No. 16 Cal Volleyball Hosts the Golden Bear Invitational

Sept. 8, 2003


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Sept. 11-13 Golden Bear Invitational, Haas Pavilion, Berkeley, CASept. 11 Nevada vs. Cal Poly/New Hampshire at Cal 5 p.m./7 p.m.Sept. 12 Cal Poly vs. New Hampshire/Nevada at Cal 5 p.m./7 p.m.Sept. 13 New Hampshire vs. Nevada/Cal Poly at Cal 5 p.m./7 p.m.

BEAR NOTES: No. 16 ranked California (5-0), led by junior All-American and Sept. 8 Pacific-10 Player of the Week, Mia Jerkov, will be looking to extend its streak of regular season tournament victories when it hosts the fourth annual Golden Bear Invitational, Sept. 11-13 at Haas Pavilion. The Bears play New Hampshire, Nevada and then Cal Poly - all 2002 NCAA participants - at 7 p.m. each night of the three-day tournament. Cal has a streak of 14 straight regular season tournament victories, carrying over from last year when it won the Golden Bear Invitational, the UNLV Gameworks Classic and the SMU DoubleTree Invitational to start the 2002 campaign. Last weekend, the Bears won the Colorado State Coors Classic, defeating Seton Hall (3-0), CS Northridge (3-1) and host Colorado State (3-1). Colorado State was the former stomping grounds of head coach Rich Feller. Feller was the head coach of the Rams for 14 years (1983-96), leading CSU to a 299-167 overall record (.642) and eight NCAA Tournament appearances. The Bears have a 5-2 record in the three years of the Golden Bear Invitational.

CAL'S TOURNAMENT SUCCESS: Besides Cal winning 14 straight tournament matches and capturing its fourth tournament title in a row last weekend, the Bears' Jerkov earned her fourth consecutive tournament MVP honor and was named the Sept. 8 Pac-10 Player of the Week. Jerkov paced Cal at the Coors Classic with 20 kills and a .327 hitting percentage against Colorado State in the championship match. In the Bears' second match of the tournament against Cal State Northridge, she recorded a team-high 30 kills and 18 digs, the seventh time in her career she has had 30 or more kills in a match. For the three tournament matches, Jerkov finished with 68 kills and 30 digs. She also had a .384 hitting percentage (68 kills, 12 errors, 146 attempts) for the tournament. Junior middle hitter Camille Leffall, who recorded 29 kills, 14 block assists and had a .412 hitting percentage over the weekend, joined Jerkov as a member of the Coors Classic All-Tournament Team. It was the third all-tournament honor for Leffall, as she was a member of all-tournament teams at the Golden Bear Invitational and UNLV Gameworks Classic in 2002. Before losing game three to CS Northridge, 30-25, Cal had owned a streak of 38 consecutive games won in tournament competition.

CAL'S NO. 16 AVCA RANKING: The Bears have steadily moved up in the USA Today/AVCA Top 25 Poll, going from a No. 24 preseason ranking to their current No. 16 spot. Cal's No. 16 ranking is the third highest ranking in school history. The Bears ranked as high as eighth in the Sept. 26, 1989 poll, and ranked 10th in the final 1982 poll. Cal has been ranked a total of 36 times in the AVCA Top 25 poll. The Bears No. 24 preseason ranking was only the third time in school history Cal had been preseason ranked in women's volleyball. The Bears were ranked No. 12 in the 1983 preseason poll and No. 9 in the 1989 preseason poll.

HEAD COACH Rich Feller: Rich Feller (61-60, .504 at Cal; career 360-227, .613) is in his fifth season as Cal's head coach. Feller came to the Bears after a stint as assistant coach for the USA National Team (1997-98) and 14 years as head coach at Colorado State (1983-96) where he led the Rams to eight NCAA Tournament appearances and 12 Top 25 national rankings. He is the first Cal volleyball coach to lead the Bears to NCAA postseason and an AVCA national ranking since Dave DeGroot in 1989.

CAL VERSUS NEW HAMPSHIRE, NEVADA AND CAL POLY: The Bears have a 1-0 all-time record against New Hampshire (2-4 overall, last defeated Ball State, 3-2, Sept. 6 at UNH). The Bears defeated the Wildcats in the last meeting, 3-1, Aug. 31, 2001 at the IKON Husky Classic in Storrs, CT. New Hampshire, coached by Jill Hirschinger (eighth year at UNH), is led by 5-10 senior outside hitter Alyson Coler (96 kills, 2002 America East Player of the Year). Cal has an 8-2 all-time record against Nevada (4-4 overall, last defeated Arizona State, 3-1, Sept. 6 at Nevada). The Bears defeated the Wolf Pack in the last meeting, 3-1, Sept. 1, 2000 at Nevada. The Wolf Pack, coached by Devin Scruggs (seventh year at UN), is led by 5-11 sophomore middle blocker Salaia Salave'a (60 kills, 2002 WAC Freshman of the Year). Scruggs was an assistant at Cal from 1994-96. The Bears have a 5-6 all-time record against Cal Poly (5-2 overall, last defeated SMU, 3-2, Sept. 6 at Cal Poly). The Bears defeated the Mustangs in the last meeting, 3-1, Nov. 11, 1995 at Cal Poly. The Mustangs, coached by Steve Schlick (eighth year at Cal Poly), is led by 6-1 junior outside hitter Jessica Diepersloot (100 kills, .245 hitting percentage).

CAL AGAINST THE AVCA TOP 25: Competing in what is arguably the toughest volleyball conference in the nation - the Pac-10 - the Bears' 2003 schedule includes seven teams currently ranked in the USA Today/AVCA Poll. Cal will take on No. 1 USC, No. 4 Stanford, No. 9 UCLA, No. 13 Santa Clara, No. 14 Arizona, No. 18 Washington and No. 19 Long Beach State. Cal competes against a total of 13 teams that qualified for the NCAA Tournament last season, including Cal Poly, New Hampshire and Nevada, the three teams joining Cal for the 2003 Golden Bear Invitational. The Bears upset five teams ranked in the AVCA Top 25 last season (at No. 16 Arizona Oct. 12, No. 11 Washington State Oct. 18, then-No. 23 Arizona State Nov. 9, at then-No. 22 Washington Nov. 16, at No. 14 Santa Clara Nov. 19). The Bears were 7-4 last year in five-game matches, including losing to No. 1 ranked USC Oct. 5 and No. 3 ranked Stanford Nov. 22 in five games at Haas Pavilion. Cal upset No. 14 ranked Santa Clara twice last season, 3-2 Nov. 19 at Santa Clara, and 3-1 Dec. 6 in the first round of the NCAA Regional at UC Santa Barbara.

ALL-AMERICAN Mia Jerkov: Cal returns four starters, five seniors and a total of 11 players from the last year's 20-12 NCAA Regional squad, including 6-3 outside hitter Mia Jerkov (pronounced YAIR-cove), the Bears' first All-American volleyball player since Sylvie Monnet in 1983. Jerkov was also first team All-Pacific Region and first team All-Pac-10. She was voted the MVP in all three of the Bears' 2002 tournament titles and was twice named Pac-10 Player of the Week, including becoming the school's first-ever AVCA National Player of the Week on Oct. 21. In 2002, Jerkov recorded 30 or more kills in six matches, was the Pac-10 leader in points (635.0, combining kills, blocks and service aces) and kills (578), and established school records for single-season kills (578), single-match kills (39) and kill attempts (91).

Jenna Brown ACCOLADES: Sophomore outside hitter Jenna Brown, the Bears' 2002 leader in digs (365, 10th in the Pac-10 with 3.07 digs per game), is another Cal athlete to earn postseason accolades as she was named to the 2002 Pac-10 All-Freshman team. Brown is the 14th Bear freshman in school history to have earned conference all-freshman honors. In 2000, junior outside hitter Gabrielle Abernathy was named honorable mention Pac-10 All-Freshman and in 2001, junior middle hitter Camille Leffall was named to the Pac-10 All-Freshman Team. Brown also had the privilege of training with the USA National A2 squad this summer in Colorado Springs.

BEARS AMONG PAC-10 STAT LEADERS: The Bears feature five players - junior Mia Jerkov, junior Camille Leffall, junior Gabrielle Abernathy, sophomore Jenna Brown and freshman Samantha Carter - who are among the stat leaders in the Pac-10. Jerkov is second in the conference in kills (5.88 kpg), seventh in digs (3.12 dpg), eighth in hitting percentage (.376) and eighth in service aces (0.47 pg). Leffall is second in the Pac-10 in blocks (1.88 bpg), while Abernathy is fifth in service aces (0.53 pg) and eighth in kills (3.73 kpg). Brown is seventh in the conference in blocks (1.12 bpg) and ninth in digs (2.94 dpg). Cal's freshman setter Carter is second in the Pac-10 in assists per game (12.53).

CAL PLAYERS IN THE RECORD BOOKS: Besides the 2002 team posting its best record since 1989 with a 20-12 mark, several current Cal players notched their names on the school's career and single-season list. Mia Jerkov established a single-season kill record (578), surpassing Tiffany Rochelle's 568 kills set in 1988. Jerkov was also third on the single-season kill attempt list (1,400) and established school records for kills in a match (39 Oct. 17 versus Washington) and kill attempts in a match (91 Nov. 22 versus Stanford). Middle hitter Heather Diers tied a school record with 11 total blocks and the Bears established a new school record with 40 total team blocks Oct. 22 versus Saint Mary's. Junior middle blocker Camille Leffall (2001- ) is currently the school record-holder with a .356 career hitting percentage and set a school mark for single-season hitting percentage (.381) as a freshman in 2001. Leffall also had 11 total blocks in a match, accomplishing the feat as a freshman, Oct. 23, 2001 versus Santa Clara.

KEY NEWCOMERS: Samantha Carter, 5-11 setter, FR - Bishop Moore HS (Apopka, FL) Six-time AAU All-American; named nation's 28th top recruit by Student Sports magazine; two-time all-state selection...Natalie Smart, 6-2 middle hitter, FR - Durango HS (Las Vegas, NV) Member of USA Junior National Team; named nation's 50th top recruit by Student Sports magazine; 2002 all-conference and Sunset Region MVP...Amanda Fox, 6-3 outside hitter, FR - El Molino HS (Forestville, CA) Member of USA National Youth Team; named nation's 53rd top recruit by Student Sports magazine; 2001 and 2002 league MVP.

IMPORTANT HOME DATE: Oct. 11 vs. Stanford, The Golden Bears host Bay Area rival and 2002 national runner-up Stanford Cardinal at 3 p.m. at Haas Pavilion.

2002 REVIEW: The 2002 Cal volleyball team had one of the best seasons in school history, finishing 20-12, qualifying for the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1989 and defeating six opponents ranked in the AVCA Top 25. The Bears defeated No. 14 Santa Clara, 3-1, in the NCAA first round match before falling to No. 7 ranked UC Santa Barbara, 3-0. Cal's 20 victories in 2002 was only the fourth time in school history the Bears had won 20 or more matches in a season (20-21 in 1981, 28-12 in 1982 and 22-20 in 1983). Last year, Cal made its eighth postseason appearance and sixth NCAA appearance.

DID YOU KNOW? The Golden Bears featured Holly McPeak, the 1987 National Freshman of the Year, and Lisa Arce, Cal teammates from 1987-89. Both have gone on to be standout Olympic beach volleyball players. Mia Jerkov's father, Zeljko, is a seven-foot former Olympic basketball star for Yugoslavia, helping his country to a silver medal in the 1976 Montreal Olympics (losing to the United States) and a gold medal at the 1980 Moscow Olympics.

2003 University of California Volleyball Season HighsCareer highs in italics

TEAMKills 66 vs. CS Northridge, 9/6Attempts 162 vs. CS Northridge, 9/6Hitting Pct. .433 vs. Seton Hall, 9/5Assists 57 at Colorado State, 9/6Service Aces 15 at UC Irvine, 8/31Digs 80 vs. CS Northridge, 9/6Block Solos 5 vs. CS Northridge, 9/6Block Assists 26 vs. Hofstra, 8/30Team Blocks 13.0 vs. Hofstra, 8/30


Gabrielle AbernathyKills 17 vs. Hofstra, 8/30Attempts 27 vs. Hofstra, 8/30Service Aces 4 vs. Seton Hall, 9/5Digs 6 vs. CS Northridge, 9/6Block Solos 0Block Assists 2 vs. two teamsTotal Blocks 2 vs. two teams

Jenna BrownKills 11 at UC Irvine, 8/31Attempts 21 vs. Colorado State, 9/6Service Aces 3 at Colorado State, 9/6Digs 15 vs. CS Northridge, 9/6Block Solos 1 vs. two teamsBlock Assists 7 vs. Hofstra, 8/30Total Blocks 7 vs. Hofstra, 8/30

Samantha CarterKills 2 vs. three teamsAttempts 7 vs. two teamsAssists 47 at Colorado State, 9/6Service Aces 5 at UC Irvine, 8/31Digs 8 at UC Irvine, 8/31Block Solos 1 vs. CS Northridge, 9/6Block Assists 4 at UC Irvine, 8/31Total Blocks 4 at UC Irvine, 8/31

Amanda FoxKills 6 vs. two teamsAttempts 17 vs. CS Northridge, 9/6Service Aces 0Digs 6 vs. two teamsBlock Solos 0Block Assists 2 vs. Hofstra, 8/30Total Blocks 2 vs. Hofstra, 8/30

Mia JerkovKills 30 vs. CS Northridge, 9/6Attempts 65 vs. CS Northridge, 9/6Service Aces 4 at UC Irvine, 8/31Digs 18 vs. CS Northridge, 9/6Block Solos 0Block Assists 3 vs. CS Northridge, 9/6Total Blocks 3 vs. CS Northridge, 9/6

Camille LeffallKills 10 vs. two teamsAttempts 19 vs. two teamsService Aces 3 at UC Irvine, 8/31Digs 3 vs. CS Northridge, 9/6Block Solos 0Block Assists 10 vs. Hofstra, 8/30Total Blocks 10 vs. Hofstra, 8/30

Alicia PowersKills 9 at UC Irvine, 8/31Attempts 12 vs. two teamsService Aces 2 vs. two teamsDigs 13 vs. Hofstra, 8/30Block Solos 0Block Assists 3 vs. two teamsTotal Blocks 3 vs. two teams

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