blocker Cassie Robbins is third in the conference in blocking with 1.26 bps and 10th in hitting percentage at .318. Junior middle Brittany Tillman ranks two spots ahead of Robbins at eighth with a .332 attack percentage. Offensively, the Cougars spread out the attack with five players averaging over 2.20 kps including Robbins and Tillman. Senior outside hitter Jackie Albright leads the way, however, with 3.08 kps (219k, 92e, 538att, .236). The Bears gave head coach Rich Feller his 200th win at Cal with a 3-0 sweep of the Cougars on Oct. 10, and ran their winning streak over Washington State to 13. The Bears own a 31-22 overall record against the Cougars.

NO. 4 WASHINGTON NOTES: The Huskies (19-2, 9-2 Pac-10) are coming off two wins in the desert but since winning 45 straight sets to open the season, Washington has dropped 10 sets in its last six matches. The Huskies are undefeated at Bank of America Arena with a 6-0 home record but needed four sets to defeat a No. 12 UCLA and five sets to defeat a No. 16 USC the last time they were at home. Washington tops the Pac-10 and is fifth in the country in hitting percentage with a .301 rate. The Huskies also lead the conference in opponent hitting percentage as they hold foes to a .148 attack rate. As such, Washington ranks third in the Pac-10 in both kills (14.30 kps) and assists (13.50 aps). The Huskies are also just a tick off the top spot in the conference for service aces with a 1.69 saps average. Sophomore middle hitter Bianca Rowland leads the Pac-10 and is fourth in the nation in hitting percentage at .451 (161k, 33e, 284att). Junior outside hitter Kindra Carlson brings in the points (4.40 pps, seventh Pac-10) for the Huskies as she ranks seventh in kills (3.82 kps). Senior outside hitter Jill Collymore puts up 4.03 pps (3.21 kps) and is second in the conference in service aces with 0.51saps and a conference-high 35 total aces. Defensively, the Huskies are paced by senior libero Tamari Miyashiro who leads the Pac-10 in digs (16th nationally) with 5.26 dps. Rowland ranks seventh in blocks with 1.10 bps. Junior setter Jenna Hagglund leads the team and ranks fifth in the Pac-10 with 11.10 aps. The Huskies own the all-time series edge with a 29-23 lead but the Bears have split matches with Washington in the last three seasons including getting a win in Seattle a year ago.

BEARS IN THE PAC-10 RANKS: The Bears rank third in the Pac-10 in both hitting percentage (.269) and opponent hitting percentage (.192). Cal is fourth in blocks (2.68 bps) and fourth in kills (13.96 kps). Senior outside hitter Hana Cutura leads the conference and is third nationally in kills per set with 5.03 kps. Cutura also leads all Pac-10 players and is fourth nationally in points with 5.52 pps. She is the only outside hitter in the Pac-10 to rank in the conference top 10 (ninth) in hitting percentage at .321 (397k, 114e, 882att). Junior setter Carli Lloyd is fourth in the conference with 11.22 assists per set (18th in the nation). Senior libero Kristen Kathan is tied for sixth in digs with 3.72 dps. Senior middle hitter Mindi Wiley is tied for third in hitting percentage at .379 (201k, 59e, 375att) and eighth in blocks at 1.10 bps.

RIPPIN' THE RPI: The NCAA released its first Division I Women's Volleyball ratings percentage index (RPI) on Sunday, Oct. 11, with the Bears debuting at No. 10 out of 330 ranked teams. A team's RPI ranking is determined by its strength of schedule and how a team does against that schedule; whether or not a team won and where the match was played. It is used by the NCAA as one determining factor in deciding which teams to invite to the NCAA tournament and where to seed them. In the fourth week of RPI ratings, Cal moved to No. 11 while the Pac-10 was represented by No. 5 Washington, No. 7 UCLA, No. 9 Stanford, No. 13 Arizona and No. 15 Oregon in the top 15.

500 AND COUNTING: Head coach Rich Feller earned his 500th career coaching victory as the Golden Bears swept Oregon State in Corvallis, Ore. on Oct. 17. Feller reached the milestone against his former boss and current Beavers head coach, Taras Liskevych. He began his professional career as one of the top assistants to Liskevych at Pacific, where he helped guide the Tigers to second, fourth and fifth-place national finishes from 1980-83. Feller also earned his 200th victory at Cal in a sweep of Washington State on Oct. 10.

ALL-TOURNAMENT HONORS: Several Bears received all-tournament team honors in pre-conference tournaments this season. Senior outside hitter Hana Cutura was named the MVP of the Molten/Hilton Garden Inn Classic and selected to the all-tournament team at both the Nevada Marriott Courtyard/Fairfield Invitational and the Hawaiian Airlines Wahine Volleyball Classic. Junior setter Carli Lloyd joined Cutura for all-tourney honors in Nevada and in the Molten. Senior middle hitter Mindi Wiley joined Cutura in Hawai'i and also received a spot on the Molten all-tournament team. Senior libero Kristen Kathan was also selected to the Molten all-tournament team.

BEARS IN TV LAND: The Bears will appear in a live 12:30 p.m. PT broadcast at home against Oregon (Sunday, Nov. 15) on Comcast SportsNet California. Please check your local listings for availability. The Bears were also featured on two Fox Sports Net television broadcasts this season. FSN was on hand at Haas Pavilion to cover Cal's Pac-10 opener against Stanford on Friday, Sept. 25 and at the Bears' first Pac-10 road match when Cal visited the Galen Center in Los Angeles to take on USC on Oct. 2. Both matches were televised via tape delay on the Sunday immediately following the match. The Bears were also on television as they defeated Washington State on Oct. 10 for head coach Rich Feller's 200th victory and once again on Oct. 25 as the Bears swept Arizona State. Cal's visit to the Hawaiian Islands was broadcast by K5 Honolulu as they took out Hawai'i on Sept. 6.

RUNNIN' WITH THE PAC: Cal competes in what is undeniably the toughest conference in women's collegiate volleyball--the Pacific-10. The conference has captured five of the last eight NCAA titles and holds 13 volleyball national championships overall. The Pac-10 has had 10 or more AVCA All-American selections in each of the last four years and boasts a group of coaches with over 200 years of combined head-coaching experience. A conference-record eight Pac-10 teams held rankings for the first time in the Oct. 5 AVCA Top 25 poll. Currently, Washington leads all teams with the No. 4 ranking. No. 5 Stanford follows next with UCLA at No. 7. Then No. 13 Cal, No. 14 Oregon, No. 17 USC and No. 18 Arizona check in to give the conference seven teams in the top 20 alone. Washington State appeared at No. 25 in the Oct. 5 poll for the first time since 2003 and now holds the No. 24 spot to give the conference eight teams in the poll. Oregon State and Arizona State each received votes in a poll earlier this season to give the Pac-10 full representation on coaches ballots in 2009.

STRICT SCHEDULE: As a part of the Pac-10 conference, the Bears face top-ranked teams on a regular basis. This season Cal is scheduled to face at least 17 teams ranked in the top 25 before season's end. In addition to taking on No. 4 Washington, No. 5 Stanford, No. 7 UCLA, No. 14 Oregon, No. 17 USC, No. 18 Arizona and No. 24 Washington State twice this season, the Bears also faced a No. 2-ranked Texas, No. 19 Saint Louis and No. 4 Hawai'i in three consecutive matches as part of the Hawaiian Airlines Wahine Volleyball Classic in Honolulu from Sept. 3-6. Among teams receiving votes in the poll, Cal has faced No. 25 Saint Mary's (CA) twice, San Francisco and a formerly-ranked UC Irvine as well as Oregon State.

DIG FOR THE CURE: During the month of October, Pac-10 volleyball teams joined forces to help raise awareness about breast cancer during home matches as a part of the national Dig for the Cure campaign. Cal volleyball ran a special donation drive to benefit the Alta Bates Carol Ann Read Breast Health Center when it defeated Arizona on Friday, Oct. 23. Cal's match at UCLA on Oct. 3 was also a Dig for the Cure match. Fans can continue to support the cause with donations throughout the rest of the season. Please visit CalBears.com and click to the volleyball home page for more information.

PACK THE PAVILION: On Friday, Sept. 25, fans set a new Haas Pavilion attendance record as the Bears defeated Stanford in the 69th Big Spike. 4,189 fans were in the building to witness the thrilling five-set finish, breaking the old record of 3,976. In nine home dates this season, Cal has welcomed 9,696 fans to Haas for an average of 1,077 per match.

SEEING DOUBLE: The Bears faced Saint Mary's College in two matches this season; the first was a 3-1 win for Cal on Aug. 29 at the Nevada Marriott Courtyard/Fairfield Invitational and the second was also a 3-1 win for Cal on Sept. 18 in the Pac-10/WCC Challenge. The last time Cal faced a non-conference opponent twice in the same season was in 1996 when the Bears suffered back-to-back losses to Hawai'i in Honolulu on Sept. 13 and 14. However, the previous time Cal faced Saint Mary's twice in the same season, the Bears also came away with two victories in 1988.

WELCOME FRESHMEN: The Bears brought in seven newcomers in 2009. Among the top-10 ranked recruiting class, Cal's roster features four PrepVolleyball.com Top Senior Aces and three players who each earned Volleyball Magazine Fab 50 and UnderArmour High School All-America recognition. Joining the Bears this season are outside hitter Jessica Adams; setter Elly Barrett; middle hitter Kat Brown; outside hitter Mary Buckingham; middle hitter Tia Gaffen; middle hitter Correy Johnson; and defensive specialist Robin Rostratter.

TEXAS TWO-STEP: For the seventh consecutive season, the Cal roster will feature at least two players from the great state of Texas. Sophomore middle hitter Shannon Hawari (Plano, Texas) and freshman setter Elly Barrett (Austin, Texas) each hail from the Lone Star State. Barrett grew up close to Texas volleyball as a resident of Austin, one of the teams on the Bears' schedule this season.

EAGLE'S NEST: Assistant coach Chris Bigelow is a former middle blocker for the Eastern Washington Eagles. Bigelow played for head coach Beth Parsons when Eastern was a part of the Pine League and completed her physical education degree from the university in 1974. The Bears defeated the Eagles, 3-0, on Friday, Sept. 11. Bigelow also has connections with another Cal opponent this season; she was an assistant coach at Texas from 1984-91.

ISLAND CONNECTION: First-year director of volleyball operations Jennifer Carey is a former All-Western Athletic Conference setter for Hawai'i. Carey set records as a member of the Rainbow Wahine and was a four-time selection to the WAC All-Academic team. She arrived at Cal via Georgia Tech where she was an assistant coach under Bond Shymansky (currently the head coach at Marquette). Prior to coaching, Carey served as the director of operations for Texas A&M volleyball. Cal's visit to the islands was a homecoming for Carey as the Bears defeated her alma mater (3-2) on Sept. 6 in Honolulu.#1 | SETTING HER PLACE: In just two seasons, setter Carli Lloyd established herself as a force to be reckoned with. As a freshman, she completed her season just six assists shy of setting a new Cal single-season record as she posted 1,550 in 2007. In 2008, Lloyd continued to push boundaries by putting up 1,392 assists, as she earned the sixth best all-time single-season mark at Cal and placed third in the nation with her 12.00 aps average. With 3,829 career assists, Lloyd is second among active Pac-10 assist leaders and sits comfortably in fourth all-time for the Bears; on pace to continue to break records in the years to come. Over the summer, she was named to the all-tournament team at the USA Adult Open Volleyball Championship as she helped guide her team to a bronze medal finish.

#1 | HOME, HOME ON THE RANGE: Setter Carli Lloyd was quite literally raised in a barn. Her home in Bonsall, Calif. is a ranch just north of San Diego. Among the many animals on the ranch, Lloyd's pets include horses, dogs, cats, snakes, chinchillas, cows, pigs and plenty of fish in a man-made pond that she helped dig out.

#1 | CALIFORNIA GLADIATOR: Junior All-American setter Carli Lloyd credits her athleticism to the training she received from uncle and coach, Galen Tomlinson. Tomlinson--a former volleyball coach at Fallbrook Union High School--is better known in some circles as Turbo from the 1980's television series, 'American Gladiators.'

#2 | SHE CAN DIG IT: Senior libero Kristen Kathan led the Bears in digs in 2008 with 4.23 dps; fourth in the Pac-10. Her 491 digs ranked third all-time for single-season digs at Cal. As a sophomore, she posted the 10th best single-season mark with 414 digs. With 1,317 career digs, she ranks fourth all-time at Cal and is currently fourth among active Pac-10 players.

#3 | IT'S A SMALL HARBOR AFTER ALL: Freshman outside hitter Mary Buckingham shares an alma mater with two of Cal's staff members. A 2009 graduate of Newport Harbor High School, Buckingham joins fellow Sailor alum Jennifer Carey (`99, director of operations) and Ryan Newell ('03, volunteer assistant coach) in Berkeley this fall.

#4 | TARAH-RIZING THE COURT: In just her first year with the Bears, outside hitter Tarah Murrey proved why she was such a sought after recruit coming out of high school. Murrey posted 277 kills and ranked third on the team with 2.43 kps. She also contributed 177 digs in 2008 on her way to a selection on the Pac-10 All-Freshman team. Last summer, she helped her USA A2 team to a bronze medal at the 80th Annual USA Adult Open Volleyball Championship.

#4 | LITTLE FIREBALL: As a youngster, sophomore outsider hitter Tarah Murrey wanted to follow in her father's footsteps and become a firefighter. Douglas Murrey played basketball for San Jose State and was selected in the ninth-round of the 1981 NBA Draft by the Golden State Warriors. It was Murrey's mother Barbara whose athletic influence shows through Tarah however; she played volleyball for San Jose State in 1978-79.

#8 | PART OF THEIR WORLD: Hailing from Orlando, Fla., the home of Disney World and Mickey Mouse, freshman opposite Correy Johnson's favorite Disney character is Ariel from the Little Mermaid; partly because she has similarly red hair. Johnson has wasted no time making her way to the court and contributing both offensively and defensively. She has posted 133 kills (47e, 308att) and a .279 attack percentage while adding 52 blocks. Johnson logged a career-high 15 kills (4e, 29att) and posted a .379 attack percentage in a match against USC on Oct. 2.

#8 | FANTASMICORREY: Freshman opposite hitter Correy Johnson enjoyed a career night as she logged 15 kills (4e, 29att, .379) in a match at USC on Oct. 2. Johnson, however, has shown a propensity for offensive efficiency as she has enjoyed five matches in which she attacked at better than .400; including three in which she went without error. On Sept. 19, Johnson logged five kills on six attacks (0e, .833) against San Francisco. She went for seven kills (0e, 10att, .700) on Oct. 9 against Washington. In Cal's five-set win over Stanford, Johnson logged 10 kills (1e, 16att) to record a .562 attack rate. She was .538 against Saint Mary's on Sept. 18 (7k, 0e, 13att) and .444 against Washington State on Oct. 10 (10k, 2e, 18att).

#9 | OBI WAN KENOBERMEYER: Sophomore setter Kristin Obermeyer might not be able to play any Jedi mind-tricks on opponents but she has the resume to prove her academic aptitude as one of the 2008 valedictorians at Westmont High School in Campbell, Calif. As a freshman, she appeared in three matches for Cal and had her first assist against DePaul Sept. 6; she later logged a career-high five assists against Central Connecticut State Sept. 19 at the Crowne Plaza Volleyball Classic in Fullerton, Calif.

#10 | WAKEY, WAKEY; EGGS AND BAKEY: One of freshman setter Elly Barrett's favorite pastimes is wakeboarding. She spent the summer prior to entering school at Berkeley serving as a counselor at a Christian wakeboard camp called Instead in Austin, Texas. The camp operates as a ministry of the Austin Ridge Bible Church.

#11 | DOUBLE-DRIBBLE: Freshman middle hitter Kat Brown was a dual-sport athlete in high school as she excelled on both the volleyball and basketball courts. She was a four-year starter in both sports at St. Francis Central Coast Catholic High School. Her basketball coach was former Golden Bear point guard Kristin Iwanaga. Iwanaga helped Brown achieve school records in points, rebounds and blocked shots on her way to being named Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League MVP as a senior.

#13 | GOPHER GAFFEN: Freshman middle hitter Tia Gaffen is the first Golden Bear to hail from the Gopher State. A native of Wayzata, Minn., Gaffen comes from a place better known as the 'North Star State', 'Bread and Butter State' and the 'Land of 10,000 Lakes'. In the end, Gaffen chose one bay over many lakes.

#13 | GAFFEN'S GAFF: Freshman middle hitter Tia Gaffen saw her first collegiate action in matches against Eastern Washington and San Jose State in the 2009 Molten/Hilton Garden Inn Classic. She hooked the competition for several points as she posted 12 kills (2e, 23att) and a .435 attack percentage in seven sets. She also had four assists and four blocks.

#14 | HAWARIAN VACATION: Sophomore middle hitter Shannon Hawari didn't take any time off when she set a new Cal record for single season hitting percentage in 2008 as she posted a .387 mark with 113 kills on 230 attacks. She ranked fourth among Pac-10 players and also contributed defensively with 64 blocks on her way to a selection to the 2008 Pac-10 All-Freshman team.

#17 | ROCKIN' ROBIN: Freshman defensive specialist Robin Rostratter has found a way to rock out on the volleyball court, coming in to serve and to play back-row for the Bears this season. Rostratter has recorded three service aces and put up 35 digs in 53 sets of play so far. When she's not on the court, Rostratter likes to rock out to a variety of music; from Beyoncé to John Mayer and from Michael Bublé to T-Pain.#21 | MINDI IN THE MIDDLE: Senior middle hitter Mindi Wiley led the Bears in blocks in 2008 with 123; 1.09 bps. Those numbers were good enough to rank fifth among Pac-10 players. She also ranked fifth in the Pac-10 in hitting percentage with a .337 mark (258k, 86e, 511att). Wiley received AVCA All-Pacific Region honorable mention and All-Pac-10 honorable mention as a junior and set the ninth best single-season mark for blocks as well as the sixth best single-season mark for hitting percentage at Cal.

#21 | MIND OVER MATTER: Senior middle hitter Mindi Wiley is one of the most efficient attackers for the Bears. She has notched 201 kills (59e, 375att) to log a .379 attack percentage this year and leads the team in blocks with 1.10 bps and 87 total blocks. She set new career high marks in a match at USC when she posted 21 kills and 37 attacks. Wiley is an active member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee; 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.

#26 | HANA HOU: Meaning 'Do it again!' or 'Encore' in Hawaiian, Cal fans want senior All-American outside hitter Hana Cutura to do it again. Cutura posted new career highs for kills and attacks in a five-set win against Hawai'i on Sept. 6. Cutura's 30 kills (72 attacks) made her the first Bear to reach the 30-kill mark since All-American outside hitter Mia Jerkov recorded 32 kills in a loss to Georgia Tech on Dec. 12, 2003. Cutura later broke her own personal best with a 31 kill (1e, 47att, .638) performance against Arizona on Oct. 23. In her career, Cutura has 1,773 kills and is third all-time at Cal for career kills; tops among active Pac-10 players. She is also within reasonable reach of the all-time mark at Cal of 1,814 kills held by Tiffany Rochelle (1986-89).

#26 | CROATIAN SENSATION: Two-time All-American outside hitter Hana Cutura was named Pac-10 Player of the Week and the Sports Imports/AVCA National Player of the Week on Oct. 26 and Oct. 27 respectively. She registered 52 kills (4e, 79att) and a .608 attack percentage to go with 18 digs and four blocks in seven sets of play against Arizona (Oct. 23) and Arizona State (Oct. 25).

#26 | SENIOR ACE: Senior outside hitter Hana Cutura has recorded 104 career service aces and ranks seventh all-time at Cal. She ranks third among active Pac-10 players and is second on the team with 11 (0.14 saps) this season.

#26 | PASSING ON PIROUETTES: Hailing from Zagreb, Croatia, senior outside hitter Hana Cutura wasn't always the menacing volleyball force the Bears have come to know. The 6-4 outside hitter used to be a ballet dancer as a youth but her natural gift for volleyball eventually shoved Nutcracker dreams aside. As just a sophomore, Cutura's play in the postseason earned her honors as the NCAA Wisconsin Regional MVP. As a junior, Cutura received her second selection to the AVCA All-America team; each achievements her parents are quite proud of. Cutura's father, Zoran is a former Olympic basketball star for Yugoslavia while her mother, Gordana, is a former member of the Croatian National Volleyball team.

#39 | THE ADAMS FAMILY: Freshman outside hitter Jessica Adams comes from a long line of California alumni. Her great-great uncle Homer Woolsey MD received his degree from the university in 1910. Her great-grandparents Fred Lawson Adams and Marion Anderson Adams were students in Berkeley in 1921 and 1926 and her grandparents Fred Lawson Adams Jr. and Joan Woolsey Adams received degrees in the early 1950's. Most recently aunt Jill Adams and uncle Jeff Adams received degrees in 1976 and 1984 respectively. Currently, Adams' brother Lawson David is set to graduate in 2010.

#44 | FAMILY TRACK RECORD: Junior defensive specialist Meagan Schmitt seems destined to be a Cal athlete. Both of her parents, Tom and Laura, attended Cal and were cross country and track and field athletes for the Bears. Her uncle, John Starrett also starred as a rower for the Bears.INJURY REPORT: Sophomore middle hitter Shannon Hawari suffered a complete tear of her left anterior cruciate ligament in the first set of Cal's match against Hawai'i in Honolulu on Sept. 6. Hawari will have reconstructive surgery to repair the ligament damage and apply for a medical hardship waiver in hopes of retaining three years of eligibility.

FOLLOW CAL VOLLEYBALL ON TWITTER: This season, fans can follow Cal volleyball on Twitter. Stay up-to-date and get the exclusive inside scoop along with special Twitter-only photos on everything Cal volleyball at www.twitter.com/calvolleyball.

SEASON TICKET HOLDER CHALLENGE: The Cal volleyball team issued a challenge to its season ticket holders this season. In an effort to raise the number of season ticket holders and E-newsletter subscribers, the team is offering prize incentives for different levels of goal achievement.

GOING BACK TO CALI: Before each match, the Bears gather for a team huddle in which they chant 'Going, going; back, back; to Cali, Cali!' Taken from the 1997 rap-hit Going Back To Cali by late Bad Boy Records rapper Notorious B.I.G., the chant is a reference to the great Golden State; the home of the Golden Bears.

PRESEASON POLL POSITIONS: Cal received the No. 6 ranking in two preseason polls; the AVCA Division I Coaches' Top 25 Poll and the Volleyball Magazine Top 20 Poll. The selection in the AVCA poll marks the ninth time in school history that the Bears have been ranked to open a season; the seventh since Rich Feller became head coach in 1999. Cal was ranked No. 5 at the start of 2008 and finished No. 6. The Bears held the No. 12 spot in 2007, No. 17 to open 2006, No. 19 in 2005, No. 10 in 2004 and No. 24 in 2003. Cal's two other preseason rankings came in 1989 (No. 9) and 1983 (No. 12). Setting a program-best mark in 2007, the Bears finished the season in the No. 4 spot after reaching the NCAA national semifinal, where they fell 3-0 to eventual NCAA champion Penn State. Cal's highest regular season ranking was recorded several times in 2008 as the Bears reached No. 4 for several weeks. Since 1982, the Bears have been ranked in the weekly AVCA poll a total of 141 times.

2008 IN REVIEW: The Bears recorded the best record in school history as they advanced to the NCAA Regional Final for the second consecutive season and received the No. 6 ranking in the final AVCA poll. Cal finished 26-7 overall and claimed third place in the Pac-10 with a 13-5 mark. The Bears defeated every team in the Pac-10 at least once for the first time and beat Stanford on the road for the first time in 29 years. Cal reeled off a school-record 29 consecutive set victories from Sept. 14 through Oct. 19 and set a new mark for consecutive home wins with 16 from Oct. 11, 2007 through Nov. 2, 2008. The Bears' 18-1 start to the season and 8-0 mark to open conference play were also new program bests. Cal received a school-record seventh-consecutive bid to the NCAA tournament and hosted first and second round matches at Haas Pavilion. The Bears defeated Siena College, New Mexico State and Illinois in postseason play before falling to eventual national champion No. 1-ranked Penn State in the State College Regional Championship match. Outside hitter Hana Cutura and setter Carli Lloyd received AVCA All-America and Pac-10 All-Conference honors. The duo was joined by outside hitter Amr'a Solomon, and middle hitter Mindi Wiley for postseason awards as Solomon and Wiley received AVCA regional recognition and All-Pac-10 honorable mention. Cal also placed two players on the conference all-freshman team as outside hitter Tarah Murrey and middle hitter Shannon Hawari each made appearances on the short roster. Murrey ranked third on the team in kills per set (2.43 kps) and Hawari set a new Cal single-season hitting percentage record as she registered 113 kills on 230 attacks (.387).

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